Atanu Dey On India's Development

Channeling Tommy

This blog is a big fan of Thomas Friedman (Friedman has his own category with six posts). So I would like to share a bit from this article by Norman Solomon which attempts to synthesize Friedman’s brain waves [hat tip: Ashok Bardhan]:

Speaking of war: I cheered the invasion of Iraq and kept applauding for a long time afterward. I lauded the war effort as glorious and noble — and, on the last day of November 2003, I even likened the U.S. occupation of Iraq to the magnanimity of the Marshall Plan.

And if U.S. troops had been able to kill enough Iraqi troublemakers early enough to quell the resistance, I would have remained an avid booster of the war. There’s no business like war business — that’s why I recycled my clever slogan “Give war a chance” from the 1999 air war on Yugoslavia to the 2001 military assault on Afghanistan.

But I like winning. That’s why I kept praising Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld when he looked like a winner, and now I keep deploring him because he looks like a loser.

Overall, I get to boil down the world to metaphors of my own choosing. If I were one of the anti-corporate-globalization people and I used the same kind of simplistic metaphors, I’d be the object of derision and scorn. But I’m not — so get used to it!

Never let it be said that leading U.S. pundit Thomas Friedman has to live with the consequences of his punditry. I think great thoughts, and I’m seriously glib about them, and that should be more than enough if the world is smart enough to grasp the opportunities that are low-hanging fruit of the digital age. I can’t expect everyone to get it, but at the very least they should try.

  • http://www.adityaathalye.com Aditya Athalye

    i don’t know why you even bother with this guy… one was forced to drop the book that flattened the world like hot coals upon a glance at the contents and a riffle through the pages… else one would have passe’d out too…

  • abey

    gork! rotflmao!

  • Guru Gulab Khatri

    I was never a friedman fan.
    But his critique from the braindead retrogressive.
    Given a binary selection I would pick friedman over the likes of solomon.
    Solomon’s criticism reminds me of similarly banal but more intersting critique I had read from fatty glutton vandana shiva, and the bloke Varadarajan from the hindu newspaper. Again in a binary world I find my self allied on friedmans side.

  • http://chrestomathic.blogspot.com Jyoti Iyer

    What a crazy-ass idiot , Friedman I mean.

    Jyoti

  • http://valluvar.blogspot.com shiv
  • http://neverfollow.blogspot.com Devang

    Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree was good reading for my sophmore year in High School. It was good to read about globalization back then. It’s been downhill since then for Friedman, I’m afraid. He’s still stuck to the same point, even though we know much more about the realities of WTO sanctioned globalization. His original “thesis” is still right, but he’s added little new since then. Of the NYT op-eder’s, my favorite’s been Krugman since atleast 2000 by a long shot. Nothing beats a real economist who can actually write in today’s world.

    For being a middle-eastern expert, by way of his studies and career, he certainly has been more wrong than others about the Iraq war (others who hail from both the right and the left side of the political spectrum). Iraq was a mess to begin with, and by almost all sensible standards it’s worse now. I’ll be thinking twice about reading an optimist like Mr. Friedman when it comes to that part of the world.

  • http://smstoday.in John

    i read his book the world is flat. Though book was good to read, i don’t fully agree with him

  • Guru Gulab Khatri

    Regarding “Iraq was a mess to begin with, and by almost all sensible standards it’s worse now.”
    That is absolutely bullshit.
    Take for eg the very existance of communist party of Iraq, as well as athiest association in iraq.
    Now i dont agree with communists, but the point is under the previous system no organization could exist without the cliques approval.
    Iraq’s biggest problem is that US wasnt forceful in shutting up or killing Al-Sadr as it had been when killing saudi backed insurgents (who for the most part were noniraqi).
    The other issue is OIL. What %age of oil revenue will go to centre,state and district governments is what the killing is all about.
    Either way It is a really hard sell for someone to convince a rational person that iraq is worse off as the result of US invasion.
    The comparison to vietnam etc are way off.
    Where in iraq has there been a carpet bombing by US?