Friday, June 5, 2009

Fareed Says What?

I dislike Fareed Zakaria no more or less than the next guy dislikes him, but this comment, in which he describes what opportunities President Obama missed in his speech to "the Muslim world" yesterday, irks me:

Something did strike me. In a strange way, the one place that Obama could take the most concrete actions that would change the dynamics within the Arab world and change America's image in the Muslim world is Iraq.

President Obama has the opportunity to create facts on the ground that will change the dynamics of politics in a major Arab nation.

Move a country from a repressive dictatorship which breeds extreme and violent opposition to democracy. He can present a model of an American engagement with a free Arab country that is productive, mutually beneficially and peaceful.
What on earth is Zakaria saying here? What facts on the ground does he have in mind? What is he proposing that achieve this very ambitious program? It's odd to see a criticism that begins by mentioning "concrete actions" resolve into the softest gelatin.

I'm not saying it's impossible to imagine what he might mean -- I can fill in the vague spaces with lots of possibilities. Nor am I jumping to the defense of President Obama; if I were to criticize the speech on similar grounds, I'd say something actually concrete, such as: we should accelerate the troop withdrawal from Iraq to the maximum degree possible, put Iraqis fully in charge of Iraq, and expect that its government fully join the modern civilized world, with all the responsibilities and benefits thereof.

Not so Zakaria. Why are we left to guess at what, of all people, a paid TV opinion-slinger is trying to say?

1 comment:

The Enlightened One said...

Fareed Zakaria is so un-American it makes me sick. He is ugly. He is boring. And every single word that comes out of his mouth is worth only putting in the garbage disposal. Or, in ignorant Americanese: 'Fareed friggin sucks'