In relation to my post yesterday about Governor Blanco taking the blame, President Bush counteracted my theory by accepting responsibility himself. I am impressed. This is one more sign that he is a humble man and a balanced leader. Leaders take responsibility for organizational failures. (On that note, I again assert that Governor Blanco [a word that means "empty" or "white"] is a mediocre leader).
But, the news have been saying that President Bush admitted to "Blunders." Here are his exact words:
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong. I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm....
"One thing for certain; having been down there three times and have seen how hard people are working, I'm not going to defend the process going in, but I am going to defend the people who are on the front line of saving lives."
Bush openly admitted that we could have done better, and took responsibility for failures on his watch. That is courageous. He is also the first one asking what went wrong so we can fix it. That is leadership.
I'm personally annoyed that the media calls this "Admitting to Blunders" rather than simple good leadership. Maybe they don't know what good leadership looks like.
Even worse, the Media completely overlooked the other half of that meeting. At the same meeting, President Jalal Al-Talabani of Iraq said the following:
"Today, American and international presence in Iraq is vital. The American and international presence in Iraq is vital for democracy in Iraq and in the Middle East, and also for prevent foreign interference in the internal affairs of Iraq.
"We will set no timetable for withdrawal, Mr. President. A timetable will help the terrorists, will encourage them that they could defeat a superpower of the world and the Iraqi people. We hope that by the end of 2006, our security forces are up to the level of taking responsibility from many American troops with complete agreement with Americans. We don't want to do anything without the agreement with the Americans because we don't want to give any signal to the terrorists that our will to defeat them is weakened, or they can defeat us.
"We are proud that one day will come -- as soon as possible, of course, we hope -- that American troops can proudly return home, and we tell them, thank you, dear friends, and you are faithful to friendship. Of course, we are sorry for the sacrifices of American people in Iraq, but I think a great people like America has a mission in the history -- they have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of their sons in the war -- first world war, second world war, and in liberating people in Afghanistan, Kurdistan. And the great leader, Mr. George W. Bush is continuing the same mission of the American people. We are grateful. We are grateful for American generosity, and we honor -- we honor -- sacrifices of America in Iraq -- and everywhere, not only in Iraq."
(see link above)
The President of a free and independent Iraq stood in front of the medial and declared that "American and international presence in Iraq is vital." He also promised and hoped his country would be stable enough to leave soon.
President Talabani concluded with the following statement:
"To those in America, in other countries, still ask of war of liberation in Iraq, if it was right -- the right decision. I say, please, please, come to Iraq, to visit the mass graves, to see what happened to the Iraqi people, and to see what now is going on in Iraq. To those who talk of stability, I say, Saddam imposed the stability of the mass graves. To the terrorists, I say, you will never win; freedom will win in Iraq."
Did the media report on this statement? Were we excited to hear the President of Iraq stand up and thank us for our sacrifices? No... all we want to talk about is our President and his blunders.
That is all.