[FOUNTAIN]Does Bush suffer sympathy shortage?

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[FOUNTAIN]Does Bush suffer sympathy shortage?

This is an incident from the years between 1994 and 2000, when the current U.S. President George W. Bush was Governor of Texas. At that time, temperatures were abnormally high and forest blazes were occurring frequently. Then governor Bush called a press conference, during which he invited an official from the Forest Service to the rostrum to explain how they were handling the disastrous situation. Mr. Bush then looked away. A reporter from the New York Times later wrote that governor Bush was making faces at reporters, such as puffing out his cheeks, sticking his tongue out and puffing out his breath, while the government official was talking.
While attending an event in Florida three months after the September 11 attack in 2001, President Bush was asked, “What was your reaction when you were informed of the terror attack?” His answer was a masterpiece. “I was at a school in Florida talking about the importance of reading. And I saw an airplane crashing into a building on television. Since I have piloting experience, I said, ‘Wow, how could they fly so bad.’ When no one laughed at my joke, I realized that I had made a mistake. So I said, ‘This is a serious incident.’”
Later, near the end of that year President Bush said, “This year was a wonderful one for me and Laura.” It was as if he had already forgotten the September 11 terrorism attack. That’s, I guess, why President Bush has revealed his insensitivity and insensibility about Hurricane Katrina. He only visited the storm-ravaged areas of flooding near the Gulf of Mexico four days after the hurricane had hit the city. Even then, however, he looked around the scene absent-mindedly as if undertaking a task for an uncle-in-law. When the flood victims said, “We need some clothes,” President Bush responded as if the issue was not of his concern, saying, “Go ask the Salvation Army.” For several years there have been reports warning that the New Orleans levees could break but President Bush calmly said, “I never knew it would happen.”
Professor Mark Crispin Miller, of the New York University department of culture and communication, has said President Bush has a speech impediment. He has frequently said such things as “We need a law stimulating energy consumption.” In this comment President Bush mistakenly used consumption instead of conservation. However, by watching him confront the crisis the nation is facing right now, it seems that he might have a “sympathy disorder.” It seems he does not have a heart large enough to embrace the people who are suffering. Having a broad-minded leader is not an easy thing for either Korea or America.

by Lee Sang-il

The writer is a deputy international news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.
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