Sunday, December 09, 2012

No Wonder Tom Friedman Writes As He Does

Thomas Friedman quotes Ehud Barak on the matter of 'political Islam':

"We have to learn to accept it and see both sides of it and try to make it better. I am worried about our tendency to adopt a fatalistic, pessimistic perception of history. Because, once you adopt it, you are relieved from the responsibility to see the better aspects and seize the opportunities" when they arise.

"Better aspects"?

He continues:

If Israel just assumes that it's only a matter of time before the moderate Palestinian leaders in the West Bank fall and Hamas takes over, "why try anything?" added Barak. "And, therefore, you lose sight of the opportunities and the will to seize opportunities. 

What "opportunities"?

... I know that you can't say when leaders raise this kind of pessimism that it is all just invented. It is not all invented, and you would be stupid if you did not look ((at it)) with open eyes. But it is a major risk that you will not notice that you become enslaved by this pessimism in a way that will paralyze you from understanding that you can shape it. 

"Enslaved by pessimism"?

The world is full of risks, but that doesn't mean that you don't have a responsibility to do something about it — within your limits and the limits of realism — and avoid self-fulfilling prophecies that are extremely dangerous here."

No wonder Friedman is mixed up.

Trying to make sense of Barak's logic is a Herculean task.

Besides the fact that it is rationally and practically wrong thinking.


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