Friedman reminds us that the Mideast has created problems for every US president since Eisenhower. He once thought that invading Iraq would be helpful. That was not a good idea for Iraq or the US. Now Syria is a mess, and its civil war is spreading to other areas. He claims that this will create a problem for the US, but he has no good solution to offer. In his view we are dependent upon Russian intervention as a mediator.
The only good thing to take away from his description of the Mideast, is the the battle between red states and blue states in the US is mild in comparison.