Monday, December 15, 2008

Respect Our President

News from Iraq is very disturbing. No, it is not the conduct of the war. President Bush recently made a quick trip there as his final visit before relinquishing the presidency. At a hastily called press conference, one of the Iraqi reporters threw his shoes at Bush. Fortunately Bush ducked in time to avoid injury.

I find such behavior appalling. Evidently the Iraqi press has not learned that in a democracy there are appropriate ways to express opposition to leaders. Violent action is not among them. The reporter should be reminded that under Saddam he would have lived only a short time after such an act. His life would have been spared only for purposes of sadistic torture.

Like George Bush or not, he is still President of the United States. From my perspective, in that office he is deserving of respect both as an individual and as representative of our grand republic. Certainly the Iraqis owe us that regardless of their view of the war. The same is true for those of us who disagree with his politics.

1 comment:

Bramblyspam said...

Are you perhaps aware that over a million Iraqis have died violent deaths, thanks to the U.S. invasion? And over four million more are refugees, out of a prewar population of 26 million? Granted, many of the dead were killed by terrorism, sectarian strife, or ordinary criminal elements, not by the U.S. military. The fact remains that these people would still be alive if we hadn't invaded - and this was a war of choice, not of necessity.

If someone launched an unnecessary war against us that resulted in over a million American deaths (or over 12 million if you figure the U.S. population is 12 times that of Iraq), nobody would expect any American to show the leader of the invaders any respect. Why should we expect Iraqis to react any differently?

Yes, this journalist would have been killed if he had tossed those shoes at Saddam. As is, he's been savagely beaten and may be jailed for years. Perhaps political discourse in Iraq is freer than before, but it's nowhere near what we'd call "free" in the United States.

Saddam was a brutal tyrant, and it's good that he's gone. As to whether deposing him was worth the cost in Iraqi lives, that's a question for Iraqis to answer.