Thomas Friedman runs into a brick wall of reality

That Thomas Friedman, the New York Times' super-columnist, is considered a leading liberal public intellectual pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how deranged our political discourse is.

Friedman's a narcissistic simpleton who married a billionaire and now spends his life writing columns about how the guy he had lunch with yesterday proves that unfettered global capital is just fabulous for the whole of society.

Normon Soloman does a good job today showing how Friedman, like all global corporatists, sees the world with cookie-cutter consistency. Everything is filtered through his flat-earth goggles; it's all nice and neat and simple, and damn any facts that get in the way. Earlier this year, he confessed to Tim Russert: "I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn't even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade."

Unlike Friedman, Jonathan Weiler, a professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina and a colleague at The Gadflyer, actually knows what he's talking about. I've referenced his book, Human Rights in Russia: A Darker Side of Reform, a couple of times -- it's well worth a read.

Anyway, I wanted to share Weiler's take-down of Friedman's latest piece, on Russian "petropolitics," because it so well illustrates the degree to which The Moustache of Understanding* just pulls these columns right out of his ass.

So, with permission, Weiler:

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