Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friedman: No More Friedman Units

After both inventing the concept of the Friedman Unit as well as being one of its most prominent abusers, Thomas Friedman has decided to stop playing kick the can with Iraq and calls for setting a date for withdrawal:

The sad thing for the American people is that we have no commander in chief anymore, framing our real situation and options. The president’s description on Thursday of the stakes in Iraq was delusional. An Iraqi ally fighting for “freedom” against “extremists”? There are extremists in the Iraqi government, army and police. There is a civil war on top of tribal, neighborhood and jihadist wars, fueled not by a single Iraqi quest for freedom, but by differing quests for “justice,” revenge and, yes, democracy. The only possible self-sustaining outcome in the near term is some form of radical federalism.


There is an opportunity now for Democrats, and Americans will be listening — but they need to articulate a concrete endgame policy, and it would have to include at least three components:

First, a detailed blueprint with a fixed withdrawal date tied to a negotiation with Iraqi factions on a federal solution tied to a military redeployment plan to contain the inevitable spillover from Iraq."


Of course, it will be three Friedman Units from now before a Democrat is in the White House and before a withdrawal date could be set without fear of a veto.