MR. FRIEDMAN: You know, Tim, if I can share with you another rule I had about the Middle East, it was that any general going to the Middle East -- or reporter -- should have to take a test, and it would consist of one question:That's the problem? If only President G.W. Bush took some geometry lessons from Tom Friedman, everything would be fine!
Do you believe the shortest distance between two points is a straight line? If you answer yes to that question, you can't go to Iraq. You can go to Korea, you can go to Germany, you can go to Japan. You can't go to Iraq.
And the problem is, when you hear the first lady, when I think of the way Bush is running this war, he thinks that in the Middle East the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Friedman's book says:
I just wanted to understand why the Indians I met were taking our work,... When I set sail, so to speak, I too assumed that the world was round, but what I encountered in the real India profoundly shook my faith in that notion. ...The book was a huge seller. The Economist magazine ridicules him here. See also Matt Taibbi.
Columbus reported to his king and queen that the world was round, and he went down in history as the man who first made this discovery. I returned home and shared my discovery only with my wife, and only in a whisper.
"Honey," I confided, "I think the world is flat."
I am filing this under mangled metaphors.