Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Switzerland of the Middle East

Twenty Friedman Units ago, we were treated to another explanation of how the invasion of Iraq would have been just peachy if only the Bush administration had done it Friedman’s way.

“The irony of Iraq is that it’s the one place where Mr. Bush decisively chose regime change, but he then executed it so poorly, with insufficient troops, that Iraq never stood a chance. If Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney had spent as much time plotting the toppling of Saddam Hussein as they did the toppling of Colin Powell, Iraq today would be Switzerland.”

Switzerland. Yeah, that’s it.

Friedman, Thomas L. 2007. “A Foreign Policy Built on Do-Overs.” The New York Times. Feb. 23: A21.

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Victory (of sorts) by Christmas

As Iraq spirals deeper into civil war, Friedman still has hopes of the much ballyhooed “decent outcome.” This time it will be set up by a Dec. 1 deadline for U.S. withdrawal along with a tax setting a floor for gas prices at $3.50 a gallon.

“To put it another way, if setting a date to leave miraculously brings them to their senses, our aspirations for the Iraqis will have been achieved, and we’ll be stronger. And if it doesn’t, but we have set an exit date and a gas price, we’ll be out of Iraq and more energy-secure — and we’ll also be stronger.”

If only someone would listen.

Friedman, Thomas L. 2007. “Yes, We Can Find the Exit.” The New York Times. Feb. 7: A19.

(Also, kudos to the copy editor who wrote the Times headline for anticipating Barack Obama’s campaign slogan.)