Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tom Friedman, Smartest Man on Earth, says radical Islam is losing
Tom, you are my hero (well, you and Big Al). You make so much sense, suggest such brilliant solutions, and generally agree with me on almost everything. I would like to formally submit my application to join the "Tom Friedman Mentoring Society". I may also get a "Tom Freidman is My Hero" t-shirt to go along with the "Al Gore is My Hero" shirt already in my closet.
Not kidding about the t-shirt. The sentiment happens to be true; I am a supporter of We Can Solve It and Repower America, but the shirt itself is a good way to start an argument in good old suburban North Texas.
At any rate, My Other Hero Tom wrote in yesterday's NYT about the current state of the jihad. Did you notice the radical Islamists are losing the War of Terror? Well, they are.
As Tom so deftly points out, everywhere the the Beardy Boys have taken charge (Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Gaza, Lebanon, Iran, etc), they have brought with them total economic stagnation (if not outright retreat), lowered standards of living and education, unnecessary and unwanted violence, repression, etc etc etc. And now we're seeing militant Islamists lose elections (Lebanon, Iraq) or steal elections (Iran). The Paki middle class is tired of bombs in the streets of Peshwar and have withdrawn support for the Taliban and foreign rebels causing trouble in the Northwest.
The bad news is that the US' friends in the Arab world, those shining examples of secular, progressive, populist democracy like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are not really "winning", despite their medieval rivals' decline. This lack of a better idea is what keeps the jihadists in business, albeit in a much more limited capacity.
Go read the op-ed, along with everything Tom Friedman has ever written. The man's a genius.