‘The Leader’

BBCUrdu.com reports that Federal Ministry of Education has included a poem ‘The Leader’ in 11th grade’s books that points to none other than George W. Bush. This poem in the English book, though, does not mention the American president directly but if you read the first letter of every verse, it actually makes PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH:

Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to meet every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real.

Isn’t afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn’t conform to the usual mold,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight wont do,
Never back down when he sees what is true,
Tell it all straight, and means it all too.

Going forward and knowing he’s right,
Even when doubted for why he would fight,
Over and over he makes his case clear
Reaching to touch the ones who won’t hear.

Growing in strength, he won’t be unnerved
Ever assuring he’ll stand by his word.

Wanting the world to join his firm stand,
Bracing for war, but praying for peace,
Using his power so evil cease,
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must.

The surprising part is the admission of a Government spokesman about the poem. To me, this doesn’t come as a shock, after numerous promises from the Government to revise the curriculum on modern lines. But there’s a thin border line between sticking to the roots with sovereignty and going over-board to teach our children mindless crap just to please the head of the super power. I beg to differ.

36 Comments so far

  1. smudgestick (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2005 @ 1:07 pm
  2. Ali Khan (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    God! I cant believe it!
    Where is Musharraf claiming ‘we dont succumb to US’s each and every demand’. Liar!


  3. Bob Gardner (unregistered) on December 5th, 2005 @ 7:52 pm

    Musharraf does not succumb to anyone but the people of Pakistan. To indicate otherwise demonstrates a lack of understanding and intelligence. The poem, “The Leader” could very well describe Musharraf. Most truly great leaders have the qualities expressed in “The Leader”. That the first letter of each line should spell out President George W Bush is simply symbolic of the author’s respect and means nothing more. History will record Musharraf as a giant among “leaders”. The Muslim world should be proud of this great man. The people of Pakistan should be united in support of his leadership. The United States and Pakistan have a bond that cannot be broken by insurgents and liberal radicals.


  4. saad (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 5:33 am

    Well, this is quite a good poem, and it shouldnt be a problem for our students… Forgetting about a single trick by the author, the message in the poem about traits of a true leader are general, and can be applied to anyone, including our Quaid. To attribute it to just Bush would be narrowmindedness and making a mountain out of a mole hill…


  5. Omer Opee (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 9:08 am

    Saad, I second your judgement. Bless u.


  6. Aitzaz (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:01 am

    for how many years more will we remain in the darkness of hatered for all the other nations. We have just seen during earthquake compaigns that people from all regions got up to help the mankind forgetting the religious and geographical differences. We must start honouring all. there is nothing wrong if we teach our students that how a poet showed respect for his leader. actually we make our students crammer but not the analyst. because if they are analyst then there is no harm to sing banday mataramm even.


  7. Reno Republican (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 8:37 pm

    A refreshing word away from the liberal Bush bashing US media.


  8. Kris Langley (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 9:47 pm

    I don’t know why everyone is in such an uproar. This poem is terrible. It looks like a 6th grade project. How it ended up in an educational textbook is beyond me, unless it was an example of horrible poetry.


  9. Dave (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:15 pm

    Let’s be clear on two things. First, this is a terrible poem. The only excuse for it’s existence is if it was written by a child, in which case I would say that it is clever. As to whether it should be included in a textbook… that depends on why it was included and what is being taught. It does illustrate a basic poetic technique, and it is quite accessable. So why not let kids read it? And if they dissagree with it, let them say so. I do. I think Bush is one of the all time worst presidents in history. And thank God I live in a free society where I am allowed to say so.
    Second point: The poem is not about ANY leader; it is about GWB and ONLY GWB. Let’s not be stupid on purpose here, folks. It’s spelled out!


  10. Patricia (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

    Spelling out a word or phrase (MOTHER, LOVE, etc.) using the first letters of each line in a poem is a reasonably common poetic device in English, although the results are generally abysmal. They are the sorts of things found in greeting cards or as grade school assignments. Being able to keep up a rhyme scheme along with the device is a bit more technically challenging. “The Leader” is as good an example of this type of poetry as I’ve seen, which is probably why it was chosen by the compilers in the first place. It’s not wonderful, but it’s better than most of it’s ilk, and it makes a good example of a particular type of poem. The political ramifications of it’s inclusion are unfortunate, however. I certainly wouldn’t want a poem lavishly praising some other country’s current leader appearing in my child’s textbook, at least not without considerable classroom discussion of the issues raised, and I can readily understand other parents’ feelings in this matter.


  11. Persephone (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:31 pm

    As an American citizen, I am disgusted by this poem. It makes Bush out to be some knid of steel-eyed fascist warrior and while he may be a fascist, the man is a total moron. He’s so stupid and violent that it scares me. He’s like a rhino out of control – a big dumb beast running wild with enough clout to cause some serious damage. This president is taking over smaller countries whose ideologies don’t match his and here at home, is pushing to teach the children that evolution is a guess – that there is no difference between science and religion.
    This country keeps getting stranger and am glad that the children of Pakistan don’t have to eat the tripe that’s being fed into the minds of schoolkids here. I hope that history will be objective enough to see this “Leader” for what he was – a terror.


  12. anon (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:34 pm

    probably the source …
    not surprising to see Florida …
    check out the related questions …

    Mrs. Forness


  13. Hauser (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 11:57 pm

    As a teacher, let me first say that acrostic poems – which this is one – are one of the most elementary forms of poetry, and generally not very good examples of true poetry. This one is not much better than some I’ve seen from 5th graders, although they don’t understand politics, thank goodness! Now, anyone who says that this was a poem about leaders in general and not just George Bush is being ridiculous! Are you trying to kid yourselves, or do you think we are all that ignorant? The author even uses Bush’s own words – “Bracing for war”, “Never back down”, and of course Bush’s favorite catchy word, “Evil”.
    Anyway, I see no harm in high-schoolers reading this poem especially if it is used as a controversial piece to start a good discussion or an opinion paper. That is the nice thing about a free country, we should be free to read what we want (or not read what we don’t want) and be able to express our opinions. I don’t agree with a word this author says, (Bush is an idiot) but would defend to the death his right to say it. (Oh, and I DID steal that quote if you don’t recognize it! Except for the idiot part!)


  14. Justme (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 12:10 am

    This poem is some of the worst tripe I’ve had the misfortune to read. That such a thing is a tribute to GWB is, frankly, quite fitting. It describes him pretty well: he’s right, he’s charging forward with his agenda and message, and for those who disagree with him may the devil take the hindmost.

    That this vomitus appears in a textbook at all is distressing, never mind the unfortunate political ramifications in Pakistan and elsewhere.


  15. Michelle (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 12:35 am

    I completely agree with Dave. Bush is by far the worst president in my lifetime. If my family survives his administration without starving to death it will be a miracle. The only useful purpose for this poem is to spur discussion, which it has because it most certainly does NOT describe GWB’s personal traits.


  16. a vet (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 1:18 am

    Propaganda. Add this crap to the dare program and voila! A whole new and improved generation of mindless consumers that believe anything their leader tells them!

    Just remember –Hitler had his ministers add the SAME crap to German school books in the 30’s and 40’s!

    And don’t be silly. EVERYONE knows science and evolution are the same! Just ask Dr. So-and-so on the Daily Show! You can trust him America –he’s got a Phd!


  17. charles (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 1:48 am

    Doesn’t anybody else think the poem is horrible for reasons beyond the political message? It sounds like it was written by a mildly retarded first grader. Even if Bush was the greatest man alive it still sucks as poetry.


  18. Colleen (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 1:51 am

    Propaganda. I would suspect Bush, who is NOT my president, wrote it himself had I not already concluded he hasn’t the aptitude to create even this rubbish. He is the only one who will believe it without question. Anyone claiming to believe this poem contains a shred of truth to it is lying, either for personal gain or for personal safety. I am an American. I am actively doing my best to restore the Constitution to its proper place in our government. This means elimination all of its enemies, foreign or domestic, from the power to destroy it. We have failed to protect it and must strive to restore it because of this failure. The world has gone mad in general. It is horrific. Anyone wanting to help restore the constitution can join. It is the American’s obligation to those who died for it to exist in the first place. Interested? go to http://www.iotc and learn our constitution and what we have lost. LOST.


  19. Justin (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 2:00 am

    My comment is directed towards “a vet” whose comparison of George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler is utterly ridiculous. I’m pretty sure that Bush never exterminated 11 million people of a single religious, social, or economic background as Hitler did. Maybe you should pull your head out of the left wing, liberal mumbo jumbo it is stuck in and try to say something of significance and at least some intelligence.


  20. Hauser (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 2:24 am

    Colleen, have you ever heard Bush speak? I highly doubt he could write even a “roses are red” poem much less use all of these big words! Now I wouldn’t be suprised if one of his staff members wrote the poem. The real question is: Can George actually read it and understand it?


  21. WorriedAmerican (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 3:00 am

    Folks, he is none of those things! Waste no time getting it out of your kids textbooks.

    A worried American!


  22. AmericanWoman (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 6:28 am

    I understand that people have a right to say what they want about who they want, and although I dont agree with a lot of the things that happen in our governments these days, I still have respect for our forefathers that wrote the original constitution and those that sit in our government seats. It’s a shame that the preamble isnt taken to heart that all men are created equal. I truely believe that if a woman was in the presidential seat of all countries, there would be a change in a lot of things, domestic, foriegn, economically, etc… I am an American Woman. I am proud to be from this country. I stand up for the red white and blue. I believe that one day all men and women will see that in order to make this world work the way it was intended, we all have to work together and stop thinking hateful thoughts, stop being ignorant about other people, stop being prejudice, and start a new beginning. We all pray for peace, and it’s a shame that we think there must be war in order to achieve it.


  23. AmericanWoman (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 6:42 am

    Did I mention that I served in the gulf and in Afghanistan? USAF. And NO not from behind a desk.I know what women can do in the military, I’d like to see what they can do in the White House.


  24. Some Random Person (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 9:12 am

    As far as I can see, there really is nothing “wrong” with including this poem in an English text book. It makes observations about what leadership should look like and happens to imply that the author believes that President Bush is a real leader.

    I won’t even contend that he isn’t. He has done a great job of guiding the United States durring his presidency. My only concern is where it is that he is guiding us. (though at least he’s honest about it, which is more then can be said of most people)


  25. James (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

    There is absolutly nothing wrong with this poem. What this poem shows is their creative nature and the support of the Comander In Cheif. I will copy and cherish this poem. For the rest of my life. You will see that George W. Bush will be seen as one of the U.S.A “s Best Presidents. I wish that he could remain President Until All of His Goals are met!! I hope Mr. Cheney Changes His Mind and Runs For President. I hav great admiration for this ADMINISTRATION! AND I AM PROUD OF IT!!


  26. God Help Us ALL (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 7:43 pm

    James are you insane, what propaganda train are you running on? He (GWB) is singlehandedly destroying this country. HE (GWB) is the biggest threat to this country and the terrorist we should all fear. Look around you, not at the propaganda media which is shoved down our throats each day or the lame speaches he makes daily.

    Never has a president had to spin his own lies to make himself believe what he is saying or being told to say. To say it over and over and over again, is a brainwashing technique. If you hear it often enough maybe you will believe it to be the truth. It appears to be working on you.


  27. edgarandom (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 8:36 pm

    dear help-us-all, bush is not destroying the country. stupid liberals like you are the ones destroying this country. bush is doing a good job. imagine if kerry were president. that would be terrible. all the boys would be kissing each other while terrorists bombed every major u.s. city left and right and he did nothing about it. shut up stupid liberals.


  28. Okiryu (unregistered) on December 8th, 2005 @ 5:58 pm

    Oh man, that was funny! :) I can’t believe they caught that, it would have probably slipped by me too if someone hadn’t have told me what it spelled out. I think that this poem will go down in history, at least in the U.S.
    But if I was in Pakistan I might be a little offended, however. I might think that I was trying to be brainwashed by the U.S. government. Personally, I think it was probably an accident that they didn’t catch it. And if they did, the U.S. should be more sensitive to other countries’ politics.
    But it is a pretty good poem overall, and kind of funny at the same time.


  29. Shane (unregistered) on December 8th, 2005 @ 10:59 pm

    I think its out of place to be putting in a text book. I wouldn’t even want it in an english book in the U.S. I’m not detracting from Mr. Bush, I’m just saying that having prose laud qualities in text books to him is too much like something you’d expect in a Sadaam Hussein text. If at all, it should be done after the man has left power. Having children give tributes to men/women in power when they have no clue what it means is offensive to me.


  30. Hauser (unregistered) on December 9th, 2005 @ 2:40 am

    edgarandom, I can’t believe you even brought “kissing boys” into this discussion. It just shows how ignorant homophobic-bigots like yourself really are. And don’t even attempt to claim that you aren’t a bigot – your remark made it very obvious.
    I am not homosexual but have called a few (both men and women) friends in my day. They were some of the nicest, most tolerant, educated people I have known. I would have stood behind them to lead this country any day.
    They celebrated people’s differences. I doubt you are capable of the same.
    It isn’t kissing boys that could possibly ruin this country in the future. It is close minded red-necks like yourself.

    Oh, and maybe if Kerry had been in command, 911 wouldn’t have happend. It may be an unprobable theory, but it is possible. Has that “fresh idea” ever crossed YOUR mind?


  31. Sean (unregistered) on December 10th, 2005 @ 1:12 am

    egad this is scary!

    It doesnt matter if you like W or not. This “poem” is clearly writen with a strong possitive viewpoint of GWB. Therefore it is politically bias and has no place in a school book in any country where true freedom is valued. This is nothing more than propaganda, pure and simple.


  32. Sean (unregistered) on December 10th, 2005 @ 2:08 am

    Oh…one more thought…

    Historically, in this country it takes a minimum of 40 years for the truth to come out of scandal. The reason is because there can’t be anyone at the top still living. Once everyone dies off of old age, the US government declassifies all the documents and we can learn the truth. The problem is by then no one cares. However we can learn from our history. The US has quite a corrupt and violent history. Anyone remember the Guatemala banana cover-up of the early 50s Eisenhower administration and the US firm United Fruit? We used the guise of communism to uproot a democratically elected administration who’s only crime was making labor unions in his own country and giving back the land to the people so they could earn a fair wage. Labor unions are the stuff of legendary freedom in the US but not in a 3rd world where the success of a labor union would effect the price of one of America’s goodies. Anyway, as you could have guested, the price of bananas went up $.03 per lb so we sent in the Marines, ousted the best president the Guatemalans ever had and crowned a dictator who’s administration was responsible for over 150,000 political murders over his administration. We also sent in 10 news reporters to cover the story. Call them “embedded” if you will. Well one of them actually wanted to report the truth so they stuck his butt on a plane and flew him to Mexico City some 1,200 miles to cover the story from the hotel there. Anyway there are some that would say this didn’t happen but it did. Its fact. Others would say that even if it did happen that its an isolated case, but that’s naive. The US government is in the business of installing dictators anywhere in the name of protecting US interests. We installed Castillo Armas, Noriega and Saddam…the bush family is long time friend with the Bin Laden family for God’s sake! America wake up.

    People, I’ve said it time and time again, if you don’t know your history you will never know where you are going. We’ve seen this type of thing before. Why is it so hard to identify now? Our grandfathers uprooted and burned the ugly crops of fascism in the 40s and now our generation is planting the seeds all over again. Who is going to save the world this time? Certainly not the US. Us Americans are all to busy at the modern day version of the Roman Colosseum, indulging ourselves in over abundance of everything by way of sports, music, theater, fast food, electronics, movies, etc…oh let’s not forget the biggest mind sucking brain leach industry of all time, that being of course the FASHION industry. Can’t we see that that was why they built the Colosseum in the first place? To keep our minds off of how the system is sticking to us. Complacency is our biggest enemy. No one cares anymore. The ones who claim to care are all waving flags and talking about freedom while we’re dropping “smart” bombs. What a great way to “spread freedom and democracy”.


  33. Sean (unregistered) on December 10th, 2005 @ 2:11 am

    “A refreshing word away from the liberal Bush bashing US media.

    Posted by: Reno Republican at December 6, 2005 08:37 PM”

    What about the conservitive butt kissing of the US media?


  34. Hauser (unregistered) on December 10th, 2005 @ 3:24 am

    Sean, I think you have great insight. Overall, Americans are easily led astray from the real issues at hand and fooled into concentrating on trivial things. I was seriously embarrassed of the American public when they re-elected GWB. You may not be able to fool all of the people all of the time, but I guess you CAN fool most of the voting citizens in this country.


  35. Charlie horse (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 7:18 pm

    From most of the personality types I have noted in the responses to this, I feel very confident in saying that if the first letter’s did not spell out “President George W Bush” The responses would be much different. While no-one would call it a great poem, people would say it was nice and carried a good message. But unfortunately, it seems that That one small fact changes peoples perceptions so radically.

    Weak minds.


  36. Timmy (unregistered) on December 19th, 2005 @ 5:58 am

    I do have a taste for conspiracy theories and all….but boy, is that crappy poetry or what? this shit makes me nauscious….here’s my own lil conspiracy theory….i think Bush wrote this poem himself, thats his conspiracy….a lil conspiracy by bushy wushy….yep, thats what i say….he jotted down every godforsaken letter of that poem himself hahaha god, i can imagine him sitting in the oval office holding a chewed up, blunt pencil, jotting this shit down….only he could come up with something so shallow and just stupid through and through…..its just plain stupid man, i mean…..just sitting here reading it over and over is pissing me off…this aint funny anymore…its rage-inducingly stupid….friggin redneck…only bush could do that…..only dubya….thats was i say…

    Peace (in the middle-east)



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