Today on ABC’s This Week, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said that as president, Obama would abandon the hunt for Osama bin Ladan and actually decide that the U.S. could “win the war” in Iraq by staying another six months:When host George Stephanopoulos noted that even Gen. David Petraeus refuses to use the terms “victory” or “winning” for Iraq, Friedman walked back his comments slightly, saying Obama would bring Iraq to a “decent ending” but ultimately, “they will conclude that Afghanistan is a loser.”
FRIEDMAN: I think everything we believe could be wrong. That is Iraq could turn out — that Osama — sorry, not searching for Osama bin Laden could be not the biggest issue for Obama. I think you could actually find out that Obama can win the Iraq war and he will want to actually continue our presence in Iraq for — until 2011.
We have won the war. We have not won the hearts and minds of the Arab-Muslim world at all. There's still a lot of people there quietly rooting for bin Laden. Some of that is related to their own frustration with their own governments, we know. A lot of it is related to what we just saw as well. This is their way of getting a little bit of revenge on us for what is perceived to be our unwavering support for Israel. By not granting us our victory, in a sense, by not acknowledging that victory, this meat grinder of people that is being... whose lives are being destroyed every day in this conflict is aired across the Arab world every night in news footage in a very tendentious way to be sure, in a way that often doesn't show the Palestinian provocation only the Israeli reaction, but it has an enormously corrosive effect on American standing in that part of the world. That's just a fact.