"My pet goat"


!"My pet goat" has reconciled WAISers of diametrically opposite political views. Dwight Peterson writes:"John Heelan's defence of President Bush's behavior in the elementary classroom reading after the WTC disaster is clear evidence that human decency and rational thought are not the sole province of any particular political persuasion".

Even detractors of President Bush defend his not allowing the 9/11 attack to interrupt the reading of "My pet goat". Jim Tent writes: "I find it most peculiar to find myself in the position of defending George W. Bush. However, such an act does show commendable restraint and sang froid under extreme stress. When I first got word of what was happening, I was stupefied (and fortunately all alone in my own house). We might recall that back in 1990-91, the build-up to Desert Storm brought with it rumors of impending terrorist attacks. Consequently terrorist alerts took place on a wide scale. In this context, a notice went up at Eton, the UK's highly prestigious public school. If a threat of terrorist attack were to be raised on school grounds, the school's instructions were unequivocal: "Boys are to continue games." Apparently "W" did something equivalent in that Florida elementary school classroom".

Paul Krugman criticized Bush for reading "My Pet Goat" in an elementary classroom for 7 minutes after news of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center. Surprisingly, John Heelan defends Bush: "Although no advocate of the Bush Administration, I think that he is being treated unfairly over his continuing to read in a primary school classroom after learning about 9/11. He did the first thing every leader d<oes whenever disaster strikes- don't panic, project calm and control and monitor but don't interfere in processes you have already set up and practised for such an emergency. Let your people do their job, they are better at it than you are. Would it have been preferable for him to rush out immediately, not only instigating panic but also disappointing the children to whom the visit was probably the highlight of their lives? Castigate Bush for other things, but admire his immediate self-control s after learning about the 9/11 tragedy".

Ronald Hilton -


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