Then came Iraq. Friedman supported going in and transforming the region. Now he calls George Bush's war "contemptible."
And the arresting phrase-maker sounds nearly desperate to disengage from Mideast oil. To build a wall of energy independence. To save the climate and American competitiveness in a world where China is coming on strong.
This hour On Point: world-watching columnist Tom Friedman, on his warm winter of discontent.
Quotes from the Show:
"My view is that this project, this necessity of trying to tilt the Arab Muslim world onto a different track is a really important one for that part of the world, for the world my girls are going to grow up in, for global stability. We've tried to do it purely with a military operation — that has failed. I believe all along we needed an energy policy, a different energy policy. Now, given the fact that the military operations failed, I think it's the only thing we have left." Tom Friedman.
"I believe that the price of oil and the price of freedom operate in an inverse correlation. If you draw a graph of oil prices from 1980 to the year 2006, what you'll see basically if you overlay on that the Freedom House freedom index for different countries like Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iran, what you'll see is that as the price of oil went down from the 1980s to the mid-90s, the pace of freedom went up in all these countries." Tom Friedman
"If we fundamentally restructured our energy policy around what I now call 'a green new deal,' I believe we could put our country on a leadership track that not only would bring the price of oil down in the United States but globally but at the same time would set an example for the whole world and trigger a spade of innovation that ultimately I think would have a huge impact on oil prices." Tom Friedman
Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times and three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book is "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century."
This program aired on January 18, 2007.