April 20, 2004

Yadda, Yadda, What?

Sometimes a column just writes itself. Other times a column reads itself. Sometimes I can skim awfully fast over a column and get what the author is saying because there isn't an original thought in the whole thing. I've read it all before. I maybe read 2 words in 10. Thomas Friedman's current effort is not one of those columns but it contains two of the boring variety in an ingenious device.

He spends a couple of paragraphs describing the theme of two utterly conventional pieces of analysis, complete columns that you could write yourself given the short descriptions he provides. I've read dozens like them.

Then he gets to his actual theme and the meat of the column, which is admitting that the status quo was at least as big a mess as this new situation and with far less hope for the future as it was a deadlocked dance to the death. Now that is interesting because Friedman speaks for the thinking liberals. If he's giving even grudging praise to such a bold move by the President, there's a shot at building a consensus around this new policy.

Friedman lays down three reasonable markers of what he wants for the future. Success in uniting enough of Likud to pull off the pullout (this will happen as Netanyahu is onboard and no successful Likud revolt will happen with Sharon united with Netanyahu), Bush administration followup in making sure the plan is implemented without stalling (I am not so sure this is such a big deal because it's a unilateral plan and you don't have excuses to stall on a unilateral plan) and finally that the Palestinians need to get their act together and actually govern this new mini-state in Gaza. This, unfortunately, is a real roadblock. Will the men with guns permit functional civilian leadership to emerge and rule?

Posted by TMLutas at April 20, 2004 03:15 PM