I suppose the world of blog readers is probably divided between those who think that Thomas Friedman is aces and those who think he's a blowhard joke...if you're in the former group, you definitely should read Andrew Sprung's epic takedown of Friedman's latest, while if you're in the later group, I'd urge you not to skip it just because you don't want to hear anyone preaching to the choir. It's excellent.
My own interest in this is in Friedman's insistence that politicians ask for citizens to sacrifice, because it gives me an excuse to link back to and quote my theory that we need a chess model of sacrifice. As I said then, everyone understands that a sacrifice in chess is self-interested. There is no moral or character component to sacrificing a piece; it's a good idea if it helps the player win, and a bad idea otherwise. No one analyzes a chess game by saying that the player lost, but at least she was willing to sacrifice her rook, or that he didn't deserve to win because he was unwilling to sacrifice anything. It seems to me that we'd be better off if pundits talked about sacrifice in that way, rather than in the morally loaded fashion (which I think is similar to the misguided way that sacrifice is discussed in baseball) that Friedman favors. Oddly enough, I think that the chess model of sacrifice, even though it appears to be cold, calculating, and cynical, would yield a much more healthy view of the collateral costs in human suffering often involved in Friedmanesque calls for sacrifice.