Atrios caught Tom Friedman making one of his unannounced intellectual 180’s (pundits without a comments section are allowed to do that), but this bit from Friedman’s latest caught my eye:
One of the most troubling lessons of the Iraq invasion is just how empty the Arab dictatorships are. Once you break the palace, by ousting the dictator, the elevator goes straight to the mosque. There is nothing in between — no civil society, no real labor unions, no real human rights groups, no real parliaments or press. So it is not surprising to see the sort of clerical leadership that has emerged in both the Sunni and Shiite areas of Iraq.
That is just flat wrong. Iraq had a fairly robust labor union movement which eagerly tried to embrace the American occupation authority. They presented an organizing force that could have augmented the CPA’s ability to influence postwar Iraq. The bushies rejected them because they were a labor union.
Tom Friedman would be a vastly better pundit if he acknowledged his intellectual reversals and/or his gross departures from factual reality. But he won’t, and he really hates bloggers for suggesting that he should.