Monday, February 16, 2009

Taibbi Does Friedman

crossposted 18 january 2009 firedoglake


Hilarious smackdown of Friedman's new book by Matt Taibbi in the nypress: "How Green Was My Mustache"

Cartoon here.

So, why does it matter whether Friedman makes any sense? Who cares?

Friedman’s language choices over the years have been highly revealing: When a man who thinks you need to break a vase to get the water out of it starts arguing that you need to invade a country in order to change the minds of its people, you might want to start paying attention to how his approach to the vase problem worked out.Thomas Friedman is not a president, a pope, a general on the field of battle or any other kind of man of action. He doesn’t actually do anything apart from talk about shit in a newspaper. So in my mind it’s highly relevant if his manner of speaking is fucked.

Taibbi then eviscerates Friedman's method of social science research consisting of flying around the world and talking about what he sees out of his hotel room window. At the end he explains the real world consequences of printing such foolishness:

To review quickly, the “Long Bomb” Iraq war plan Friedman supported as a means of transforming the Middle East blew up in his and everyone else’s face; the “Electronic Herd” of highly volatile international capital markets he once touted as an economic cure-all not only didn’t pan out, but led the world into a terrifying chasm of seemingly irreversible economic catastrophe; his beloved “Golden Straitjacket” of American-style global development (forced on the world by the “hidden fist” of American military power) turned out to be the vehicle for the very energy/ecological crisis Friedman himself warns about in his new book; and, most humorously, the “Flat World” consumer economics Friedman marveled at so voluminously turned out to be grounded in such total unreality that even his wife’s once-mighty shopping mall empire, General Growth Properties, has lost 99 percent of its value in this year alone.

So, yes, Friedman is suddenly an environmentalist of sorts.

Pour another cup of coffee, put your feet up, and prepare to enjoy yourself - read the whole thing.

h/t to Prairie for the link

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