Monday, November 9, 2009

Friedman's Mojo

I don't know where he found it, but Tom Friedman has his mojo back, at least briefly. He's got a new prescription for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process: Get the U.S. out until they really want us. This is a recent conversion for Tom: on August 9th, he called for more U.S. engagement, likewise August 2nd and February 7th. Perhaps his current conclusion is just an angry fit, which would be understandable after 20 years of solid peace-process-ism:
This peace process movie is not going to end differently just because we keep playing the same reel. It is time for a radically new approach. And I mean radical. I mean something no U.S. administration has ever dared to do: Take down our “Peace-Processing-Is-Us” sign and just go home... Indeed, it’s time for us to dust off James Baker’s line: “When you’re serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix.”
Of course, some would say this has exactly been the case for the last eight-and-a-half years: the American diplomatic efforts are either very detail-oriented (which is always good) or just window-dressing (which fools precisely no one).

Global Review doesn't take a strong stance on U.S. involvement. If the U.S. can improve some small-scale things, like the National Security Force Friedman was touting heavily in February, that's probably worth the expense. On the other hand, serious "permanent solution" efforts are impossible without punching Israel in the face a few times, something the Obama administration couldn't get away with.

For now, we'll have to settle with having a creative columnist back.


Anonymous said...

Friedman, over the years, has grown intolerable. I now read his columns only to see what cringe-inducing, overly-simplistic metaphor he'll beat into the ground.

ali baba

Chops said...

I know. I stopped reading him regularly years ago. It's like a tree that grows pianos: no matter how big the tree gets, it can't tune the pianos!

Or something like that.

Jonathan said...

And then when I met this wizened old man underneath the piano tree quote an ancient proverb of his people, "If the music is beautiful, you don't care who is playing it." So I thought to myself why doesn't the U.S. totally revamp its education system to focus on piano tuning.

That's about the level of intellectual analysis you get from Tom Friedman these days.