HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 18, 2003

 
Pushing Back

After reading today’s puerile little anti-French screed I am forced to conclude that anything insightful Tom Friedman ever wrote was a fluke.

He says the French are our enemy because they have not magnanimously offered to “assemble an army of 25,000 Eurotroops, and a $5 billion reconstruction package, and then saying to the Bush team: Here, we're sincere about helping to rebuild Iraq, but now we want a real seat at the management table. Instead, the French have put out an ill-conceived proposal, just to show that they can be different, without any promise that even if America said yes Paris would make a meaningful contribution.”

Yes. That’s the smart way to deal with the Bush administration. Put your best deal on the table and let them up the ante. They are soooo trustworthy and honest in their dealings that you needn’t fear that they will screw you. Being above board in all things is their watchword.

And the French are little pink bunnies who were born yesterday.

Friedman relays the following as if it were a sacred truth as passed down from Moses himself:

Let me spell it out in simple English: if America is defeated in Iraq by a coalition of Saddamists and Islamists, radical Muslim groups — from Baghdad to the Muslim slums of Paris — will all be energized, and the forces of modernism and tolerance within these Muslim communities will be on the run.


And we know this because we’ve already seen how cowed terrorists are by our magnificent military might and democratic motivations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The entire Arab world is trembling in fear and yet are simultaneously terribly impressed with our benevolence, kindness and generosity; they are particularly moved by the competence we’ve shown thus far in the post-war aftermath. Needless to say, like everyone else in the world, they are very likely bowled over by the expertise and skill of our intelligence services with their preternatural gifts for knowing if they’ve been bad or good (so be good for goodness sake!)

Just today we hear reports that Saudi Arabia is thinking of putting out feelers to buy a small nuclear bomb or two from our other close ally Pakistan.

Oh yes. The plan is working perfectly.

It doesn’t occur to Friedman that this magical kool-aid formula that he and the neocons are swilling by the gallon just MIGHT BE WRONG. Maybe this administration’s continued insistence on running things in Iraq after our blatant lies and mistakes leading up to the war are the very things that are making this beautiful flowering of democracy IMPOSSIBLE.

Nobody believes a fucking thing we say anymore, whether it’s about WMD or civil liberties or transforming Iraq into a non-drinking version of Tennessee. This is not France’s fault and it isn’t the EU’s fault and it isn’t the UN’s fault. It is the Bush administration’s fault and whether or not the French “want us to fail” is of little consequence. We are the one’s who are failing.

The question is whether France has an obligation to involve itself in a terrible mess, against the will of its own people, that they were on the record opposing in no uncertain terms and which they do not believe is going to be successful under the leadership of a bunch of bungling megalomaniacs.

Even more importantly the question is whether they might think they should try to put the brakes on this neocon fantasy called the Bush Doctrine before something really, really bad happens. Although it's somewhat in doubt that Friedman has bothered to read it, we can be sure that the leaders of France have, as well as the numerous underlying writings that fully explain its goals, something Tom Friedman should also do before he start throwing around stupid accusations about the French launching “Operation America Must Fail.”

Long before any such (non-existent) French perfidy was conceived, fellows like Charles Krauthammer were writing in his article Universal Dominion: Toward a Unipolar World: "America's purpose should be to steer the world away from its coming multipolar future toward a qualitatively new outcome--a unipolar world" shaped and led by American power. Ben Wattenberg wrote: "We are the first universal nation. 'First' as in the first one, 'first' as in 'number one.' And 'universal' within our borders and globally.A unipolar world is a good thing, if America is the uni." link

It may be that the disagreements between Europe and the US aren’t about some unhinged French hatred for America, as Friedman seems to think, nor are they necessarily the natural consequence of European cultural hedonism leading to military weakness, as Robert Kaplan asserts in his unctuously condescending article, Power and Weakness.

It’s just possible that the French and others, based upon their historical experience as well as a clear reading of the intentions of the US government, have decided to push back for bigger reasons than thwarting the onanistic mid-east fantasy of a bunch of delusional neocons.

They may believe that enabling the US to run the world as a “hegemony” is not in their best interest. They may sincerely believe that a real multi-polar world is preferable, not because they are weak and flabby, but because they know that when a nation’s leaders start talking about “global military dominance” it has always translated into bad results for ordinary people, no matter who does it.

Maybe they have learned from their own mistakes.

Friedman would do well do at least consider that France’s intransigence is born of something a bit more nuanced than petulance, greed and bad temper (although they, like everybody else, have ample amounts of them.) The logical reason for their behavior is that they don’t trust this government and its newfound enthusiasm for using its huge military as far as they can throw it.

And in that they are joined by millions and millions of others all around the world, many of them right here in the Homeland itself. A few of us have read the history of Empire, too. We don't have to actually live it to learn its lessons.