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Sunday, October 20, 2002

Tom Friedman: The New Face of Terror

NO, he is not writing about terror, he is terror! He has a very interesting and sensible article today, which reprises some of his earlier themes. However, a small chunk of the NY Times readership probably sputtered with rage and died of cardiac arrest when they staggered across this passage:

"For all these reasons, if we really want to hasten the transition from autocracy to something more democratic in places like Iraq or Iran, the most important thing we can do is gradually, but steadily, bring down the price of oil — through conservation and alternative energies."

He explains why. I agree, and have considered the failure to re-think our energy policy and call for increased conservation the great lost opportunity of 9/11.

However, as Bush-bashers slapped their knees in delight, the rug was promptly pulled out from under them with this passage:

"Ronald Reagan helped bring down the Soviet Union by using two tactics: he delegitimized the Soviets and he defueled them. He delegitimized them by branding the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire," and by exposing its youth to what was going on elsewhere in the world, and he defueled them by so outspending them on Star Wars that the Soviet Union went bankrupt."

Ooops, something positive about Ronald "irresponsible deficits and social collapse" Reagan? Not in My Times! Shockingly, MoDo said this in an adjacent column:

"I [Richard Perle] persuaded Reagan to ignore the weak-kneed, striped-pants set at the State Department and buy every weapon in sight until the Evil Empire was scared stiffer than a perfectly executed meringue."

We think that means Reagan had a large arms build-up that gave the Soviets problems. MoDo and Tom, working as one!

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