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Press Review March 21, 2002
 
Big Trouble
By Matt Taibbi Browse author
 
Page 4 of 4
 

Thomas Friedman (2), New York Times, def. Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times

This was a blowout. Friedman's March 19 column was entitled "Pull Up a Chair." He's already like the old friend we trust to give us the bad news. "We need to talk," the column starts. You can almost feel his arm around your shoulder. Then he breaks it to us: the only way to guarantee peace in the Middle East is to commit to an indefinite U.S. military presence in and around Afghanistan and Israel:

"If we shrink from this task, Afghanistan will revert right back to what it was before Sept. 11, only worse. And this open sore of Afghanistan will dog us, and the U.S. antiterror campaign, forever. The only way to make the new Afghanistan a slightly better place than the old one is with a U.S. troop presence that will bolster the government and serve as the anchor for a wider peacekeeping force manned by our allies. Enough said."

Every time Friedman tries a metaphor, there's some unpleasant biological result. This time he has an "open sore" and a "dog" in the same sentence, which is pretty gross to think about. The rest of the column... well, you get the idea. It's the same old "Give War a Chance" thing, more troops, more of our warships parked in everybody's harbors, more cans of whoop-ass opened on anyone who doesn't like it. He absolutely trounces poor Ronald Brownstein, who couldn't manage even one good fuck-up in an article about Tipper Gore running for Senate.

Friedman vs. Barry. Unstoppable Evil vs. Immovable Banality. The final of this thing is going to be interesting. And God knows what we'll do to the winner. Stay tuned!

Next issue: The World's Biggest Hack!


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