The Corner

Knowing a Good Man When You See One

The Dalai Lama has been visiting the Boston area, and I’d like to mention a few reports. First, a note from an NRO reader:

Hi, Jay,

I had the great opportunity to see the Dalai Lama speak at MIT this afternoon. When he opened the forum to audience Q&A, the following stunning exchange occurred (I will paraphrase):

Audience member: “Can you give us an example of a leader we should look up to as a positive influence?”

Dalai Lama (after thinking for a few seconds): “President Bush. I met him personally and liked him very much. He was honest and straightforward, and that is very important. I may not have agreed with all his policies, but I thought he was very honest and a very good leader.”

All this in Cambridge . . .

Incidentally, when he said, “I may not have agreed with all his policies,” the audience broke out into relieved laughter, as if they could not believe that someone — the Dalai Lama — almost made it through remarks about Bush with only positive sentiments.

And here is an item from The Tech, an MIT newspaper: 

After his speech, the Dalai Lama answered questions, including one about model leaders. He singled out President George W. Bush for his straightforwardness, but stopped short on complimenting him for much else.

“I love him”, said the Dalai Lama of President Bush, “but as far as his policies are concerned, I have reservations.”

Full article, here. (Is it MIT policy to leave commas outside of quotation marks, British-style?) And here is something from the Boston Globe: “. . . the Dalai Lama said, referring to former President George W. Bush, ‘I love President Bush,’ acknowledging serious policy disagreements, but citing Bush’s warm personality.” (Full article.)

Finally, a blogger, whom Google brought up: 

. . . he came out and told people he and Bush instantly hit it off and he loved the warmonger. He said he would withhold judgment on the attack of Iraq. He also said he supported Bush’s “war on terror” because, according to him, some humans are just inherently evil, referring to the Muslim “extremists” Bush branded for the kill. Bush is evil but the Dalai Lama proclaimed he loved him. The Dalai Lama is no Buddist.

(Full piece here.)

In my experience — and I’m just generalizing here — the better the person, the more positive he is about George W. Bush. Certainly the less snarky and narrow. Most of the people I admire most, admire the 43rd president. (Please note that I said “most of the people,” not “all of the people.”) This is particularly true of those who know something about tyranny, and the need to resist it: e.g., the Dalai Lama.

Anyway . . .

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