Sunday, September 30, 2007

“We don’t need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12. I will only vote for the 9/12 candidate. … 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again. … We need a president who will unite us around a common purpose, not a common enemy.”

— Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 30 September 2007 (his emphasis)

At least he acknowledges his own contribution to the off-balance discourse. Here’s where he’d been all this time:

“… let’s stay the course in Iraq, but stay extra-vigilant at home” (13 April 2005)

“Sept. 11 amounts to World War III — the third great totalitarian challenge to open societies in the last 100 years” (8 January 2004)

“The failure of the Bush team to produce any weapons of mass destruction (W.M.D.’s) in Iraq is becoming a big, big story. But is it the real story we should be concerned with? No. It was the wrong issue before the war, and it’s the wrong issue now. … The ‘real reason’ for this war, which was never stated, was that after 9/11 America needed to hit someone in the Arab-Muslim world. Afghanistan wasn’t enough. Because a terrorism bubble had built up over there — a bubble that posed a real threat to the open societies of the West and needed to be punctured. … The only way to puncture that bubble was for American soldiers, men and women, to go into the heart of the Arab-Muslim world, house to house, and make clear that we are ready to kill, and to die, to prevent our open society from being undermined by this terrorism bubble. Smashing Saudi Arabia or Syria would have been fine. But we hit Saddam for one simple reason: because we could, and because he deserved it and because he was right in the heart of that world” (4 June 2003)

“Lord knows, 9/11 has been a trauma for us, and our response has been to strike back and install better security” (8 January 2003)

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