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Friedman Unit

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A Friedman Unit (F.U.), or just "Friedman," is a measure of time equal to six months. It is most commonly used when discussing the war in Iraq. It is used by bloggers (mostly liberal bloggers) to mock the cavalier attitudes of pundits and politicians.

The term was coined by blogger Duncan Black in response to this statement by Thomas Friedman:

Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months—probably sooner—whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out.[1]

This was not the first time Friedman had made such a prediction, nor was he the only one making it.[2] Black wrote a post in response to Friedman's pronouncement which featured the first instance of the phrase:

All candidates need to lay the foundation for what they're going to say a year from now ("two Friedmans" in the newly established Friedman time scale) when Iraq is as bad or worse of a clusterfuck as it is now (Yes, yes, I hope to be wrong but it sadly hasn't happened yet). I fear again that the Democratic establishment is just wishing the problem away.[3]


  • The Friedman Unit article at dKosopedia, featuring a list of examples from 2003-2007.


  1. Hardball, 5/11/06
  2. Tom Friedman's Flexible Deadlines, FAIR, 5/16/06
  3. The Six Monthers