Friedman, Apologiste

The World According to Maxwell Smart, Part 1″
Thomas Friedman
July 12, 2014

The New York Times‘ resident guru of globalism, Thomas Friedman offers an earnest op-ed about the nature of the world scene. It was moderately interesting, until he wrapped it with the following:

So, please spare me the “it’s all Obama’s fault.” There are plenty of reasons to criticize Obama, but everything is not about what we do. There are huge forces acting on these countries, and it will take extraordinary collaboration by the whole world of order to contain them.

A few pointed observations:

1. Conceptually there is not much new in Friedman’s essay: Thomas P.M. Barnett, for example, has been saying much the same about weak states vs. large states since his 2004 book “The Pentagon’s New Map.”

2. I wonder if Friedman realizes that this essay marks another step in the slow, quiet demise of his own “flat world” theory.

3. No president can be held responsible for the global crises that emerge on his watch. On the other hand, a president bears full responsibility for his administration’s response to those crises.

We at the Pacific Bull Moose endeavor to avoid ad hominem attacks on Mr. Obama. Nor do we apologize for Bush Administration’s mistakes that turned the Iraq war into Vietnam II. In that spirit, we offer a friendly reminder to those who, like Mr. Friedman, would seek to offer apologetics for this or any other Presidency:

Regardless of our party affiliation or personal views, we serve our nation poorly if we do not assess honestly the results of our foreign policy at all times. This is not about partisanship, but about understanding where our foreign policy is failing, and starting a discussion about what we must to to improve it.

And to the Bush-haters, Clinton-Haters, Reagan-haters and Obama-haters out there: the less you focus on the policy and the more you focus on the individuals, the less you are doing to actually solve the problem.

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