Friedman (unit) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The Friedman, or Friedman Unit (F.U.), is a tongue-in-cheek neologism coined by blogger Atrios (Duncan Black) on May 21, 2006.
A Friedman is a unit of time equal to six months in the future. The Huffington Post cited it as the "Best New Phrase" of 2006.
The term is in reference to a May 16, 2006 article by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) detailing columnist Thomas Friedman's repeated use of "the next six months" as the period in which, according to Friedman, "we're going to find out...whether a decent outcome is possible" in the Iraq War. As documented by FAIR, Friedman had been making such six-month predictions for a period of two and a half years, on at least fourteen different occasions, starting with a column in the November 30, 2003 edition of The New York Times, in which he stated: "The next six months in Iraq—which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there—are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time."
The term has been used in general to describe any pronouncement of a critical period for the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Such pronouncements have been made by numerous politicians and military officials involved in the war.
More generally, the concept can refer to any event or "critical period" which is repeatedly expected to happen in the near future, but repeatedly fails to occur.