September 24, 2003

Reader Feedback Not surprisingly, I'm

Reader Feedback

Not surprisingly, I'm catching a bit of flak on my somewhat negative take re: Dubya's address to the UN yesterday. Reader DG's missive was pretty typical of some of the feedback I've gotten:

"I generally agree with your comments and value the time you spend making your views known on your website, but I strongly disagree with your modest criticism of BushÕs speech. Listening to him made me proud to be an American. He stated clearly and concisely his positions on Iraq and other world issues. The world does not respect not [ed note. "nor"?] follow humility, but strength and Bush exuded strength. Anything less would have energized France and Germany, if not others, with renewed vigor to oppose a resolution to gain UN support in whatever form it might take. They now know Bush will not back down and attempts to sidetrack or veto a new resolution will be futile and will force them into a corner as obstructionist, particularly France. Bush showed that he has resolve and will not be deterred by domestic political considerations...."

This was one of the aspects of my criticism that I was a bit concerned about, ie. expressions of humility can also have negative ramifications. Sadly, humility often leads others to trample on you and/or lose respect in your outlook. Such is, unfortunately, often the state of human nature.

I generally agree that it's very important to project strength in the implementation and enunciation of foreign policy goals. But I wasn't arguing that Bush needed to kowtow to Berlin and Paris. I was just arguing for a bit more of a realistic appraisal of where things stand in Iraq today and little doses of humility sprinkled through the speech. I don't think such an approach would have necessarily led to "renewed vigor" from Franco-German quarters to oppose the U.S. in its attempt to secure a new Iraq resolution. Regardless, nowhere did I mean to intimate Dubya needed to go in on bended knee.

Anyway, thanks to readers who wrote in. I appreciate the level headed feedback. And let the debate continue.

Posted by Gregory at September 24, 2003 05:49 PM
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