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Regarding Thomas Friedman’s commentary,Time for (Self) Shock Therapy, may we ask where he was when the Bush administration set the tone and national example for utter dishonesty and dissembling to the American public with its claims of WMD in Iraq, of connections between Iraq and al Qaeda, of the utility of outsourcing US jobs to low labor cost regions, etc.?  Here was Mr Friedman with regard to the non-existent WMD following his eager and heavy support for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq: “As far as I’m concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war.”

Will Mr Friedman ever make the connection that dishonesty and illegality at the highest levels of government necessarily is reflected directly in other institutions of the culture, particularly those which are most closely tied with interests in that government?  Like banks, military contractors, and the many other transparent malefactors of our times?  Or that dishonesty on the part of public commentators such as himself leads to a generalized social acceptance of corruption be it fiscal, political, ethical and moral?

Mr Friedman should apply the same self-shock therapy he advocates to himself – his opinion shaping efforts of the last years has been directly implicated in the generalized corruption which besets our nation now.


Jon Jost

One Comment

  1. I can’t believe Friedman is still espousing the ‘shock therapy’ schtick, believing austerity measures during a period of low demand and rising unemploument/lack of credit will turn the economy around. The IMF don’t even pretend to fully believe in this ideology anymore after the disastrous consequences in places Friedman himself quotes (most notably Russia, Chile, Argentina etc). In all these places ‘schock therapy’ simply made things worse for the poor or ordinary citizens, while allowing for the further concentration of private wealth. Of course people like Friedman don’t have to worry about the predicament facing millions of Americans who are facing long term unemployment as he’s likely to gain from the policies he is calling for.

    “As far as I’m concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war.”

    The one thing that can be said for Freidman when coming out with statements like that is that he’s actually bypassing the propaganda BS, and cutting straight to it, making plain that the US wanted to invade Iraq, so what the hell is going to stop us? His love of freedom, democracy and transparent government are laudable.

    People writing op-eds in corporately owned newspapers know their position is to maintain some kind of faux veneer of intellectual defence of government policy (no matter which party/individual is in power). That so many innocent people have died in wars they support is no matter as the ‘unimportant’ people of Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t reached our level of development to be espousing extremely undemocratic views in business owned media playing the cheerleader for US/British etc imperialism.

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