Something to be said for taking it on the chin
Today's WSJ Best of the Web publishes an interesting reader question:
Reader Daniel Blanchard offers this comment:That is indeed an interesting question. If Bush had scored huge political capital, and Halliburton had actually made money, and gasoline prices had plummeted to lows not seen since the 1970s, it would have been easy for the street to have written Bush off as another American opportunist. Bush, however, has stayed the course, despite the baying hounds and the abysmal poll numbers; he's stayed the course despite the vicious personal attacks; he's stayed the course despite the fact that half the Western world has turned against him. This is a man willing to sacrifice himself for his beliefs, and maybe that does increase is street credibility. It's certainly something to think about. I'll share with you now Taranto's caption to this letter: "Are Idiots Actually Useful?"Since 2002 I have been engaged in many a discussion about Iraq and the war, both leading up to and the aftermath of our nation's decision to free 25 million Iraqis from Saddam Hussein. Initially there was a lot of flack from the "Arab street" about the U.S.'s intentions in Iraq. There was a lot of the normal "war for oil" rhetoric and such. What's bizarre as of late is that, as the U.S. antiwar movement has gotten all worked up like angry, vibrating little Chihuahuas about what we have going on over there, the "Arab street" has gotten very quiet on the subject. In fact I have seen several interviews with Iraqis and other Arabs who are downright complimentary to the U.S. operations in Iraq. Then the other day we saw that over 70% or Iraqis actually feel their lives are better now than three years ago. My thought is this: If the Angry Left hadn't been so vocal and so vociferous, would the Iraqis and other Arabs have been as trusting of our actions? Certainly their media show them the Cindy Sheehans, and the John Kerrys, and the rest of that contemptuous bunch. Does the left's anger add credence to President's Bush's word and actions? Is it possible that the "Arab street" recognized the Bush is paying a political price to do the right thing, and thus, on board with it? Or even if they aren't on board, would there be more outcry over there, if it weren't so loud over here?