Bush v. Obama: The definition of hubris

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From an email I received a while back (and I’m sure it has been going around):

This message may be the best example of the narcissist, self-centered behavior of the current resident of the Oval Office. I can’t imagine a better illustration of why we are currently in such a critical national crisis of confidence in our elected leaders. It has absolutely nothing to do with race but everything to do with leadership and performance.

George W. Bush speech after capture of Saddam Hussein:

The success of yesterday’s mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.

The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.

Barack Hussein Obama speech, Sunday, May 1, 2011:

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as I continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan . And finally, last week, I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Note:

Hubris (ˈhjuːbris), also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

 

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