Bush’s Problems with National [sic] Building

Ah, another day, another stupid letter-to-the-editor in The New York Times. Or so, dear reader, it often seems. If you ask us, nary a 24-hour time span goes by without our taking in a dunderheaded missive in the Gray Lady.

Take, for example, the Friday, October 26 number of the self-proclaimed Paper of Record. It contains the following delightful epistle:

To the Editor:

In his Oct. 24 speech, President Bush reiterated over and over again that the Cuban people can count on the United States to assist their transition to democracy and the rebuilding of their society. But as they look at the still devastated Gulf Coast, and at the bloody, smoldering ruins in Iraq, where we haven’t even been able to get lights and water back on, why would they have any confidence in President Bush’s assurances?

The cold fact is that under President Bush, the United States’ reputation for national [sic] building has reached an all-time low.

Wayne S. Smith
Washington, Oct. 25, 2007

The writer, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, was chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana, 1979-82

Well, gee: We suppose we ought to defend President Bush from the slings and arrows of this outrageous think-tanker. First, we hardly need mention that President Bush won’t be in office too much longer. Accordingly, unless Fidel Castro is sicker than seems to be the case (and his brother magically disappears from the scene), it is unlikely that President Bush will be around to offer help with Cuba’s “national building.”

Further, we should stress the fact that Wayne S. Smith’s reading of the situations in the Gulf Coast and Iraq are so strident as to be willfully tendentious. Sure, there are problems in Biloxi and Baghdad, but we don’t think their inhabitants are all rubbing sticks together to start fires.

And then we must mention that Mr. Smith’s piece demonstrates rather slipshod logic. According to him, President Bush has a bad record with nation building; thus he should not extend any offer of help to Cubans aiming to rebuild their Communist hellhole.

As far as Mr. Smith is concerned, if President Bush were more of a humanitarian, he would probably say something like: “Boy, Cubans, I’d really love to help you. But, since all the casinos aren’t back in business yet on the coast of Mississippi, it’s clear that I can’t offer any useful aid. So enjoy your totalitarian nightmare for another few generations.”

We bet that would impress Mr. Smith.

(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently wondering where Wayne S. Smith would rather live–in the nightmare of Biloxi or the well-governed wonders of rural Cuba.)

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