I like Thomas Friedman, he does the vision thing. And his latest column is just brilliant. The short term thinking on part of the politicians is just breathtaking. Read and weep!
December 5, 2007
Intercepting Iran’s Take on America
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of
power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran,
which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there.
The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which —
my guess — would read something like this:
To: President Ahmadinejad
From: The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence
As you’ll recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the
U.S. would develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would
be the greatest threat to Iranian national security. In fact, after Bush’s
2006 State of the Union, in which he decried America’s oil addiction, we had
“high confidence” that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy policy would
emerge. We were wrong.
Our fears that the U.S. was engaged in a covert “Manhattan Project” to
achieve energy independence have been “assuaged.” America’s Manhattan
Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol
in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cellphone intercepts
between lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a
multibillion-dollar payoff to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses.
True, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Congress decided to increase the
miles per gallon required of U.S. car fleets by the year 2020 — which took
us by surprise — but we nevertheless “strongly believe” this will not lead
to any definitive breaking of America’s oil addiction, since none of the
leading presidential candidates has offered an energy policy that would
include a tax on oil or carbon that could trigger a truly transformational
shift in America away from fossil fuels.
Therefore, it is “very likely” that Iran’s current level of high oil
revenues will last for decades and insulate our regime from any decisive
pressures from abroad or from our own people.
We have to note that obtaining open-source intelligence in America has
become more difficult, because traditional news shows have become more
comedic and more comedic news shows more authoritative.
For instance, CNN’s nightly business report is hosted by a man named
“Dobbs.” Real journalists come on his show and present transparently
propagandistic stories about immigration and trade and then he fulminates
about them, much the way our ayatollahs used to do about “Satanic Americans”
on late-night Iranian TV. So viewers have no real idea what’s happening in
the U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, at 11 p.m., something called “The Daily Show,” which appears on
Comedy Central, has fake journalists presenting what turns out to be the
Yes, our last I.N.I.E. in 1990 concluded that after the collapse of
communism, America was on track to become the world’s sole superpower and
most compelling role model for Muslim youth — including our own. We were
wrong. We now have “high confidence” that America is on a path of
self-destruction, for three reasons:
First, 9/11 has made America afraid and therefore stupid. The “war on
terrorism” is now so deeply imbedded in America’s psyche that we think it is
“highly likely” that America will continue to export more fear than hope and
will continue to defend things like torture and Guantánamo Bay prison and to
favor politicians like Mr. Giuliani, who alienates the rest of the world.
Second, at a time when America’s bridges, roads, airports and Internet
bandwidth have fallen behind other industrial powers, including China, we
believe that the U.S. opposition to higher taxes — and the fact that the
primary campaigns have focused largely on gay marriage, flag-burning and
whether the Christian Bible is the literal truth — means it is “highly
unlikely” that America will arrest its decline.
Third, all the U.S. presidential candidates are distancing themselves from
the core values that made America such a great power and so different from
us — in particular America’s long commitment to free trade, open immigration
and a reverence for scientific enquiry wherever it leads. Our intel analysts
are baffled that the leading Democrat, Mrs. Clinton, no longer believes in
globalization and the leading Republican, Mr. Huckabee, never believed in
U.S. politicians seem determined to appeal either to the most nativist
extremes in their respective parties — or to tell voters that something
Americans call “the tooth fairy” will make their energy, budget, educational
and Social Security deficits painlessly disappear.
Therefore, we conclude with “high confidence” that there is little
likelihood that post-9/11 America will, as they say, “get its groove back”
Who needs nukes when you have this kind of America?
God is Great. Long Live the Iranian Revolution.
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!