But Tom Friedman made a very good point.
Of course, you could have heard it firsthand if you'd been listening to Imus in the Morning. I mean, I listen, first and foremost, because Imus has the best comic team alive today. It's tough sometimes, because Imus himself is a Republican who's tremendously far to the left of Lincoln Chafee, but he often puts together a brilliantly funny show.
I also watch because he has some interesting quests amidst the liberal scum regulars he parades through on an almost daily basis – Jonathan Alter, Christopher Dodd, Paul Begala, and yes, Tom Friedman, to name a few.
Except that Friedman differs in that he was in favor of invading Iraq, and today, he made an observation that was not only incredibly perceptive, it was important. But I'm only going to say what it was for the benefit of those people who can't receive Imus. Everyone else, stop reading now and start tuning in Imus. I mean if I can stand it, so can you.
Friedman said that Nancy Pelosi has a very important role, and that the Administration better make the most of it. The interview started with Mr Friedman talking about how much better the world was for Americans prior to 9/11, and he talked about coming back from a trip and standing at Dulles Airport and having to endure security checks and waiting for luggage the likes of which we'd never have imagined much less stood for before the towers fell. He recounted how a woman asked him, "Is it never gonna be like it was again?"
I expected this would be a launching pad for another mindless attack on the Bush Administration, but it wasn't. Instead, Friedman lamented what had been "stolen from us" by filthy fanatics, and then he got to what went wrong in the aftermath, specifically that "whether you thought Iraq was a long shot, impossible, or you know, or a slam dunk, which I certainly didn't think it was, the sheer managerial performance of this administration has been appalling" (something I think no rational person can disagree with).
But then Friedman turned to how he'd lived in Beirut during their civil war, and how he'd never seen "the level of sheer depravity" as we've seen in Iraq. "It has really shocked me, you know, how far the bounds of civilization have come off for some of these people."
I'd argue it's enormously more than "some. In fact, civilization seems in decline everywhere. We're supposed to be evolving, but we're not. In America, we may not be ruthlessly murdering children (yet), but such things as the abandonment of morality in the name of libertarianism, the push for gay marriage instead of treatment, and celebrity worship at a time when such people should be held in contempt if for no other reason than for failing to be role models in a time of need, are indicative of a an America and a worldwide society which values self-interest, hedonism, and "diversity" ahead of values that enhance the dignity of man.
But enough of that, Friedman next talked about how tough it is to restructure a society where the power "elevator" goes "directly from the palace to the mosque, and because Iraqi society was "more broken than we realized," we made it worse by disbanding the army and by stripping out the whole infrastructure, and so "for four years, there really was no one inside exerting discipline on these people."
And here's the key – since Republicans had control of The Presidency and the Congress, there was no discipline imposed on us either. Now the glimmer of hope is that Pelosi "provides two really important things:" sheer rigor by being able to demand the administration account for its claims and actions, and cover for Petreaus who can make demands on Iraqis based on the crazy aunt who controls the purse strings and more.
Now before you think I've gullibly bought the Friedman line, I should mention that he finally did revert to form when he said that he wasn't even sure that our pulling out would result in the bloodbath "some people" claim it would – and Imus didn't ask if he's suggesting we should pull out and see.