Monday, March 17
Repairing the World
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, March 16, 2003
ome days, you pick up the newspaper and you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Let's see, the prime minister of Serbia just got shot, and if that doesn't seem like a bad omen then you missed the class on World War I. [...]
Congress is renaming French fries "freedom fries." George Bush has managed to lose a global popularity contest to Saddam Hussein, and he's looking to build diplomatic support in Europe by flying to the Azores, a remote archipelago in the Atlantic, to persuade the persuaded leaders of Britain and Spain to stand firm with him. [...]
Having said all that, I am glad Mr. Bush is meeting with Tony Blair. In fact, I wish he would turn over leadership on the whole Iraq crisis to him. Mr. Blair has an international vision that Mr. Bush sorely needs. [...]
Why? What does Tony Blair get that George Bush doesn't?
The only way I can explain it is by a concept from the Kabbalah called "tikkun olam."
It means, "to repair the world." If you listened to Tony Blair's speeches in recent weeks they contain something so strikingly absent from Mr. Bush's. Tony Blair constantly puts the struggle for a better Iraq within a broader context of moral concerns. [...]