Clear, Clearer, Cleariest

Thomas Friedman:

On this 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three things are clear. First, whatever happens in Iraq, we overpaid for it in lives and treasure and focus. Second, you can overpay for something decent and you can overpay for total junk. What exactly we overpaid for in Iraq is not yet clear and will be decided by Iraqis. Third, as much as we’d prefer to forget about Iraq, what happens there matters more than ever for the Middle East.

So . . . three things are clear, except for the second one, where Friedman is clear that things are NOT clear. But that’s a kind of clarity, right?

Wait a minute, isn’t this kind of like wishing for more wishes?


Aha! Maybe this is one of those known unknowns that Don Rumsfeld was nattering on about a few years ago.

Which, if so, that makes it clear.

Except actually it’s more of an unknown known?

Which, if so, that makes it unclear.

In any case, Thomas Friedman finds more clarity later in the column:

It may take two generations for those young voices of Baghdad University to prevail. Or it may take much longer. Or it may never happen.

Now that’s clear!

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