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November 09, 2009


Buy him a clue.

We went into Afghanistan because al-Qaeda, who masterminded and carried out the attack on the US, were there. Some one tell Tom Friedman that.


Is Friedman suggesting we contnue to maintain our current levels of aid to all of the parties, while not participating in the peace process?

Charlie (Colorado)

I haven't the time to track it down (damn customer spent six weeks not sending me material and then discovered a need for a completed paper by Monday) but I would have sworn Friedman was one of the "but Afghanistan is the important war" people last year.

I Won

Look, I already have my Peace Prize. Is it really worth all the effort just to get another one?

Charlie (Colorado)

It’s time to call a halt to this dysfunctional “peace process,” which is only damaging the Obama team’s credibility.

I wonder if the difference here is that Friedman didn't mind if Bush was pushed into a fool's errand, but doesn't want Obama to be?

Rob Crawford

Friedman? People still read him?

I figured his career was over when he longed for the US to be a one-party dictatorship.

Captain Hate

I would have sworn Friedman was one of the "but Afghanistan is the important war" people last year.

I like to bash Flathead as much as anybody but I don't think he said that.

Jack is Back!

I guess he needs more time work on his golf game than to fly around a flat earth telling everyone how to solve their problems, especially when no one will listen to him.



Yet he doesn't have time to attend the ceremonies today commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, apparently.

Some footage of a leader who truly cared about freedom here:

Twenty Years Ago Today: The Berlin Wall Falls


It’s time to call a halt to this dysfunctional “peace process,” which is only damaging the Obama team’s credibility.

By all means, let's not damage the Obama team's credibility. ::eyeroll::


You can't blame him, Porchlight, his side lost, the chance for 'Peace and Justice' was forestalled, till the next Age of Aquarius. Any attempt to voice anypositives,
would come out as genuine as Milli Vanilli.
Meanwhile in the LUN.


Has Friedman suddenly discovered that Baghdad is the center of the chessboard? The problem is that Palestine and Israel are now inside of the so-called defense perimeter. The real solution would be to press down on Syria. Unless you do that, you are not going to hold Baghdad.


From Tapper's blog:

In the evening, Mr. Obama will sit down one-on-one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. The Prime Minister is in Washington, DC for the three-day 2009 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. Last week, the White House said they were unaware of any meeting with Netanyahu on the schedule, but the meeting was announced Sunday by the White House.

Emphasis mine.

Dave (in MA)

I'm very sorry, Rev. Wright, but the President can't take your call right now; he's meeting with them Jews.

Jack is Back!

Hey Porch,

Did you think I was referring to the Once? That's pretty funny since I was referring to Friedman who is a golf nut. Great minds think alike, they just reach different conclusions. LOL.

New Moon's a week off.

Well, Sue, speaking of the chess board.

Tom Bowler

I recall hearing Friedman on the radio (back when I still listened to Imus in the morning) say that going into Iraq was exactly the right strategy, but that Bush was doing it all wrong. That complaint annoyed the hell out of me. It was as if there wasn't an enemy so why haven't we won yet. The mainstream press was working 24/7 trying to undermine Bush, and Friedman was doing his part.

Now that Bush is gone, well it's OK to say that success in Iraq could transform the Middle East. I mean, who would ever have guessed it???


I have no idea on what to do in Afghanistan.

Thomas Collins

Don't worry, sylvia. Neither does Obama.


I wrote up the day the Wall fell on my blog. LUN. Damn, was that a day to be alive.

As to Friedman, it seems that the Times must have psychotic building syndrome, as the people they are all borderline personality disorder these days.

And every Blue Moon or so, here.

I see that our old pal, Syl, has posted at the tribute. I run across her periodically at the climate sites.

Gregory Koster

Friedman is living proof that anybody can be a columnist for the TIMES. Sobriety isn't a requirement; it is even a handicap. Keep on, Tom, continue gnawing away at the TIMES's credibility.

It should be amusing, too, please.

Come on, sylvia, you are not trying. Surely you can come up with some outrageous and thought provoking speculation. Come to think of it, I'm depending upon you. We need an outside the box solution to come from out of the machine.


It's amazing that the solution for most of the world's problems need to be solved locally.
The Palestine problem is much like it's nearby neighbor Africa.
Too much outside "do-gooding" is the major impediment to long term solutions.


Friedman, has a one track mind, settlements are the greatest evil, and everything else is a reaction to it. The point that a robust
Islam can't stand any Jewish settlement was true back in 610 AD, at Yathrib &Khaybar, the two in the Medina valley as it is nearly 1400 years later. Hence he couldn't really see that Hezbollah was an Iranian proxy, back in 1983. So Begin, Sharon, &
now Netanyahu are always the villains in his


Too late on Irak. Their oil contracts are going to China. Uncle sugar's days are numbered, too. It's no way to run the military.

Will Obama jerk Israel around? Of course. And, the deal ahead says Israel will be TOLD the PA is in fact living on lands captured in 1967.

Does it sail? Wouldn't you have to have your ship on water to do that? Israel knows what's ahead. They survived the Bush Family. They survived Bill Clinton, when Monica, miraculously, came out of the woodwork. And, something ahead? Who sez God doesn't play a mean poker hand, here? I'm not betting.


Actually Exxon snagged a field, so that part is wrong. The problem is they object ot 1947, or Al Nakbah as they call it. This is a different character of Administration from Bush 1, it's not business, it's personal.


To Tom Friedman, whatever happened to the "Saudi Plan" you deuchebag?


Did you think I was referring to the Once?


Tee hee, yes I did! I didn't know about Friedman being a golf nut. Guess I was jumping to conclusions ahead of the evidence. ;)

Jack is Back!

Don't know the veracity of this but its an email a good friend of mine who is usually unimpeachable received from a JAG at Ft. Hood. Sounds about right since it has been revealed about the male cop shooting the creep and kicking his gun away. Looks to be pretty inside knowledge not to be true but I'll leave it to the CID.

"Since I don't know when I'll sleep (it's 4 am now) I'll write what happened (the abbreviated version.....the long one is already part of the investigation with more to come). I'll not write about any part of the investigation that I've learned about since (as a witness I know more than I should since inevitably my JAG brothers and sisters are deeply involved in the investigation). Don't assume that most of the current media accounts are very accurate. They're not. They'll improve with time. Only those of us who were there really know what went down. But as they collate our statements they'll get it right.
I did my SRP last week (Soldier Readiness Processing) but you're supposed to come back a week later to have them look at the smallpox vaccination site (it's this big itchy growth on your shoulder). I am probably alive because I pulled a ---------- and entered the wrong building first (the main SRP building). The Medical SRP building is off to the side. Realizing my mistake I left the main building and walked down the sidewalk to the medical SRP building. As I'm walking up to it the gunshots start. Slow and methodical. But continuous. Two ambulatory wounded came out. Then two soldiers dragging a third who was covered in blood. Hearing the shots but not seeing the shooter, along with a couple other soldiers I stood in the street and yelled at everyone who came running that it was clear but to "RUN!". I kept motioning people fast. about 6-10 minutes later (the shooting continuous), two cops ran up. one male, one female. we pointed in the direction of the shots. they headed that way (the medical SRP building was about 50 meters away). then a lot more gunfire. a couple minutes later a balding man in ACU's came around the building carrying a pistol and holding it tactically. He started shooting at us and we all dived back to the cars behind us. I don't think he hit the couple other guys who were there. I did see the bullet holes later in the cars. First I went behind a tire and then looked under the body of the car. I've been trained how to respond to gunfire...but with my own weapon. To have no weapon I don't know how to explain what that felt like. I hadn't run away and stayed because I had thought about the consequences or anything like that. I wasn't thinking anything through. Please understand, there was no intention. I was just staying there because I didn't think about running. It never occurred to me that he might shoot me. Until he started shooting in my direction and I realized I was unarmed. Then the female cop comes around the corner. He shoots her. (according to the news accounts she got a round into him. I believe it, I just didn't see it. he didn't go down.) She goes down. He starts reloading. He's fiddling with his mags. Weirdly he hasn't dropped the one that was in his weapon. He's holding the fresh one and the old one (you do that on the range when time is not of the essence but in combat you would just let the old mag go). I see the male cop around the left corner of the building. (I'm about 15-20 meters from the shooter.) I yell at the cop, "He's reloading, he's reloading. Shoot him! Shoot him!) You have to understand, everything was quiet at this point. The cop appears to hear me and comes around the corner and shoots the shooter. He goes down. The cop kicks his weapon further away. I sprint up to the downed female cop. Another captain (I think he was with me behind the cars) comes up as well. She's bleeding profusely out of her thigh. We take our belts off and tourniquet her just like we've been trained (I hope we did it right...we didn't have any CLS (combat lifesaver) bags with their awesome tourniquets on us, so we worked with what we had). Meanwhile, in the most bizarre moment of the day, a photographer was standing over us taking pictures. I suppose I'll be seeing those tomorrow. Then a soldier came up and identified himself as a medic. I then realized her weapon was lying there unsecured (and on "fire"). I stood over it and when I saw a cop yelled for him to come over and secure her weapon (I would have done so but I was worried someone would mistake me for a bad guy). I then went over to the shooter. He was unconscious. A Lt Colonel was there and had secured his primary weapon for the time being. He also had a revolver. I couldn't believe he was one of ours. I didn't want to believe it. Then I saw his name and rank and realized this wasn't just some specialist with mental issues. At this point there was a guy there from CID and I asked him if he knew he was the shooter and had him secured. He said he did. I then went over the slaughter house. the medical SRP building. No human should ever have to see what that looked like. and I won't tell you. Just believe me. Please. there was nothing to be done there. Someone then said there was someone critically wounded around the corner. I ran around (while seeing this floor to ceiling window that someone had jumped through movie style) and saw a large African-American soldier lying on his back with two or three soldiers attending. I ran up and identified two entrance wounds on the right side of his stomach, one exit wound on the left side and one head wound. He was not bleeding externally from the stomach wounds (though almost certainly internally) but was bleeding from the head wound. A soldier was using a shirt to try and stop the head bleeding. He was conscious so I began talking to him to keep him so. He was 42, from North Carolina, he was named something Jr., his son was named something III and he had a daughter as well. His children lived with him. He was divorced. I told him the blubber on his stomach saved his life. He smiled. a young soldier in civvies showed up and identified himself as a combat medic. We debated whether to put him on the back of a pickup truck. A doctor (well, an audiologist) showed up and said you can't move him, he has a head wound. we finally sat tight. I went back to the slaughterhouse. they weren't letting anyone in there. not even medics. finally, after about 45 minutes had elapsed some cops showed up in tactical vests. someone said the TBI building was unsecured. They headed into there. All of a sudden a couple more shots were fired. People shouted there was a second shooter. a half hour later the SWAT showed up. there was no second shooter. that had been an impetuous cop apparently. but that confused things for a while. meanwhile I went back to the shooter. the female cop had been taken away. a medic was pumping plasma into the shooter. I'm not proud of this but I went up to her and said "this is the shooter, is there anyone else who needs attention...do them first". she indicated everyone else living was attended to. I still hadn't seen any EMTs or ambulances. I had so much blood on me that people kept asking me if I was ok. but that was all other people's blood. eventually (an hour and a half to two hours after the shootings) they started landing choppers. they took out the big African American guy and the shooter. I guess the ambulatory wounded were all at the SRP building. Everyone else in my area was dead.

I suppose the emergency responders were told there were multiple shooters. I heard that was the delay with the choppers (they were all civilian helicopters). they needed a secure LZ. but other than the initial cops who did everything right, I didnt' see a lot of them for a while. I did see many a soldier rush out to help their fellows/sisters. there was one female soldier, I dont' know her name or rank but I would recognize her anywhere who was everywhere helping people. a couple people, mainly civilians, were hysterical, but only a couple. one civilian freaked out when I tried to comfort her when she saw my uniform. I guess she had seen the shooter up close. a lot of soldiers were rushing out to help even when we thought there was another gunman out there. this Army is not broken no matter what the pundits say. not the Army I saw. and then they kept me for a long time to come. oh, and perhaps the most surreal thing, at 1500 (the end of the workday on Thursdays) when the bugle sounded we all came to attention and saluted the flag. in the middle of it all.
this is what I saw. it can't have been real. but this is my small corner of what happened.

Frau  Fernseher

It’s time to call a halt to this dysfunctional “peace process,” which is only damaging the Obama team’s credibility.
My mental TV shows a Greek chorus of JOMers behind the speaker performing a "a wave" with rolling eyes.

Tom B.- it's not as if GWB hadn't talked *often* about planting seeds of democracy in Iraq.

Captain Hate

Too late on Irak. Their oil contracts are going to China.

Before it goes down the memory hole of MSM coverups, does everybody remember Jean-Fraud Qerri screwed up any chance for the US to get in most of the Iraq oil deals by sticking environmental qualifiers in there?

Frau Fernseher

Yes, Captain - Sen.Conehead (D-South of France) never fails to deliver the goods. It must be the gin-soaked raisins.

I Won

Few would have foreseen ... that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent.


the round used by the shooter is a weird one. A .225 x 1.10", which would not seem like a really heavy duty round, especially for a "cop killer".

9mm, 10mm, .45 yes. 5.72 x 28mm just does not seem to be a high velocity/large caliber bullet.

But the gun looks mean and nasty. Another example of our moronic media?


who's Tom Friedman? what is the N.Y. Times?


NK, Friedman is some dude who believes the world is flat.

At least the rounds that military and police can get.  I wonder if he got them.

matt, it is narrow, and armour piercing, that Five-Seven.

Rick Ballard

And the NYT is the primary Voice of Obama organ directed at people who have wholly unjustified faith in their own ability to "think".


it is a weird round from what I read. The commercial version is a 2150fps 40 or 27 gr bullet. It's listed as a varmint round with a neck down casing. That one's going to tumble.

A .223 is going to give you 50-65gr at 3,000+fps in comparison.

Most 9MM/40/45 cal. are much heavier 150-18-200 gr at anywhere from 850-100fps.A very strange choice of weapon.I hadn't seen the FN pistol until I was in Texas a few months ago. Apparently they're popular with the drug smugglers in Mexico.

Definitely a weird, nasty little round. Frickin Belgians.


sbw & Rick--

thanks for the info, but it doesn't seem I'll really use it to any great degree. I mean I know the world's not flat I saw the pictures of the curvature of the earth those MIT kids took for about $12.95, and I'll just keep thinking for myself thank you. This Friedman feller is right about one thing though, if these January Iraqi elections are legit, the Arab Kleptocrats may have to look at their own people a little differently, because the people will be looking at THEM differently -- yes I'm talking to you Hosni, Bashir, and the House of Saud. How did those Iraqi elections happen anyway, didn't sadaam used to get like 105% of the vote? didn't it have something to do with the US Third Army, a Marine Expeditionary Unit and ...???... that Bush feller??!! Yeah it WAS Bush!! He was a straightshooter, I liked that guy.

E. Nigma

Matt, I think the choice of weapons might have had to do with the large number of rounds you can get in each clip (20 I heard or read). The old Browning Hi-power could hold a 14 round clip (plus one in the chamber, I think), and there are lots of those around at gun shows and plenty of clips. But most of the newer 9mm autos have a limited sized clip you can buy at a gun dealer.

Why not a long barrel .357 with a pocketful of speed loaders? I wonder if there are any records of Major Nidal practicing with his little FN 0.28 mm at a local range in Killeen?
I bet it was just coincidence that he had a pocketful of clips ready to re-load his piece. Nothing pre-meditated about that.

Tom Bowler

Tom B.- it's not as if GWB hadn't talked *often* about planting seeds of democracy in Iraq.

I guess my sarcasm needs a little work, Frau. OK, a lot of work.

I recall listening one of my more progressive friends tell me that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with freedom or democracy. No. You see, Bush's true, evil motive was to steal Iraq's oil. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning if ya wanna put one over on a liberal. Can't fool them. No sirree.

And now with the benefit 20-20 hindsight and the passage of a decent interval, Tom Friedman is free to "discover" the strategic value of a democratic Iraq. He says we might even transform the Middle East!

We might if we were to support democracy anywhere, but that hasn't been on Obama's agenda. Honduras? Israel? Iranian protesters? Poland? Bank of America?


Tom Bowler,

Last month Friedman unapologetically told us he was enamored of China's "Enlightened Autocracy", and considered it a better model than the model we've got. This month apparently he's a champion of "Democracy in Iraq."
Next months he'll be in favor of "Banana Republics in the Banana Republics", followed by an "Amazonian Society run by Amazon's", and eventually he'll champion "The way they do it on Mars."

The sooner this pontificating gas-bag falls off the edge of his flat earth the better.

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

Tom Bowler

The sooner this pontificating gas-bag falls off the edge of his flat earth the better.

Well put, daddy. Well put.


Daddy! A PUKism! Thanks!

Friedman is driven by a need for 800 words to finish his column, not the need to say anything compelling.

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