Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tom Friedman's Finest Hour

Do you remember September 12, 2001? We were all in a daze, trying to make sense of the unthinkable. We were glued to our TV screens watching the same footage over and over and hoping to hear about successful rescue efforts. We were angry. We were scared. We were traumatized. And amidst the chaos and anguish, one clear-headed rational voice rose above the din and pointed the way forward: Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman.

While others sobbed uncontrollably or called for Muslim blood, Tommy urged America to respond rationally and use the attacks to dramatically alter some of our most disastrous policies. Who can forget when Tommy, with the towers still smoldering, called for a $1/gallon gas tax?

Tommy certainly can't. In yesterday's column, he repeats his assertion that America and Bush botched the response to 9/11 because they didn't listen to him!
[Bush] used 9/11 as an excuse to lower taxes, to start two wars that — for the first time in our history — were not paid for by tax increases, and to create a costly new entitlement in Medicare prescription drugs. Imagine where we’d be today if on the morning of 9/12 Bush had announced (as some of us advocated) a “Patriot Tax” of $1 per gallon of gas to pay for education, infrastructure and government research, to help finance our wars and to slash our dependence on Middle East oil.
I wanted to relive Tommy's most glorious moment so I went back and read his post 9-11 columns.

On 9/13/01, Tommy's first column after the attacks, he urged America to fight "World War Three."

Not exactly a gas tax, but maybe he didn't literally mean that he said that on September 12. Let's see what else he wrote.

The next day, he wrote that the U.S. must "retaliate ferociously."

OK. Even Tom Friedman deserves a couple of days to blow off some steam. Let's see what Tommy wrote on September 25, 2001:

I went to the ballgame Friday night, took in Dvorak's ''New World'' Symphony at the Kennedy Center Saturday, took my girls out to breakfast in Washington Sunday morning, and then flew to the University of Michigan. Heck, I even went out yesterday and bought some stock. What a great country.

I wonder what Osama bin Laden did in his cave in Afghanistan yesterday?

Wow. Childishly taunting bin Laden from Bethesda. If only Bush had listened to Tommy! Still, I'll keep reading. Gotta be a Patriot Tax in here somewhere.

Hmmm, nothing in 2001. Let's try 2002. There's the columns urging an attack on Iraq but no Patriot Tax. Wow, this is nothing like Tommy and I remember it.

Wait - Here it is! On October 5, 2003! Two years later. With Tommy's wars in full swing. What courage!

Shouldn't Tommy's editors refuse to print his lies about himself? Shouldn't one of the hosts of the endless talk shows that Tommy appears on point out that the US did exactly what Tommy wanted -- attack Afghanistan and Iraq -- and that's one reason we're fucked right now? Is there a profession that's more free from accountability that punditry?

Fire Tom Friedman

No comments:

Post a Comment