"Just on the level of basic cogency, this makes absolutely no sense. Friedman says that a country will be “stuck in Hobbes — a war of all against all — unless” it has America there. But Iraq did have America there, and — as Friedman himself points out just a few paragraphs later — it got “stuck in Hobbes,” precisely because America was there (“Because of both U.S. incompetence and the nature of Iraq, this U.S. intervention triggered a civil war in which all the parties in Iraq — Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds — tested the new balance of power, inflicting enormous casualties on each other and leading, tragically, to ethnic cleansing that rearranged the country into more homogeneous blocks of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds”). He literally negates his own principal claim — a country that overthrows its dictator can only avoid Hobbes if it has a U.S.-like force occupying and controlling it — in the very same column in which he advances it. But incoherence is the least notable aspect of this column. Did you know that “everyone on the ground” in Iraq “trusted” America to manage the transition from Saddam to Switzerland? This would probably came as a great surprise to the actual Iraqis on the ground, as reflected by U.S. government and independent polls in 2006".