Saturday, January 01, 2005

Criticizing Bush and Annan

For those who didn't see the December 30 UN press conference, this is a question put to Secretary General Kofi Annan and his response:

Reporter: Mr. Secretary, ...I think a lot of people are asking exactly why you waited three days on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before you decided to fly back to New York in the face of this extraordinary crisis. Could you give us a full explanation of your thinking on that? Secondly, what kind of signal does that 72-hour delay send to the nations to which you are now appealing for greater help?

Kofi Annan: First of all, there was action. It wasn't inaction. We live in a world where you can operate from wherever you are. You know the world we live in now. You don't have to be physically here to be dealing with the leaders and the Governments I have been dealing with. You don't have to be physically here to be discussing with some of the agencies that we have done.

I came back here because we have reached a level that I wanted to have meetings with all the people that I have met with today. So, we have taken action. And I don't have to be sitting in my office to take action. I think the same goes for you in your profession.

Not only is the answer correct, it's so obvious that the question didn't need to be asked. How quickly Annan or Bush left their vacation locations to deal with the disaster is a controversy created by the media, which then keeps it going. Annan has the information and communications to do his job wherever he is; that's true for Bush many times over.

If you have some spare time, take a look at how the left-wing media, such as the New York Times, handled this "issue," then check the right-wing media, such as the Washington Times. I have to say, the lefties were bashing Bush almost immediately, and the righties brought up Annan's absence in defense of Bush.

There's an interesting Australian column also linked on Drudge that talks about the impulse in some quarters to attack the U.S. and President Bush, no matter what the context.

As that great philosopher, Rodney King, once asked: Why can't we all just get along?


Blogger Gindy said...

I am surprised that I haven't seen this yet. Great find.

1:17 PM, January 01, 2005  
Blogger RomanWanderer said...

I'm sick of the pettiness. The media caters to the general public by creating a fuss over non-existent matters.

5:05 PM, January 01, 2005  
Blogger Craig said...

I seem to recall that Koizumi's predecessor as PM in Japan made the unforgivable error of cutting a round of golf short by nine holes instead of eleven when he heard the news that a Japanese fishing boat might have damaged an American submarine. It cost him his job, but then I suppose that was before 9-11 when everything changed, including our definition of tragedy. Acts of terror or acts of God seem to require more deliberation than acts where negligence or incompetence might be involved.

7:29 AM, March 16, 2005  

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