WiW: Notes from my readings

With less than one week before books are due back to the library, I’m in a frenzy trying to get several books finished up. The below is just a sampling of what I’ve been reading.

George W. Bush on the Iraq War prior to the 2006 “Surge”:

“For the first time, I was worried we might not succeed…Ultimately, our enemies could use [Iran’s] sanctuary to attack our homeland. We had to stop that from happening

I made a conscious decision to show resolve, not doubt, in public. I wanted the American people to understand that I believed wholeheartedly in our cause. The Iraqis needed to know we would not abandon them. Our enemies need to know we were determined to defeat them. Most of all, I thought about our troops. I tried to imagine how it would feel to be a twenty-year-old on the front lines, or a military mom worrying about her son or daughter. The last thing they needed to hear was the commander in chief whining about how conflicted he felt. If I had concerns about the direction of the war, I needed to make changes in the policy, not wallow in public.”

~George W. Bush in Decision Points

I’m not a George W. groupie by any stretch of the imagination. I certainly disagree with some (even many) of his policies. But I admire him greatly–and am immensely thankful that he was our leader during the years after 9/11.

Reading Decision Points has cemented my admiration of the 43rd president. Whatever I think about some of his policies, George W. Bush was a leader. He recognized that he could not sit idly by, waiting for someone else to do what he thought needed to be done. He took personal initiative, took personal responsibility, and took the harsh criticism that came with standing as a leader when many would have preferred a figure-head.

Tony Blair on success as an envoy to Palestine:

“The day he left Downing Street, Tony Blair accepted a post as special envoy to help the Palestinians build the institutions of a democratic state. It wasn’t glamorous work, but it was necessary. ‘If I win the Nobel Peace Prize,’ Tony joked, ‘you will know I have failed.”
~George W. Bush in Decision Points

Considering that Palestinian-peace-obstructing Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, I’d say Blair is probably right.

Arthur Koestler on American psychology:

“For the anthropomorphic view of the rat, American psychology substituted a rattomorphic view of man.”
~quoted in Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards

Pre-modern animism raised animals to have human (or godlike) attributes. Modern naturalism lowered humans to have merely animal attributes. Yet only Christianity can account for man’s wonderfulness and horridness.

Viola Trigiani on debt:

“There is no such thing as a silent partner. When you owe someone money, they own you.”
~Factory rules related in Adriana Trigiani’s Don’t Sing at the Table

A very Biblical sentiment. “The borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

The Week in WordsDon’t forget to take a look at Barbara H’s meme “The Week in Words”, where bloggers collect quotes they’ve read throughout the week.

1 thought on “WiW: Notes from my readings”

  1. Like you, I wouldn’t agree with everything Bush said or did, but there was much I did admire about him. I’m glad he was our president after 9/11, too.

    Your comment about animism vs. naturalism is quite thought-provoking! I had never really thought of it like that, but it is true — only Christianity can account for both sides of man.


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