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Guys Named Matt

By Matthew Yglesias

"Guys Named Matt"

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Matt Stoller recounts a tale from our college years:

What I should have said is that Friedman holds a special place in my development. I took a class from him at college on ‘globalization’, and read most of his books. In 2002, he and Ken Pollack were the two people that I relied on for guidance with regards to Iraq. I trusted him. I believed in him. And he got it one hundred percent wrong. And while honest people tend to admit their mistakes, and when the mistake is particularly soaked in blood, do a lot of soul-searching and apologizing, he never has. My mistake in looking at the Iraq war still pains me, and though I was a 24 year old kid with no experience in foreign policy or politics, my gullibility and the betrayal from my former guides still colors my thinking. For someone like Friedman, who should know better and occupies the most valuable opinion space in the world, it’s stunningly immoral to pretend to having no responsibility in this quagmire. All of us are responsible, and the first step is to admit error. Maybe if I said this he finally would have understood where we come from, though I doubt it. But I didn’t say it.

I guess Matt’s two years older than me, but I was in that class, too, and generally had a similar trajectory.

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