I’ve often thought Thomas Friedman was wrong, but then he says some things that aren’t wrong. I almost always find his “I’m writing from the point of view of the President” thing embarrassing. The Nobel Prize thing is not a deep issue, but this article has brought me a new level of understanding to Thomas Friedman: He is bat-shit insane, with an Orwellian view of what our troops do in times of war.
Never mind that President Obama answered the Nobel Committee’s awarding him the Peace Prize with just the right degree of insight needed for such an embarrassment of accolade. Here is what Friedman would have him say.
“I cannot accept this award on my behalf at all. But I will accept it on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.”
Our troops are a tough bunch of noble fighter whom the rest of us take for granted. They fight for their country, and because they’re volunteers, the evils of a draft don’t touch us. They’re better fighters than some poor saps impressed into a war they don’t want. Often that makes war too easy for us to stomach, especially when the media is so timid about printing the images of war’s destruction. That’s not our soldier’s fault. Our soldiers are brave responsive fighters.
But they are not peacemakers. They are shit-kicking killers. That’s what they should be. If we need to fight a war, we want to win it. All the peacemaking business is nonsense and propaganda. If a region is stabilized by our soldiers, it is policed, not pacified. If some troublemakers show up in a place being protected by our soldiers, these Friedman nominees for the peace prize will likely kill them.
That is in no way a criticism of our soldiers, just as it’s not a criticism to say a boxer throws a mean punch. Our military is a lean mean fighting machine and we use it way too often. They are not peacemakers, they are war-fighters.
Obama himself isn’t a peace-maker, he’s more like methadone for the war addicted. There are plenty who fought harder against the Iraq war, and spoke out more firmly against it. The Pope comes to mind. Still, when George W. Bush uprooted The United States of America from its core beliefs of national sovereignty and humane treatment of prisoners, he scared the world severely, in a way we can’t understand in the American Bubble. A superpower had run amok, and the world is incredibly grateful she’s gotten back to some semblance of sanity. I will be glad when Thomas Friedman gets back to some semblance of sanity, but let’s remember that he said this idiotic thing.