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Thomas Friedman turns to prayer for Obama

And his prayer speaks volumes as to the man's theological depth:

Thomas_Friedman.jpgI am proud of my president, really worried about him, and just praying that he's lucky.

Unlike all of us in the armchairs, the president had to choose, and I found the way he spelled out his core argument on Monday sincere: "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And, as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

I am glad we have a president who sees America that way. That argument cannot just be shrugged off, especially when confronting a dictator like Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. But, at the same time, I believe that it is naïve to think that we can be humanitarians only from the air -- and now we just hand the situation off to NATO, as if it were Asean and we were not the backbone of the NATO military alliance, and we're done.

I don't know Libya, but my gut tells me that any kind of decent outcome there will require boots on the ground -- either as military help for the rebels to oust Qaddafi as we want, or as post-Qaddafi peacekeepers and referees between tribes and factions to help with any transition to democracy. Those boots cannot be ours. We absolutely cannot afford it -- whether in terms of money, manpower, energy or attention. But I am deeply dubious that our allies can or will handle it without us, either. And if the fight there turns ugly, or stalemates, people will be calling for our humanitarian help again. You bomb it, you own it.

Which is why, most of all, I hope President Obama is lucky. I hope Qaddafi's regime collapses like a sand castle, that the Libyan opposition turns out to be decent and united and that they require just a bare minimum of international help to get on their feet. Then U.S. prestige will be enhanced and this humanitarian mission will have both saved lives and helped to lock another Arab state into the democratic camp.

Dear Lord, please make President Obama lucky.

Dear Lord, please make Thomas Friedman see how fatuously ignorant and shallowly contradictory that prayer really is.


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Comments (37)

Good Grief! Now Obomba's su... (Below threshold)

Good Grief! Now Obomba's supporters are praying for him. Funny that. I thought they weren't too fond of this particular Lord.

No matter. My prayer is a bit different.

Dear Lord, please make President Obama competent.

Then he won't need luck to do his job.

Make him LUCKY?? How about ... (Below threshold)

Make him LUCKY?? How about innoculating him with a dose of common sense. This "prayer" is an insult to God!

Over the course of my life ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Over the course of my life I've learned that people who pray for "luck" are gamblers, poor gamblers. They also have a personality type that is easily exploited by a con man. If I were a gambling man, which I have never been, I'd make odd on this guy having voted for Obama back in 2007 and remaining an Obama supporter to this day.

Somehow I don't think Fried... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

Somehow I don't think Friedman and the Good Lord have a very close relationship. For heaven's sake he didn't even use the customary log-off -- "Amen".


Dear Lord,Please m... (Below threshold)

Dear Lord,

Please make Thomas Friedman inconsequential.

Oh wait....

Fatuously ignorant and shal... (Below threshold)

Fatuously ignorant and shallowly contradictory sums up Tom Friedman in a nutshell.

Friedman is a parody of an ... (Below threshold)

Friedman is a parody of an intellectual. Actually, not a parody, given that most "intellectuals" are wisdom-free morons who speak/write well.

Hamilton Jordan wrote a boo... (Below threshold)
Joe Miller:

Hamilton Jordan wrote a book about being inside the Carter administration. He said the failure of that administration was because of "bad luck." We're in big trouble if the leader of the free world and those around him/her need "luck" to be successful.

One man full of himself hop... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

One man full of himself hoping and praying his idol, who is very full of himself, will be vindicated.

"Dear Lord, please make Pre... (Below threshold)

"Dear Lord, please make President Obama lucky."

I guess Mr Friedman understands the president in the same way many of us do. In the past if you wanted to be successful you were told it would require focus, sweat/willingness to work hard, ethical behavior... If Friedman understands the president and his character, then he should indeed pray for luck, if you get my drift.

LUCK!!! Are you kidding me?... (Below threshold)

LUCK!!! Are you kidding me??? Friedman writes the way Obama speaks, "this is really hard stuff."

OK. So let's assume for a ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

OK. So let's assume for a moment that the good Lord makes obama incredibly luck per Friedman's prayers. Does anyone really expect that Friedman then writes a column exclaiming how lucky obama got and how fortunate the country is for everything working out against the odds? Of course not. Friedman will write a self congratulatory piece that deifies (once again) obama for his omniscience and his amazing intellect and abusing everyone else for have wavered in their faith for "the one".

Rick: how fatuo... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Rick: how fatuously ignorant (Friedman is)

At least, Obama is not an ignorant fool such as Bush, who told his prayer soulmate, before the Iraq invasion -according to Robertson- when asked about casualties.

Bush: "Oh no we are not going to have any casualties".

I would much rather have a secular Jew and staunch friend of Israel, such as Freeman 'praying for me' in rherorical terms, than get on my knees with anti-semite, Pat Robertson, Bush's favorite and closest preacher, who called for a nuclear bomb on the State Department, now that is theological depth, but then I don't genuflect to right wing, crazy fire and brimstone evangelists, such as our poster, ex -seminarian Rick, or Obama's predecessor.

"...but then I don't genufl... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"...but then I don't genuflect to right wing, crazy fire and brimstone evangelists, such as our poster, ex -seminarian Rick, or Obama's predecessor."

Steve, as I started to read your comments I began to wonder what had got under your saddle. But the last line you wrote cleared that question up that for me. No time for reflection? Just jump into the puddle and see if your can splash someone with some mud?

"At least, Obama is not an ... (Below threshold)

"At least, Obama is not an ignorant fool such as Bush,.."

Trust me Steve, I am willing to bet Obama doesn't know he is a fool either. His ego would not permit it.

Yes, sure Rick is always... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Yes, sure Rick is always making fun of or mocking "leftist" or liberal, Christian religion followers, as if Jesus were a conservative religious leader-I would have thought the opposite, if anything,- but because Rick never criticizes or chastizes the other side, I assume his silence means his assent, until he otherwise clarifies.

For to govern means to choose, and if the GOP returns to the White House, which this site, vehemently wants, you know which preachers from experience, will have special entry, especially at times of war.

Hey Crickmore, when you goi... (Below threshold)

Hey Crickmore, when you going to give up the atypical liberal bullshit 'look what Bush did' crap? Bush left office over 2 years ago. Ain't there anymore. We're talking about the here-and-now. We've got an idiot in the White House depending on "luck"? Gets us involved in 'kinetic military activity', and quickly exits, leaving NATO (US!) in charge. Yeah Crickmore, got yourself a REAL LEADER there, don't ya?

As for luck, it certainly ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As for luck, it certainly plays a large part in any presidency.

It was Jack Kennedy who said, the one thing he couldn't control were events, and Bush 43, was quoted as saying, "Lucky me, I hit the trifecta", in discussing 9/11, the recession and the war.

Luck may play a large part ... (Below threshold)

Luck may play a large part in any presidency, but when a presidents supporters in the NY Times are praying for it, it doesn't exactly indicate they have much confidence in the presidents abilities, decisions or leadership.

GarandFan. Yes, I'm talkin... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

GarandFan. Yes, I'm talking about "a real Leader", exactly a man or woman with flesh and bones. Who is your real leader from the GOP? I don't see any out there? Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlety, Ginch? Bush 43, may look enlightened in retrospect.

I assume much of the chronic criticism of Obama will lesson when you see the caliber of the leadership of your side, when the campaigning for the White House begins in earnest. Ignoring or dismissing the Maghreb or North Africa, except when a few extremist Arabs talk about the Caliphate is hardly leadership, and reaching for Bible prophesy two thousand years ago, is not enough, to explain the world in 2011.

Friedman is praying and HOP... (Below threshold)

Friedman is praying and HOPING that Obama is lucky. Sounds like the making of a re-election campaign slogan.

I think we all Pray and "Hope for Change" now. Maybe we will be LUCKY, and Obama will exit after one term.

Crickmore, it is silly and a bit dishonest to take those quotes of JFK and GW Bush completely out of context. I am not a particular fan of JFK's, but I give him credit for his real meaning; i.e. That no President has control over all of the situations he will face. But, he better have control over his response.

As for Bush. His intent is very well documented. He has said many times, including in his book, that he expected to be a "domestic policy President". So, that was a purely ironic statement about how his Presidency was thrust into a war time environment. So, yeah events (call it luck) changed the nature of his Presidency; and he dealt with it.

It Obama's problems coping with events that causes concern. Blaming your predecessor for every bit of "bad luck" does not advance the ball.

Get a grip.

"Yes, sure Rick is always m... (Below threshold)

"Yes, sure Rick is always making fun of or mocking "leftist" or liberal, Christian religion followers, as if Jesus were a conservative religious leader-I would have thought the opposite, if anything,- but because Rick never criticizes or chastizes the other side, I assume his silence means his assent, until he otherwise clarifies."

Why is Rick required to respond to your assumptions? I'm not even sure your assumptions have anything to do with this post. Along that same line, can I assume that since you don't criticize Friedman you find his past comments about the benefits about the authoritarian nature of Chinese government attractive as well?

Look, Friedman is a clown and he beclowns himself more with every new opinion piece he writes about Obama. Read the link. Boo hoo, it's such a tough decision for Barry on Libya. Boo hoo. The Middle East is such a complex mix of cultures and ethnic ideology. This trite and condescending description is a revelation only to someone who has awakened after being in a coma forever. What, this is something new? Of course not. So, why is this more of a challenge to Obama than any of our previous presidents? Is he clueless? Did he exacerbate it? Is he simply not capable of dealing with it as well as past presidents? If so maybe Friedman is right in getting religion.

Whether or not you favor Bush's incursions into Iraq/Afghanistan or not, he spent more time formulating plans, consulting Congress along with the UN. That is beyond dispute. Deep down I have to believe Friedman realizes how much of an idiot Obama is and I think you know it as well. Your reflex is just to be prepared with some excuse for every questionable decision this administration makes.

I rewrite your words again: "I assume his silence means his assent, until he otherwise clarifies." Geesh, what does this mean?

Actually Libya is going rat... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Actually Libya is going rather well at the moment. I don't think Obama will need much luck! All Daffys' leaders are fleeing. Ye men of little faith? This is not exactly Iraq or Afghanistan?

DaveD, I meant Rick reserv... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

DaveD, I meant Rick reserves his dudgeons, a lot of shots across the bow at the 'religious left', his words, none ever for the 'religious right'. I don't think he has even used that expresion.

I realize this is a conservative political site and 'liberals' through Obama are in power now, and one poster can can only address one subject at a time, but it seems to me that some context or balance might be of value.

And, so far, the war in Libya with American military intervention is turning spendidly for the rebels and allies. There are zero American casualties, and the only casualty as in Egypt, is likely to be wizbang hubris...that Obama would fall on his face in deciding what precise intervention, mindful of the consequences, America should take.

Next stop, Syria?

Thomas Friedman is a shallo... (Below threshold)

Thomas Friedman is a shallow thinker and a shitty writer. He's one of those idiots always begging for political civility, clamouring for technocratic overlords to step across the political aisle, shake hands in the manliest way possible, and then retire to his gigantic fucking palace for cocktails.


His informed justification for the Iraq war: telling Middle Eastern dictators to "suck on this". No foolin'!


Guy is a clown.

Barry doesn't need prayer. ... (Below threshold)

Barry doesn't need prayer. He needs an exorcism.

Really Steve? That's what ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Really Steve? That's what you are going with?

I seem to recall that the Iraq War's early days went extremely well. Better in fact than Libya's 'Revolution 2011 - Sort of' is doing now.

But of course, W had a strategy and O does not. Something becoming more and more obvious as time passes.

I was surprised by this pos... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

I was surprised by this post. I actually didn't know Tom Friedman was still being published.

DJ Drummond, forgive me if ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

DJ Drummond, forgive me if you are giving me an easy target, unless your are trying to set me up,- yes, the Pentagon war stategy for military operations was the successful and easy part, but the Bush/Cheney strategy for the Iraqi occupation was worse than having none. It can be summed up over and over again, in two false premises- they based their future plans for Iraq on.

one-Peter Galbraith - former U.S. diplomat: January 2003 the President invited three members of the Iraqi opposition to join him to watch the Super Bowl. In the course of the conversation the Iraqis realized that the President was not aware that there was a difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. He looked at them and said, "You mean...they're not, you know, there, there's this difference. What is it about?"


Vice Pres. DICK CHENEY: "The read we get on the people of Iraq is that there's no question but what they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that".

In Libya, there were will be minimal opposition to US involvement, and it will be a limited engagement..no pottery barn anaolgy " if you breakit, you own it". The Libya rebels with overwhelming public support of their fighters are leading it, with American and ally air cover, behind.

Daffy is a threat outside his borders, he has proved it several times with terrorist bombings of American targets. And recently he said he would enlist al-Queda against America. I can´t recall Saddam ou Mahmoud Ahmadinejad going that far, and still the editorial policy of wizbang is to tie itself in knots, and advocate doing nothing. I must admit, I´m gaining a lot of instruction. Interesting!

The stupid fuck has three P... (Below threshold)

The stupid fuck has three Pulitzers!

He could work for free, though. The hypocrite is married to a billionaire shopping mall heiress, whose family raped the countryside in the name of ugly, rectangular buildings with giant parking lots. I was so happy when I read that her fortune took a shellacking when the commercial real estate bubble exploded. Wretched people!

The problem Steve, is that ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The problem Steve, is that we're not talking about Iraq anymore, except for people trying to claim there is somehow a better strategy, morality, or pragmatism in the Libyan action.

All of which claims are laughably false on their face.

No we´re not, but Iraq stil... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

No we´re not, but Iraq still haunts any US decision-making and it is informing Obama´s moves by negative reinforemcent, "days not weeks" "no ground troops","command and control taken by Nato" no ¨"trillion dollar" price tag.
Curious, I haven´t heard Cheney or Bush or any neocons express any misgivings about the Libya involvement, on the contrary. Wizbang, it seems is with Glenn Greenwald against the Us military intervention.

Sarah Palin on the other hand, who is supposed to be so earily Presidential, according to Rick and others. wants the US simply to go into Libya kill -Kdaffy then get out, in a commando operation. wow Libya is almost as big as Iraq and it took eight months for considerable US troops to find Saddam, and we still haven´t found Osama.

“Throughout history, povert... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.This is known as "bad luck.".” - Robert Heinlein

That's the kind of 'luck' that Barry brings.

Sad really, how Steve obses... (Below threshold)
DJ "W" Drummond:

Sad really, how Steve obsesses over the W years.

He's never been able to adjust to a world without W to blame.

"Actually Libya is going ra... (Below threshold)

"Actually Libya is going rather well at the moment. I don't think Obama will need much luck! All Daffys' leaders are fleeing. Ye men of little faith? This is not exactly Iraq or Afghanistan?"

This from today's Los Angeles Times: "Reporting from Port Brega, Libya— Dispirited rebel fighters continued their headlong retreat across eastern Libya on Wednesday, surrendering a strategic oil city they captured just three days earlier and fleeing eastward by the hundreds."

The reason they are fleeing eastward by the "hundreds" is that, according to CNN "“Effective number of fighting men, well under 1,000. Actual soldiers, who are now in the fight, possibly in the very low hundreds on the opposition side.”

Crickless, were you born this stupid or did it require a college degree?

Friedman: "I am proud of my... (Below threshold)

Friedman: "I am proud of my president, really worried about him, and just praying that he's lucky.
Unlike all of us in the armchairs, the president had to choose, and I found the way he spelled out his core argument on Monday sincere:..."

Obama on Libya, "Let me be perfectly clear. I am laying up on 13 because of the water hazard. We fear only the sand. Pray for me as my next outing takes me over... Pay for my next outing... (impatiently) TOTUS, DON"T KEEP ME WAITING..."

laughingoutloud, yes, i hav... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

laughingoutloud, yes, i have read those reports now too. it would have been completely hopeless had they not provided air support. I suppose the real question is should the west arm the rebels, if they don´t have enough matching fire power? If GDaffy is using foreign/ African mercenaries,I say why not?






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