Iraq War

That Time Tom Friedman Said the Iraq War Was All About Telling Muslims "To Suck. On. This."


You know what happened 11 years ago, almost to the day (May 29, 2003)? Tom Friedman appeared on a very special episode of The Charlie Rose Show taped in Silicon Valley and delivered the most batshit-stupid-crazy peroration EVER on why America was right to invade Iraq. Short verson: BECAUSE 9/11.

Slightly longer version:

What they [Islamic extremists] needed to see was American boys and girls going 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 [terrorism] fantasy [you have]—we're just gonna let it grow? Well, suck. on. this. That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We coulda hit Saudi Arabia….We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

How do people say this kind of stuff not just in public but ON PBS and still have jobs?

Hat tip: Glenn Greenwald and Atrios.

Must-read: Matt Welch on "The Simpletons: David Brooks, Thomas L. Friedman, and the banal authoritarianism of do-something punditry."

NEXT: Why There's Still Hope: Reporters Openly Laugh at State Dept. Flack

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  1. *Goes to dictionary to look up the definition of “bubble”*

    Nope, he’s wrong again.

    1. I see you did not defer to FoE. I openly wonder what the repercussions will be.

      1. Bring it. I (probably) have more guns than he does.

  2. Tom Friedman may be the stupidest person on Earth. And he’s been at the Times for how long again?

  3. I tend to classify Thomas Friedman as an undiagnosed anencephalic.

  4. You want something to suck on, Tom Friedman? You can start with my hairy balls.

  5. Weird. I just came from Greg Laden’s blog at scienceblogs where he was (I think) trying to make it sound like Friedman has finally come around on global warming and that this is some kind of sign of a trend in public opinion (denialism is dying). Friedman has always bought the CAGW line of bullshit and has always told scary stories of the future. And if anyone is as dumb as Thomas Friedman it’s Greg Laden.

  6. Holy shit. Atrios? Man, you’re taking me on a time warp back to 2003-4. I haven’t been to that blog since then.

  7. Uhhh, revenge was the prevalent motive of the war-boner crowd. Sure, they mouthed “WMD” a lot but no one really believed that shit.

    1. Hilary did.

  8. I find reading Thomas Friedman unbearable enough, but hearing him talk, and discovering that he actually *speaks* with the same dipshit, reductio-ad-cartoonum analogies (“See, first there was a Tech Bubble, then there was a Terrorism Bubble…???” Bubbles, Tom? Really? a ‘frothy excess of speculative interest in *terrorism* driven by exaggerated chances of how it leads to ever-increasing… what? “prophets”? WHO LET THIS FUCKING IDIOT IN HERE?!?) with the tone of voice and very-carefully placed fingertips that suggest he is divulging Great Profundities mined from the deepest shafts of Intellectual Seriousness…. makes me want to smash things with a sledgehammer. I can’t believe people ask this guy what he thinks about anything.

    1. He’s an economist of ideas… of the meta-analytical space.

      There are bubbles, TARP programs, stimulus and deficit spending in service to the lexicon.

  9. Is this the reason why Team Blue is convinced the Bush Administration blamed Iraq for 9/11?

    1. The Bushpigs continuously tried to tie Al Qaeda to Iraq.

      Cheney Reasserts Al Qaeda Links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq

      WASHINGTON ? Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of Al Qaeda links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

      Cheney contended that Al Qaeda was operating in Iraq before the March 2003 invasion led by U.S. forces and that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was leading the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda. Others in Al Qaeda planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

      “He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the Al Qaeda operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June,” Cheney told radio host Rush Limbaugh during an interview. “As I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.”…..sein-iraq/

      1. There is good reason to believe Sadaam and AQ were playing footsy at that time. There were a plethora of other terrorists with American blood on their hands such as the Abu Nidal Organization.

        1. Cheney was lying and the DoD said so (above). Every redneck in Georgia I talked to thought Saddam was behind 9/11 because they were lied to by people like Cheney.

          It infuriated me at the time now I am glad Bush/Cheney were reelected in 2004. ‘Worst POTUS ever’ title took the whole 8 years to fully cook in.

          1. And it only took Obama 5+ to claim the crown. What, oh Lord, have we (not including the Plug) done to deserve such a fate?

            1. No one but Bush fans believes that.

              When history is written Obama will get credit for turning around a country mired in two wars, financial collapse, and general US disrepair.

              Don’t believe me? Us fucking liberals write history.

              1. Us fucking liberals write history.

                No doubt the history books will read that Obama ended the Iraq war and emptied Gitmo in February of 2009.

              2. He’s right. “Liberals” write history, and they will lie about Obama’s “accomplishments” just like they lie about FDR and the New Deal ending the Great Depression.

              3. I thought you considered yourself the only real libertarian here? You even said you would vote for Rand Paul (which I highly doubt in any case).

              4. Nazis had historians too, until they all ate their guns in the u-bahn or were hanged as war criminals.

                Don’t worry, your time will come. History has a way of working such things out.

      2. the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

        Cheney contended that Al Qaeda was operating in Iraq before the March 2003 invasion

        See if you can spot the difference between the bolded statements you abject retard. The Hussein government needn’t have been cooperating with Al Qaeda for Al Qaeda to have been present in Iraq.

        The WMD argument was a leftover from the Clinton administration, which may explain why every prominent Democrat in congress authorized the war on that premise and continued funding it despite later protestations of having been lied to.

        1. Here are 15-20 lies told by the Bushpigs to justify their Iraq War:


          They began planning the Iraq War in Jan 2001 according to Paul O’Neil – Bush’s Secretary of Treasury.

          GO TEAM RED!!!!!

  10. Truly, he’s a national treasure.

  11. It wasn’t because we could; it was to show the Arabs that we weren’t messing around.

    The 9/11 terrorists were Arabs and Iraq had the greatest Arab army. No Arabs had respect for the goatherders in Afghanistan.

    Dumb to invade and dumb to occupy, but not necessarily dumb to attack and show the Arab world the US was serious and sick of their shit.

    1. Yes, it was because we could. We had casus belli due to the cease-fire violations. Further, Iraq borders every other malcontent troublemaking nation in the region, so it was a perfect setup.

      I know most people are too stupid to plan more than move in advance, but this really isn’t that hard to figure out.

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