Tuesday, the pulitzer prize winning New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman (one of my personal heroes) came and spoke here on Yahoo! campus. Why? No idea. I got the impression that Jerry and Terry heard Friedman speak and were so impressed they wanted to bring him here. Friedman’s grasp of the causes of 9/11 and the problems plaguing the Arab world is simply astounding. What is also impressive is how simple he makes the issues seem. A few great quotes:
…It was pretty clear that these guys were gonna fight this war, whether I wrote 10 columns against it or a hundred columns against it… They came into office dedicated to fight this war. From a columnist’s point of view, I had two choices. One was to throw my body in the way of it… the other was to basically adopt the view, “these guys are clearly gonna do this”. Well if you’re gonna do this, at least fight the right war, for the right reasons, in the right way. That was how I chose to use my column. What was the right war? Well what I argued before the war was that we should march into Iraq not about WMD; we should declare that this war is being fought in the name of the Arab Human Development report. That we are going to Iraq for one purpose. To partner with the Iraqi people, to implement in one country, in the heart of the Arab world, the Arab Human Development Report.
Since 9/11 alot of people have come up to me and said “Wow, Islam; That’s a really angry religion.” I say I totally disagree. But what I do agree with is that there are a lot of Muslims who are angry. And there’s a very simple reason for that, in my view. It’s because as a faith community, they live in the most repressive societies… under the most repressive governments on this planet. The governments that are least friendly and respectful of women, the governments that are least tolerant of civil rights, and the governments that are doing the least to empower their young people to achieve their full potential.
To my liberal democratic friends and colleages, I have one simple message: some things are true even if George Bush believes them. … And to my conservative friends I have an equally blunt message: just because you have a hammer, not every problem is a nail. And that is how they’ve approached this war.
Unless we have a holistic policy, that connects all the dots: a serious Arab/Israeli policy, a serious developmental policy, a serious energy policy; not the one we have right now, which by any other name would be called ‘no mullah left behind’. That is the the Bush energy policy. Unless we connect all the dots, there’s no way we are going to win this war.
Unfortunately they only video archived the first half of the speech, but Friedman also discussed at length the topic of his upcoming book, which will deal with the progress of globalization and its effects on China, India, Russia, and the world economy in general. Also, if you have not read the Arab Human Development Report or at least a summary of the findings contained within I highly recommend you do so. It is shocking and very fascinating.
In some other news, I took Monday and Tuesday off from work. To quote Office Space: “Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, it was everything I thought it could be.” It was nice to have some much needed time to myself. Amid the cleaning and shopping and such, I finally watched The Last Samurai. Good stuff, even if it is a bit skewed, history-wise. Think Dances with Wolves except with katanas.
Lets see, what else is happening. Last night I went to see Minus the Bear; they were good as usual. I swear evertime I hear the hi-hat on Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse I have to change my shorts. If I had one complaint, it would be that they are sweaty music heads. Plus I finally picked up the new Muffs record; it is of course very awesome. They invade town Oct 5.
Ooh, and last night Trevor stumbled across the Gods of War’s LoD and they let us leech Trylle two levels. That means this weekend, it’s time for some serious pre-amatsu HP partying.
Quote of the day – Ms. Laura Kowalski: “You can never get enuff butt.”
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