Today’s New York Times features a column from Thomas “American Savage” Friedman, in which he hallucinates (seriously), gets kind of nice and peaceful, then calls for more war. Let’s walk through this strange trip together.
Friedman’s lede paragraph contains the most promising sentence he’s ever written.
I took part in a “qat chew” the other day at the home of a Yemeni official. Never done that before. Qat is the mildly hallucinogenic leaf drug that Yemeni men stuff in their cheek after work — and sometimes during.
Woah! Tommy, my boy. I’ve known plenty of people who have had bad trips in my day, and, frankly, you’re one of the most blood-thirsty people I know. Just don’t take too much, okay? Let me know how you feel in an hour or so, and if the demons rear their ugly heads, remember that you’re on a drug and it’ll end soon.
Wait, what’s this now?
So here is my new rule of thumb: For every Predator missile we fire at an Al Qaeda target here, we should help Yemen build 50 new modern schools that teach science and math and critical thinking — to boys and girls.
Um, well, okay. I could do without the Predator drones at all, but, yeah, let’s build some schools in Yemen. Wow, Tommy, I like you way better when you’re high.
But then, like so many trips, coming down is the hardest part. Friedman concludes:
So, yes, fire those Predators where we must, but help build schools and fund scholarships to America wherever we can.
So entrenched is Friedman’s love of (and belief in) war that he can’t see how insanely contradictory his prescription for the future is. Let’s continue to bomb countries indescriminantly if we must, but also build schools. To Friedman, war is always part of the answer.
Somebody should try to get Krugman to spike Tommy’s coffee with acid. That might be a fun column to read.