Thursday, December 30, 2004

Dubious assumptions

Marc Cooper.
Somebody’s gonna have to explain this one to me. At staggering cost in blood and treasure, really mortgaging our economic future, we are engaged in what the President calls a Global War on Terrorism. . .

Yet, when an historic catastrophe, one of truly biblical proportions, strikes the biggest Islamic nation on earth (Indonesia), the leader of the richest and most powerful country has nothing substantial to say for 72 hours?
Cooper says more (including a reference to "hearts and minds") but this provides the gist of it.

My take is that even if Bush didn't handle this in the best way (an assertion I won't argue with), I find dubious the assumptions that (1) people in Indonesia (who are trying to deal with an extraordinary disaster) are at the same time anxiously waiting to hear from the President of the United States, (2) that despite the fact that they have more important things on their minds right now, a significant percentage of Indonesians would even know it if he had made an earlier statement, or (3) that anything Bush would have to say would win over any hearts and minds.

UPDATE: Colin Powell and Jeb Bush are going to Indonesia. (Via Joe Gandelman)