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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Tom Friedman's ignorance on display

Thanks to R.J. Eskow via Lenin's Tomb, I learn that Tom Friedman is now apologizing for the fact that "9/11 made us [sic] stupid." Not, by the way, that he's proposing anything concrete to make amends, like, say, getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, unprovoked invasions of other countries "[were] and [are] necessary to improve our security."

And the ignorance referred to in the title? Two examples:

"I’d love to see us salvage something decent in Iraq that might help tilt the Middle East onto a more progressive pathway."
Whatever the nature of Saddam Hussein's rule, it is an undisputed fact that Iraq before the U.S. invasions and sanctions was one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East, in terms of health care, education, women's rights, and more.

But the real amusing demonstration of Friedman's ignorance (and American arrogance) was...

"I will not vote for any candidate who is not committed to dismantling Guantanamo Bay and replacing it with a free field hospital for poor Cubans."
Is it possible that Friedman is completely unaware that "poor Cubans" have more access to good health care than poor Americans, and that far from needing our help, Cuba is in fact offering us help in the health care arena? Not only did Cuba offer more than a thousand fully-equipped, disaster-trained medical personnel to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (something the United States itself was unable and/or unwilling to provide itself), but is actually providing free medical school educations to American students willing to serve poor communities?

Do you really want to help Cubans, Tom? How about calling for an end to the crippling blockade of Cuba, which has cost Cuba an estimated $89 billion, money they could have used to pay for all sorts of things to improve the lives of Cubans?

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