President Bush, buffeted by unrelenting criticism at home over Iraq, on Monday saluted Mongolia's "fearless warriors" for helping his embattled effort to establish democracy in the heart of the Middle East.That's the first sentence of the AP report. I feel proud to see our President go to this remote place, to thank its people for standing with us in the war and to hearten them in the cause of freedom in their own country, where they have abandoned communism and adopted Western-style democracy. I'm disgusted that the editors saw fit to shoehorn the phrase "buffeted by unrelenting criticism at home over Iraq" into that sentence. The inability of news organizations to cover the President's trip without inserting commentary like that is embarrassing.
Being in Mongolia, Bush did some classic Mongolian things. He drank fermented mare's milk and listened throat singing. "He was greeted at the Government House by flower-toting children in traditional Mongolian robes and soldiers in bright red, blue and yellow overcoats." He met with the president, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, in a white tent -- a ger -- with "a red-and-yellow design on the roof and red wood doors."
Inside were red brocade chairs, tapestries, Oriental carpets and a towering, white statue of Genghis Khan, the legendary horseman-warrior and country founder whose empire once stretched as far south as Southeast Asia and west to Hungary.Beautiful. I note that the AP declines to shoehorn in any criticism of Khan.