Some days it's not easy to make it through a Tom Friedman column.
Take today (11/14/12), for instance. I got all the way to the second sentence:
Virtually every American president since Dwight Eisenhower has had a Middle Eastern country that brought him grief.
In case you're wondering, he really means every president:
For George W. Bush, it was Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yes, why did those countries give the man so much trouble?
For anyone trying to make it all the way through the column, I recommend letting Matt Taibbi walk you through the loopy Friedmanesque metaphors: Iraq is a pile broken shards of pottery held together by an iron fist (the old way Friedman saw Iraq), or perhaps today's version, which tells us that Iraq was a hand grenade the United States detonated and then jumped on.