still sorry…

Posted on Tuesday 30 September 2008

America Loses Its Dominant Economic Role

The banking crisis is upending American dominance of the financial markets and world politics. The industrialized countries are sliding into recession, the era of turbo-capitalism is coming to an end and US military might is ebbing. Still, this is no time to gloat.

There are days when all it takes is a single speech to illustrate the decline of a world power. A face can speak volumes, as can the speaker’s tone of voice, the speech itself or the audience’s reaction. Kings and queens have clung to the past before and humiliated themselves in public, but this time it was merely a United States president.

Or what is left of him.


George W. Bush has grown old, erratic and rosy in the eight years of his presidency. Little remains of his combativeness or his enthusiasm for physical fitness. On this sunny Tuesday morning in New York, even his hair seemed messy and unkempt, his blue suit a little baggy around the shoulders, as Bush stepped onto the stage, for the eighth time, at the United Nations General Assembly.

He talked about terrorism and terrorist regimes, and about governments that allegedly support terror. He failed to notice that the delegates sitting in front of and below him were shaking their heads, smiling and whispering, or if he did notice, he was no longer capable of reacting. The US president gave a speech similar to the ones he gave in 2004 and 2007, mentioning the word "terror" 32 times in 22 minutes. At the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations, George W. Bush was the only one still talking about terror and not about the topic that currently has the rest of the world’s attention.

"Absurd, absurd, absurd," said one German diplomat. A French woman called him "yesterday’s man" over coffee on the East River. There is another way to put it, too: Bush was a laughing stock in the gray corridors of the UN
I don’t feel sad about this. I don’t even feel ashamed. He’s so distanced himself from the America I grew up in and love that I feel allied with the people laughing at him. The only reason I’m not laughing with them is that it’s my country that he’s mis-represented and abused. I was thinking about that website somebody put up after the 2004 election, "Sorry Everbody." Thousands of Americans sent in pictures holding signs of apology to the rest of the world [for re-electing him].

daughter Abby

We’re still sorry. So…
    October 1, 2008 | 9:54 AM
    October 1, 2008 | 10:03 AM

    […] Dad blogged about this today. It was back during the “Sorry, Everybody” many Americans sent to the world after the last election. I’m still sorry, too. It actually turned out WORSE than I had imagined it would. Looking back, the Democratic candidate wasn’t anything to get excited about, but that last election (selection) was a MESS. Let’s hope there’s no “selection” this time and that it’s a landslide. It deserves to be. Barack Obama is the strongest candidate I’ve seen in my lifetime. He knows how to reach across the table of division, how to look opposition in the eye and see them as a person who deserves respect. That matters to me. Share and Enjoy: […]

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