October 30, 2004

Sad and Tragic

Thomas Friedman, repentant war shill extraordinaire showed up on Real Time with Bill Maher last night. After 1,100 Coalition deaths and many thousands more wounded, after over 100,000 Iraqi deaths, Friedman explained what bothered him so much about Iraq:

"[It's] sad and tragic [that]... We've been there 18 months and they don't really know who we are ...[or] why we're there."

*That's* the great tragedy of Iraq, that they don't 'know' us well enough yet? He sounds like the morons at his paper in 1973 who suggested that the awful thing about My Lai was that the Vietnamese didn't realize what it meant to America, while describing the eight year bombardment meant to make the area safe. I barely know what to say to this latest pronouncement, but Friedman has clearly had one too many midday daquiries with Maureen Dowd.

Also showing up was Ann Coulter, who said regarding one of the guests, "Is that Richard Belzer [over there]? I thought it was Osama bin Laden." Ha. Ha. She went on to say that by the standards of the New York Times op-ed page, which predicted a far worse outcome, the war in Iraq was a towering success. (Did she forget Freidman, Safire... oh forget it. She just doesn't care.) She said with a straight face that Kerry was more vulnerable than Bush to the charge of getting where he was through family connections, like his wife, whom even Maher felt bound to point out had married him long after he was already a Senator.

Coulter then capped her performance with a response to Maher's question about whether or not Ronald Reagan would have sat reading a book to kids for seven minutes after hearing that the country was under attack. She said that "Ronald Reagan would not have been reading at a school," which was indicative of a deep problem in our country, this whole trend of politicians having to show up at schools. But then, she's "not the one who said women should have the right to vote," presumably why politicians have to do dumb things like pretend they care about the public welfare.

There are many sad and tragic things that have happened in the last few years, and the failure of Iraqi empathy for Americans isn't within sighting distance of the top of the list. The fact that someone like Ann Coulter is treated as a serious part of the political conversation isn't within sighting distance of the bottom. And how to rank Friedman's disconnection from reality... I'm just stumped.

Posted by natasha at October 30, 2004 01:16 PM | Media | Technorati links |

I've never really liked reading Friedman. Kinda like I've never really liked eating beets, except that beets are good for you. The best way I can describe him is that he relentlessly doesn't get it. So much so that he shocked me in the Spring, I think after the Al Garaeb(sp) humiliation, when he finally admitted that the Iraq war was perhaps not such a great thing after all. So it's not surprising that Friedman is well clear of the mark today.

Posted by: Norman at October 31, 2004 03:31 PM