Sunday, February 27, 2005

Friedman's Elephant

Getting the full story on international developments isn't the main concern of our local paper, however from time to time various stories do get covered. Tom Friedman's column today deals with three events in the Middle East. According to Friedman, the election in Iraq, Lebanese calls for Syrian withdrawl following the murder of Prime Minister Hariri and Israel's about face on Gaza all represent tipping points which cause us to think differently about the Middle Eastern situation.

(Readers should also note the the AP story on (page 8) "Egypt eyes election reform". Egyptian President Mubarak seems to have suddenly bowed to pressure to allow challengers on the ballot. That wouldn't have anything to do with statements made about Egypt during the recent State of the Union speech or Secretary of State Rice's decision not to go to Egypt--would it?)

Numerous articles in the Palo Alto Daily News, the New York Times as well as the Associated Press have given harsh assessments of the Bush administration for decisions about the Middle East. Without doubt the monoculture that typlifies the mid-Peninsula and extends to the offices of media empires would be surprised to learn of positive changes affecting the world's number one hot spot--since their coverage failed to appreciate the upside potential all the while assuring their readers that Bush blundered.

Give Friedman credit, he came out in support of the intervention for exactly the reasons highlighted in today's column. He could be heard to utter "Just because George Bush says it, it doesn't make it wrong." Now that US efforts seem to be accomplishing exactly what Bush, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld sought to do, Friedman and others seem not to notice who should get the credit. These events are not accidental--they were the plan. Sure Mr. Friedman, those are tipping points, but someone had to do the tipping. You don't suppose it was the elephant over there?


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