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A week or so ago Atrios linked to this Charlie Rose interview with Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist and ostensible Middle East expert, which aired in 2003, right after America thought it had "won" the Iraq war. Watch it if you can without hurling. Friedman condescendingly lectures people in Muslim countries, bragging shamelessly about the lessons "American boys and girls" have taught them. It never seems to occur to him that four years later Iraq might be a charnel house because of his and Bush's bad judgment call. (The US service deaths passed 3500 this week.) His jingoist cry that "American power in the service of American ideals" had to teach a lesson to a Muslim country--any Muslim country, it doesn't matter if it attacked us or not--is pure Rudyard Kipling racism. This was him at the height of his post shock and awe preening but he still hasn't apologized for all the people he helped to kill. Here's what he said:
What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying, "Which part of this sentence don't you understand?"Retribution against the wrong country for 9/11 was bad enough without claiming it as a triumph for American ideals.
You don't think, you know, we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy, we're just gonna to let it grow?
Well, Suck. On. This.
That Charlie was what this war was about. We could've hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.