Saturday, March 05, 2005

Thomas Friedman's Crystal Ball

I just finished reading these days Thomas Friedman Book: Longitudes and Attitudes. I enjoyed his very good analysis and understanding of the complicated politics and policies of the Middle East and the world in general. No surprise, he has been all over the map and has a lot of friends everywhere particularly in the Arab world and Israel. This book which covers the period between 09/11/01 and shortly after the Iraq war May 2003 should be a reference to any historian. It is a must read and keep book as one of the best political books for this period. He was right on the money in all of his predictions:
1- I quote him 09/18/02" I have no illusion how difficult it would be to democratize a fractious Iraq. It would be a huge, long, costly task-if it is doable at all".
2- I quote him 12/08/02"One should not think that we are going to be able to use Iraqi oil to pay for it. It will be paid by our treasury".
3- I quote him 2/19/03 " I side with those who believe we need to confront Saddam- but we have to do it right, with allies and staying power."
4- I quote him 3/09/03 " He (president Bush) needs them (allies) not to win the war, but to win the peace."
5- I quote him 04/13/03: "Arab dictators will hid behind this conflict (Israelis-Palestinian) as an excuse not to change".
6- I quote him 04/06/03 " But anyone who thinks they (Iraqi exile leaders) can simply be installed by America and take root in Iraqi soil is out of his mind." I would add here you like Khomini or do not like him millions of people were waiting his return when he was on exile.
7- I quote him 3/24/02." Saddam is a homicidal dictator who can be deterred, or eliminated by conventional means." I would add to that if he is suicidal he would have used WMD in the first Gulf war when he had it. He would sacrifice all his people s' lives but not his.
8- He predicted early the failure of Democrats to win the presidential election 2004. I quote him 12/18/02"The democrats can't just wait for Mr. Bush to fail in Iraq or hope the economy collapses and assume they will benefit. People want to hear a positive alternative agenda."
9- I quote him 10/06/02"Without a strong America holding the world together, and doing the right thing more often than not, the world really would be a Hobbesian jungle."
The good thing about Tom he is like me believes in the dynamic of politics. If things continue to improve or we get major reshape of the great Middle East we will bless all the effort. Meanwhile, it is our duty to continue to give advise to the American administration. It we also be reasonable to forward different plans for debate. I already suffered a lot of oppression before I came to America and discrimination after 9/11 for wrong policies of the American administrations over the years. The imperialistic view of America for having the oil and the invested money of the rich Arab Amirs and help them to oppress their poor masses will need to be changed. I ask Tom to continue to look in his crystal ball and I ask politicians to respect what he writes. I agree with the Neocons that we need democracy, but to all the people in this area (equally important prosperity) and they all will live happily ever after.
Maged Taman.