Saturday, April 10, 2004

No tears for polls, thanks

Today's Kristof column has a gem of a thought:

It's not just that the Bush administration's arrogance and unilateralism have led Pakistanis to give Osama bin Laden a 65 percent favorable rating, compared with 7 percent for President Bush (the latest international polls from the Pew Research Center make you want to cry).

I can't help but think of everything that's going on in the world right now, Bush's low favorability rating isn't what's bringing tears to my eyes. But, hey, you gotta set your own priorities, you know?

Mr. Kristof takes another look at Spain and its post-3/11 elections. Some parts got to me:

Accusing Spain of bowing to terrorism has exacerbated the Spanish alienation from the U.S., for this is a country that has lost 900 people to Basque terrorism over the years — and that Al Qaeda recently pledged to turn into "an inferno."

"You never get used to going to cemeteries; you never get used to embracing a widow," says one senior government official. "No one can accuse us of trying to find a way out. It's not only unjust, it's irritating and infuriating."


Couldn't help but think, reading the start of the 2d graf, above, that Bush has found a way to get used to it. Or, rather, he's found a way not to have to get used to it, by never going to begin with.

As my Uncle José, who is profoundly pro-American, puts it sadly: "There's so much anti-Americanism now. That is Bush's achievement."

That's closer to something worth crying over.

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