American Middle East genius and Charlie Rose's favorite guest, Tom Friedman, has once again astounded the board of anonymous voters of the Pulizer Prize, and issued another scintillating analysis of the Iran nuclear negotiations being conducted by people likely to help him secure a nifty piece of property on Sconset Beach in Nantucket.
Unlike prior insightful critiques within which Mr. Friedman endorses without reservation the historic legitimization of the Persian regime which sent improvised explosive devices to Iraq to kill and maim members of the American military, continues to rearm and send its its highest military advisers to Lebanon to assist Hizballah and expends millions of rials (or whatever the hell their currency is called) to help Assad drop barrel bombs on civilians, he has now concluded that perhaps the American shock troops from the State Department have been out negotiated by the Iranians. I can only compare this to the alarmingly naive admission by David Harsanyi of The Federeralist today that perhaps he endorsed the notion of support of gay unions a bit prematurely because he didn't know that it would used as an assault weapon against people of faith who mistakenly believed that the archaic Constituition somehow provided them with some protection of religious expression.
As I have mentioned in this space before, Tom Friedman has shown himself on various occasions to be a pseudo-intellectual whose bona fides are stamped with the approval of the Rosenthal's, Charlie Rose and any other mainstream nitwit willing to provide him with a platform. Somehow From Beirut to Jerusalem has secured him a permanent position as the elitist expert on Middle Eastern affairs. This, despite the fact that he has joined the catcalls from the Obama administration denigrating the standing of Bibi Netanyahu, that he has joined the Valerie Jarratt-inspired abridgment of his ability to speak freely to the American Congress and people, and he has ineptly defended the Obama outreach to "moderate" Muslims and defended the "democratic" election of the Brotherhood in Egypt. This guy has been so wrong so consistently, I'm surprised he was passed over to become an official in the Carter Administration, has failed to secure a position in the Clinton Foundation or become IT chief of the State Department archives.
The significant admission of Friedman's column, of course, is that he has taken the first step of creating space between his reformed world view and that of John Kerry. He is beginning to acknowledge that this perverse Iranian agreement will not be approved by Congress and will require a presidential veto to become effective. As much as Tom loves Obamacare, hiking taxes on fossil fuel consumption, and unending investment in "infrastructure", he cannot afford to be perceived as endorsing a lunatic agreement that sanctions an Iranian atomic program, does not curtail ballistic missile development and restricts access to suspected military sites. He can praise normalization of relations with Cuba until the cows come home, but when he undermines his essential reason for being - the undisputed, progressive analyst of Middle Eastern geopolitics - and he comes down on the wrong side of the Iranian issue - well, that's it for 'ol Tommy. Credibility shot. No more Pulitzers. Vanity Fair invites out the window.
This is a good sign, and Tom realizes some tweaking of his public statements are necessary before July 7. Otherwise, his life's work of projecting himself as "I'm the only legitimate American pundit who REALLY understands the ebb and flow of the Middle Eastern street" will be punctured like the lightweight balloon he has always been.