Jewish World Review March 18, 2003 / 14 Adar II, 5763

Lou Dobbs

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Bush critics offer little more than hyperbole | Criticizing presidents is an age-old national pastime, and I'm an occasional participant myself. But in the last few months, criticism of the Bush administration has moved from pastime to overtime.

Everyone from liberal columnists to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is making so much negative noise about the president's policies, one might think this White House is filled with complete morons who are incapable of rational thought. Or that it's totally lacking in sincerity, or that it's absolutely ignorant of both history and our national interests. Call it a coalition of the willfully critical.

Kofi Annan's recent remarks have been far more critical of the president than of Saddam Hussein. And Annan has warned President Bush that U.S. military action against Iraq without Security Council approval would be illegitimate. The secretary general is, in my opinion, a little confused. It's the legitimacy of the United Nations that's now at stake. Kofi Annan couldn't have been happy about the latest New York Times/CBS News poll showing that 58 percent of those surveyed believe the United Nations is doing a poor job on the issue of Iraq.

And there are a host of other issues that the United Nations is confused about. For example, the United Nations next week is scheduled to turn over control of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to Libya. That's right, Libya. And until a month ago, Iraq was scheduled to take over control of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. That's right, the same Iraq that has refused U.N. demands to disarm for more than a decade.

If Kofi Annan thinks Americans are ready to put our safety at risk and turn over the leadership of this country to France, Germany, Cameroon or Syria, the United Nations has as tenuous a grip on reality as it does on a current claim of relevance.

We reasonably expect Democrats to criticize Republican policies, particularly when those critics originate from hopeful contenders for the party's nomination in 2004. At a campaign fundraiser last week, Senator John Kerry called the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq situation "some of the weakest diplomacy that we've ever seen."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, recently said, "I believe most sincerely that one of the motivating factors involved in this effort to strike against Iraq is the desire on the part of some to be able to control the oil interests in Iraq. I believe that."

Obviously, Kucinich hasn't consulted closely with fellow Rep. James Moran, D-Va., who has come up with an offensive and asinine charge. Said Moran, "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this."

By my count, editorials in the New York Times about Bush's handling of Iraq have been overwhelmingly negative since the beginning of the year. The thought leaders writing those editorials aren't being incredibly effective if we believe the Times' own poll, which shows that 55 percent would back an American attack of Iraq, even without the support of the U.N. Security Council.

The Times, which has looked down its sophisticated nose at a president it charges with oversimplification of foreign policy, proudly carried the column of Maureen Dowd, who wrote: "Just when you thought it couldn't get more Strangelovian, it does. The Bush bullies, having driven off all of the other kids in the international schoolyard, are now resorting to imaginary friends."

The White House must be grateful for that complex imagery and analysis, which can surely help raise its foreign policy to a higher level - one that I'm sure will meet the lofty standards of the Times' editorialists and columnists.

It kind of makes you proud, doesn't it?

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Lou Dobbs is the anchor and managing editor of CNN's "Lou Dobbs Moneyline." Comment by clicking here.

03/11/03: Geopolitical visibility
03/04/03: Freedom: Our best export
02/27/03: Guns, butter and greasing the way
02/18/03: Looking for a silver lining
02/10/03: Space program remains a valuable investment
02/04/03: Hi pal, come back
01/28/03: Bush address a chance to bolster confidence
01/22/03: Here we go again!
01/14/03: Bush's bold bid
01/07/03: The only thing certain is uncertainty
12/30/02: No need to be so negative as new year approaches
12/23/02: NY's AG deserves credit for settlement
12/18/02: Critics of Bush nominees should tone down rhetoric
12/09/02: A lot rides on prez's Treasury pick
12/04/02: A fast fix for corporate credibility?
11/26/02: Urge to merge is hard to resist
11/19/02: Are we really so bad off?
11/12/02: Bush's lucky week bodes well for recovery
11/05/02: Wall Street firms treat investors as fools
10/29/02: Earnings estimates offer some hope
10/22/02: Economy's strength tied to national security
10/17/02: Harvey Pitt, get real!
10/08/02:Are we experiencing the fall before the rise?
10/01/02: Concerns about earnings are justified
09/24/02: Business leaders must abandon stall tactics
09/17/02: Wall Street's reality check
09/12/02: There's no better time for leaders to show resolve


© 2002, TMS