Flat myopic

Thomas Friedman unwisely gushes over rebellion in the Middle East:

With Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria now all embroiled in rebellions, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that the authoritarian lid that has smothered freedom in the Arab world for centuries may be coming off all 350 million Arab peoples at once. Personally, I think that is exactly what is going to happen over time. Warm up the bus for all the Arab autocrats — and for you, too, Ahmadinejad. As one who has long believed in the democracy potential for this part of the world, color me both really hopeful and really worried about the prospects.

If this was the 1930s, Friedman would no doubt be gushing about how optimistic he is about the new German Reichschancellor, and how remarkably popular Mr. Hitler is with the German people. And we can expect that he’ll soon lose his optimism and start shrieking bloody murder about how the US should invade whichever new Arab democracy first begins rattling its sabres in Israel’s direction.

Like most secular liberals, Friedman wildly overestimates the popular appeal of secular liberalism… when he’s not daydreaming about how useful it would be to be an authoritarian dictator-for-a-day.