NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman is willing to see a barrel of oil reach $100 and Iran to become a nuclear power, as long as it forces Americans to change their habits and oil eventually drops back down to $20 a barrel. Is he that stupid?

Leaving out his ignorance on economic prinicples (Newsbusters points out that the behavioral changes that $100 oil would cause, would cease to be present once oil drops back down to $20), Friedman is willing to giving a terrorist supporting regime nuclear weapons because he wants Americans to stop driving Hummers?

I hate paying close to $3.00 for a gallon of gas (of course we could drop that down below two dollars is the government removed the vast majority of taxes and regulations), but if my choice is paying the current price for oil and keeping Iran away from nukes, I’m taking high gas prices.

It wouldn’t do residents of LA much good to have gas prices down at $1.50, if their whole city is radioactive. Can you imagine the run up on gasoline prices if we suffered a nuclear attack? If that happened, $3.00 a gallon would be a bargin.

What is even more odd, is that while Friedman is championing the benefits of $100 abarrel oil this morning, before the Iraq war he was arguing that we must consider the possibility of $60 oil as a reason to not invade.

In the column he basically says that one of two things could happen in Iraq – it goes good or it goes bad. Yes I know, why is this man not President of the United States with prediction powers this great?

Here is part of what he wrote on August 6, 2002:

Let’s start with the $60-a-barrel scenario. (The price today is in the mid-$20s.) While the Pentagon keeps leaking its war plans, no one ever writes about what Saddam’s war plans might be. What if he responds by firing Scuds with chemical or biological warheads at Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti oilfields? The world market could lose not only Iraq’s 2m barrels a day, but millions more.

Tom Friedman lied! People died! He said Saddam Hussein is “a bad man, building dangerous weapons, who has raped the future of two generations of Iraqis. The whole region would be improved by his removal.” Can we impeach him?

But seriously why was the prospect of a $60 barrel of oil something to be considered as a negative result of the Iraq war, if his idea of a positive thing is to see oil reach $100 in order to change American behavior?

I guess it could be worse. Thomas Friedman could be Paul Krugman.