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What a Brave President Would Do
Reflections September 4, 2002jsc

   The World Summit meeting in South Africa to discuss the health of our planet ended today with President Bush choosing not to attend. His absence was noticed. In his stead he sent the increasingly marginalized great patriot and statesman Colin Powell to take the heat of the day.

   The world booed in displeasure. If the President had gone, the jeering would have increased a hundredfold. In the year since 9/11 he has lost the confidence of the world. What a public-relations nightmare for the most powerful man in the world, supposedly a champion of what is right, to be chastised by the majority of humanity. Our enemy sees the growing global animosity and takes heart in what it sees. Like Osama bin Laden, George Bush hides from the world. While the world began to march in support of peace, they planned for war.

   A brave President would have gone to South Africa with a bold new vision for a generous new order grounded in the rule of law, a humanity freed from gross poverty and grievous injustice, the sources of so much of the rage that feeds terrorism. Jeers would have turned to cheers, our enemy would have been stunned, and the first steps to a world free from terrorism would have been taken. Rule of Law will starve those who want world war. Terrorism can be outlawed, but it will never be defeated. George Bush missed another opportunity for greatness.

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