The good ol’ days

I heard a sound clip of Ronald Reagan on the radio this AM as I was getting ready and it really struck me as special. Reading his address after terrorist attacks in Lebanon he shows that he understands better the problem of terrorism than I think the current administration does. But what struck me more was the lack of hero-rhetoric in his statement:

I do not believe, therefore, that the local commanders on the ground, men who have already suffered quite enough, should be punished for not fully comprehending the nature of today’s terrorist threat. If there is to be blame, it properly rests here in this Office and with this President. And I accept responsibility for the bad as well as the good.

He knew it was his job to make sure the people around him were doing their jobs. And he knew this represented a failure on his part to recognize, evaluate and mitigate a new kind of risk. That seems like quite a contrast to todays “evildoers” and unilateral near-war-mongering. I can’t say if Bush really needed to do what he did, but he sure doesn’t sound like the humble public servant we heard in Reagan.