What follows is my transcription of New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman explaining his flat world on The Charlie Rose Show. I don’t think I’ve heard this much concentrated stupidity since listening to Ambassador G. McMurtrie Godley III at country team meetings in wartime Laos.
The transcription below contains the money shot, as they call it in the frankly pornographic rather than the political side of show biz. But if you have time to watch the whole interview you’ll see that Friedman’s performance was well-rehearsed and at least partially memorized. Thus the last three appalling paragraphs were not misspoken, but intentional.
Particularly unattractive, like Bush’s fake Texas accent, are Friedman’s tone-deaf attempts to sound like an ex-Marine Corps pogue tough-talking at the Legion Hall late at night. (Suck on this, Friedman, okay?)
And what we learned on 9/11, in a gut way, was that [the terrorist] bubble was a fundamental threat to our open society because there is no wall high enough, no INS agent smart enough, no metal detector efficient enough, to protect an open society from people motivated by that bubble and what we needed to do was to go over to that part of the world, I’m afraid, and burst that bubble. We needed to go over here basically and take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble.
And there was only one way to do it because part of that bubble said, “We’ve got you. This bubble is actually going to level the balance of power between we and you because we don’t care about it. We’re ready to sacrifice and all you care about is your stock options and your Hummers.”
And what they needed to see was American boys and girls going from house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, and basically saying, “Which part of this sentence don’t you understand? You don’t think we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we’re just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this, okay?”
That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia; it was part of the bubble. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Baghdad because we could.