Battlepanda: Tom Friedman...wrong again


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tom Friedman...wrong again

(via Dymaxion World)

So, our leading expert on the mid-east, Thomas Friedman, proclaimed from his soon-to-be-too-expensive-to-bother-with NYT column:
The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks. When Salman Rushdie wrote a controversial novel involving the prophet Muhammad, he was sentenced to death by the leader of Iran. To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden.
Leaving aside the unspeakably corny and inappropriate "it takes a village" metaphor, Friedman is just wrong . Juan Cole lays the definitive smackdown, rattling off a long list of Muslim clerics who did just that.

Sun Tzu said, "You must know yourself and know your enemy to always prevail in battle." I think it's pretty clear by the administration's rose-tinted pre-war assessments how well we know ourselves. What this column is symptomatic of is the shallow understanding of our enemy is even by someone who professes to be an expert. From Professor Cole's assessment, Al Qaida is a fanatical and narrow cult rejected by mainstream Muslims everywhere. We really should have focused on keeping it that way rather than strengthening their appeal by attacking an unrelated muslim regime (howsoever brutal) and beginning an unpopular occupation.