At what point in the history of the American republic, I wonder, did it become incumbent on its leaders to talk about their feelings in public—presumably as a way of signifying authenticity? In The New York Times last month we read that, in response to the news of a bomb that killed seven students, five of them Americans, in the Frank Sinatra Student Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, “President Bush expressed his anger,” saying: “I am just as angry as Israel is. I am furious.” Not that he could have felt any other way. The next day, the report was amplified: “I’m furious that innocent life is lost. However, through my fury, even though I am mad, I still believe peace is possible.” No point in getting too angry—as angry as Israel is, say, where they increasingly believe that peace is not possible.

But was Israel angry? That he could take for...

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now