Tom Friedman sensibly notes (Christ, if I'd've thought one day I'd write that . . .) that the Obaman talk of beefing up the Afghan war has little to do with any real strategic considerations of the empire and everything to do with proving his martial bona fides while running as the ostensible peace candidate. The Donk's committment to escalation even as he purports to be antiwar is a source of constant amusement at Who Is IOZ? headquarters, and we raise our shot glasses in salute to overcoming cognitive dissonance and killing foreigners For Their Own Good™.
Fortunately for the consonance of my own precious cognition, Friedman continues to be wrong even when he's right, and there it is, right at the bleeding heart of his argument, that word, modernity, as in:
The core problem is that the Arab-Muslim world in too many places has been failing at modernity[.]In Tommy's world, partial refusal to integrate into the globo-corpo-capito hegemony--this is what he means by "modernity"--of Western Consumption and Eastern Production indicates a fundamentally moral failure, and as such produces "humiliation." (Isn't humility a virtue? Whatever, dude.) Of course, any globocorpocapitalist can see that in the main the Middle-Eastern petro-producers are perfectly integrated as the filling station for the production and transit of goods. Tom has this idea that the world is going to run on wind farms (not with 7 billion people and rising standards of living it ain't), while a post-nomadic sand-dune monarchy with no arable land is going to produce a mature democracy, a "decent and consensual government," spurred on by the production of the same in Baghdad, Kabul, Islamabad. Meanwhile, this is the guy who gets hard just thinking about Dubai, whose system of government he seems to have confused with a small town in New Hampshire.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, is another matter. You want to produce a "decent and consensual government" in a country with 28% literacy. Somehow I don't think the Lockean social compact is going to take in that climate. Just a hunch, though.