Thomas Friedman is upset in his New York Times column today (5/26/10) because Brazilian President Lula da Silva negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran. Asks Friedman, "Is there anything uglier than watching democrats sell out other democrats to a Holocaust-denying, vote-stealing Iranian thug just to tweak the U.S. and show that they, too, can play at the big power table?" And he answers himself: "No, that's about as ugly as it gets."
Friedman quotes a source complaining that Iran had just executed "political prisoners who were tortured into confessions," but "didn't mention a word about human rights." Friedman presumably is aware that the U.S., too, has prisoners that it has tortured into confessions, and that it maintains the right to execute such captives. Should Lula have said a word about those human rights issues as well, or would that just be an attempt to "tweak the U.S."?
Friedman has another expert who accuses Lula of "the thwarting of democracy across Latin America." Friedman's evidence: "He regularly praises Venezuela’s strongman Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator...while denouncing Colombia, one of the great democratic success stories, because it let U.S. planes use Colombian airfields to fight narco-traffickers."
Please do click through and read the whole thing, the take town of Colombia as "one of the great democratic success stories" is priceless.
Also, for a more detailed, longer take down, see Robert Naiman in the Huffington Post. You want to see "ugly as it gets", watch this video of Friedman defending the Iraq War. Suck. On. This. Friedman.