Tom Tom with a Club


Here is what Tom Friedman proposes the U.S. do to overcome the Abu Ghraib scandal and put the Iraq project back on track:

Mr. Bush needs to invite to Camp David the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the heads of both NATO and the U.N., and the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. There, he needs to eat crow, apologize for his mistakes and make clear that he is turning a new page. Second, he needs to explain that we are losing in Iraq, and if we continue to lose the U.S. public will eventually demand that we quit Iraq, and it will then become Afghanistan-on-steroids, which will threaten everyone. Third, he needs to say he will be guided by the U.N. in forming the new caretaker government in Baghdad. And fourth, he needs to explain that he is ready to listen to everyone's ideas about how to expand our force in Iraq, and have it work under a new U.N. mandate, so it will have the legitimacy it needs to crush any uprisings against the interim Iraqi government and oversee elections ? and then leave when appropriate. And he needs to urge them all to join in.

"Eat crow, apologize for his mistakes and make clear that he is turning a new page"? The only thing remarkable in Friedman's list of political hair shirts is how almost every one is utterly wrongheaded–and I'm someone who often agrees with him.

I will mention only one: Apologize to Bashar al-Asad, Crown Prince Abdullah and Hosni Mubarak? For what? For not "disappearing" the prisoners the way they would have?