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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thomas Friedman, "When the Necessary Is Impossible": Thick as a Brick



Yes, would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman is thick as a brick.

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "When the Necessary Is Impossible," Thomas Friedman asks "What do you do when the necessary is impossible, but the impossible is impossible to ignore — and your key allies are also impossible?" Friedman writes in response to his own imbecilic question:

"Crushing the Islamic State, or ISIS, is necessary for stabilizing Iraq and Syria, but it is impossible as long as Shiites and Sunnis there refuse to truly share power, and yet ignoring the ISIS cancer and its ability to metastasize is impossible as well."

Unbeknownst to Friedman, Iraq and Syria were never nation-states, but rather entities randomly carved out of the Ottoman Empire by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France. Today, they are more akin to Humpty Dumpty: There is no putting the pieces back together again. Rather, it is time to acknowledge that the Middle East's 30 million Kurds, long oppressed by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, deserve their own state.

True, Turkey opposes granting independence to the Kurds, and in 2012, Obama deemed Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan one of his best overseas friends; however, times have changed. As acknowledged by Friedman:

"And if all that isn’t impossible enough, our trying to make Iraq safe for democracy is requiring us to turn a blind eye to the fact that our most important NATO 'ally' in the region, Turkey, is being converted from a democracy into a dictatorship by its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who should now be called 'Sultan Erdogan' for the way he is closing opposition newspapers and putting journalists on trial. But because we need Turkey’s air bases and cooperation to foster a modicum of democracy in Iraq tomorrow, we are silent on Erdogan destroying democracy in Turkey today. Go figure."

Yup, it's time to grant the Kurds their freedom. It's also time for Obama to honor his 2008 promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide if elected president.

But is a sycophantic Friedman capable of criticizing Obama? Not a chance:

"Obama is probably doing about the best one can with ISIS: Degrade it, contain it and downplay it, and keep nudging Sunnis and Shiites to come to their senses. But I have a bad feeling about the ISIS boys. They are networked and they have cast off all civilized norms. And we don’t have the answer for them."

Dancing the tango while Brussels burned is the best Obama can do? In fact, maybe it is the best a self-absorbed Obama can do. Others can do better.

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