Monday, November 13, 2006

Even NYT Lefty Foreign Policy "Guru" Thomas Friedman Agrees that Radical Islam More Dangerous Than Cold War Commies

Friedman tends to be a little full of himself for my taste in addition to the fact that I tend to disagree with about 50% of the time on Middle East issues. But this week the lefty guru got a few things right, saying that the forces of “bin Ladenism,” or Muslim extremism, pose a greater threat to U.S. interests than Cold War communism, Thomas Friedman added that Islamic radicals are more dangerous because the Soviet Union was “deterrable” while Islamists are largely “undeterrable.” This is the case, because Soviet leaders loved life more than death, while Islamic fundamentalists are ready to kill themselves at the drop of a hat, he said.

In a deeply pessimistic assessment of undercurrents in the contemporary Arab world, Friedman talked about the population explosion, the high youth unemployment rate, the economic stagnancy, the widespread illiteracy, the lack of freedom and the yawning gap between Islam’s exalted view of itself and the backwardness of the region. Friedman said that radical Islamic preachers and rabble-rousers exploit the pent-up anger and humiliation caused by this sorry state of affairs.

The Sept. 11 hijackers – the “people of mass destruction” – emerged precisely from this milieu, he noted. Friedman said that the Arab-Muslim world is in a dysfunctional state today, and that the United States has a profound interest in trying to improve conditions there.

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