Al Gore has given us still more reasons he should not have been elected president of the United States. His poor judgment and flawed logic certainly do not smack of someone who was smart enough to invent, as he claimed, the Internet. We keep hearing how Gore is truly a brilliant man with a terrific mind, yet when he chooses to speak to crowds, what comes out tends to belie that.
Case in point: The ex-vice president recently spoke at the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia. He went out of his way in such company to bash the United States while supposedly trying to lay the groundwork for better relations between the free and the Islamic world. Gore's utterances infuriated a good many Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and declined to point out that the Saudis, too, should show more intent to defuse world problems.
Wrote Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel:
"Perhaps Gore, instead of slapping the U.S. for behaviors unbecoming a superpower, might have asked the Saudi monarchy to stop sponsoring terrorists. He might have asked them to stop funding Islamist schools that teach future terrorists that the U.S. is the Great Satan and that all Americans are infidels who need to be killed.
"That would be a nice start to our keeping open channels of friendship and mutual understanding. On the other hand, it would probably be considered bad manners to bring up terrorism : while a guest in the Host State. Better to bash the home boys, who can be counted upon to resist the urge to behead people with whom they disagree."
Gore declared that the United States committed terrible abuses against Arabs living in the U.S. after the 9-11 attacks and clearly strayed from the path of truth in so doing. Comments Parker:
"Terrible abuses? Gore apparently was referring to the detention of some 1,200 Arabs in the U.S. in the immediate wake of the 9-11 attacks. With a section of New York destroyed and the smell of burning human flesh still in the air, it seemed reasonable to try to prevent any more attacks. : I'm sure the government considered arresting as many elderly white women as possible, but opted for the politically risky alternative of detaining people of Arab descent whose papers didn't seem perfectly in order and who otherwise fit the description of the 9-11 attackers. Some of those detained, regrettably, were held for a time without being charged or without speedy access to legal representation."
Kathleen Parker's notion of what Gore should have said: "Of course, we're counting on you, good Saudis, to help us ensure that no such atrocity is committed ever again. We know you can't be held accountable for the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. We don't believe in indicting nations on the basis of a few bad actors. But we sure would appreciate it if you'd consider closing down those hideous schools that teach children to hate and kill."
Barbing the United States while talking among Americans is one thing; going to Jeddah for a paid speech and virtually begging his audience to be repelled by the United States while ignoring the blood baths the Saudis have unleashed is disgraceful. The United States should consider itself Gore-ed. This is the kind of leader we would want?