Skull, once removed

by Yule Heibel on April 28, 2003

I usually look forward to reading anything by New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman, but his weekend op-ed piece has me shaking my head. Friedman hinges his piece around a photograph of a group of Iraqis surrounding a freshly exhumed skull, the human remains of one of Saddam Hussein’s many political prisoners. For Friedman, the photograph symbolizes the freedom now given to the Iraqis, the freedom from tyranny. “America did the right thing here,” Friedman intones. What appalls me is the singular amnesia: who enabled Saddam to be in power, to stay in power? What country didn’t want to go into Kosovo to liberate its people from terror and tyranny? And what country continues to condone similar human rights’ abuses in other Arab countries, in Africa, and so forth? And are we now supposed to jubilate when that country unilaterally decides it’s time for regime change in other countries whose despots it has singled out because they happen to control some commodity we need? Where are the standards here, and what kind of world is this?


Yule Heibel April 29, 2003 at 2:58 pm

Indeed — I just didn’t expect it from someone as thoughtful as Thomas Friedman. Strange world.

joan April 29, 2003 at 6:32 pm

I’ve noticed this tendency of U.S. involvement/detachment being based far more on economics than human rights for a very long time now. I believe the word is “hypocracy”, and it’s been around since ancient Greece!

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