A “process” so absurd Tom Friedman can no longer support it

Thomas Friedman has concluded that the United States should abandon efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East. Friedman’s reasoning is characteristically weak in spots. For example, he says twice that we need to “fix” our own country — meaning what, that we need to become more like Red China? — as if our diplomatic efforts in the Middle East are somehow interfering with whatever domestic agenda Friedman has in mind.
Friedman also fails to discuss a major reason — perhaps the major reason — why the U.S. persists with its fruitless and often farcical involvement in the “peace process” — the desire to show various MIddle Eastern states that we care about the Palestinians, and to thereby enable the leaders of these states to persuade their domestic constituencies that they too care. This reason isn’t very compelling: first, it’s doubtful that either the leaders or the citizens of these states have any substantial concern about the Palestinians; second, any such concerns will not be assuaged by a “peace process” that’s destined to go nowhere. Still, Friedman should at least have mentioned this matter.
Friedman’s vacuous insistence on “fixing” our own country, coupled with his failure to address one of our primary reasons for our engagement in the “peace process,” suggests to me that Friedman’s change of heart, like so many of his utterances these days, is simply an emotional response to his own frustration. Even so, it would be churlish not to welcome Friedman to the “reality-based community” on this issue.


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