Tom Friedman Opposes ‘Surge’ Idea for Iraq — Likens It to ‘Baby’ Step

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By: E&P Staff

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times and syndicated columnist who once supported the Iraq war through thick and thin, in a column for the Wednesday papers comes out against the Bush/McCain idea — likely to be announced within days — of sending many more troops to Baghdad to theoretically get things under control.

Backers call this a mere “surge,” while opponents term it an “escalation.” Friedman, behind the Times paid wall on the Web, denounces the Iraqis handling of Saddam’s execution, then concludes:

“Now President Bush wants a ‘surge’ of more U.S. troops to Baghdad, in one last attempt to bring order. Whenever I hear this surge idea, I think of a couple who recently got married but the marriage was never very solid. Then one day they say to each other, ‘Hey, let?s have a baby, that will bring us together.’ It never works.

“If the underlying union is not there, adding a baby won?t help. And if the underlying willingness to share power and resources is not present among the major communities in Iraq, adding more U.S. troops won?t help either. Adding more troops makes sense only if it?s to buy more time for positive trends that have already begun to appear on the horizon. I don?t see them.

“As Saddam?s hanging underscored, Iraqis are doing things their way. So maybe it?s time to get out of their way. “

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