31
Dez
2004

President Bush’s “Appropriate” Response

by Walter Brasch

On Sunday, Dec. 26, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with an effect of 1,000 miles from its epicenter in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra devastated 12 countries. Within hours, numerous countries and private social service agencies had begun massive relief operations. President George W. Bush, vacationing on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, made no public statements. His press office, however, released a 121-word press expressing the President’s “condolences,” and that the Bush Administration would provide all “appropriate assistance” to the affected nations. The statement did not directly quote the President. In contrast, German chancellor Gerhard Schröder cut short his vacation to return to Berlin. On Monday, Bush’s deputy press secretary indicated that Bush “received a special briefing” about the tragedy,” that the administration’s “thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering,” and that the U.S. “will be a leading partner” in relief operations. On Tuesday, the President bicycled and continued to clear brush from his ranch. He said nothing to the American public, to the media, or to the international community. However, the deputy press secretary did say that the President was “saddened and has extended his condolences for this terrible tragedy.” When challenged as to why the public silence, a White House official bluntly stated, “The President wanted to be fully briefed on our efforts. He didn’t want to make a symbolic statement about, ‘We feel your pain.’” It was an excuse for why the man who believes he is a “compassionate conservative” once again failed to speak out during yet another extended vacation.....

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Dec2004/Brasch1230.htm
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