Sticks and Stones

The United States will soon lose its place as leader of the world, and the United Nations is a broken organization that is beyond repair, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said last week.

Chavez also initiated a verbal assault on President Bush, calling him "the devil" during an insult-riddled address to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. Read more.

If you were president, how would you react to insults from another country's leader?

E-mail us at to weigh in.

“I would simply point out the positives to their darts. In this case, I would applaud Chavez for acknowledging that America is the world leader and that he isn't. I would also applaud Chavez for acknowledging the U.N. is a broken organization beyond repair. As far as calling the president a devil, and the additional verbal attacks, I understand that people say things to edify self. I know by Chavez's words, he knows what he is not. I know what he wants to be. So he calls the names, so he feels better and can build himself up.” — Rich (Colorado Springs, CO)

“I would point out that Chavez was correct about one thing — the U.N. is irrelevant. We need to withdraw from the U.N. and force it to move its headquarters elsewhere. I would go on to point out that Chavez should be more concerned about the 85 percent of his people living in poverty, than slinging insults while visiting another country.” — Les (Orange, CA)

“I would not publicly acknowledge his remarks made at the U.N. or on the streets of New York. But I would do everything possible to ensure the safety of the United States, beginning with the closing of all Citgo stations. I would have INS review all visas from Venezuela and send back those persons not here legally or participating in questionable activities (those against the U.S.). Of course, then I would have to pay attention to our open borders.” — F.S.

“If I were president, I would publicly ask Kofi Annan why he didn't stand up and tell Chavez that he was out of order…that the purpose of this organization is not to provide a stage for you to make personal attacks against President Bush. Democrat or Republican, we should all be outraged. This is an attack on the sacred office of our presidency.” — Jerry (Albuquerque, NM)

“When an outsider comes calling our president names, we need to come together and condemn his words, if not his message. It's great to have free speech, as long as we don't lose sight of the fact that we are still Americans and that sometimes you need to stand up and stand together for the good of the country. Or our freedom is certainly our weakness.” — Sam (Vero Beach, FL)

“If another leader insulted me, I would not respond publicly. However I would try to figure out why that leader made those comments and I would try to determine if those words would ever be backed up by action. I would tell my intelligence agencies to monitor that country's activities to determine what kind of threat they may pose. There is not much the president can do.” — James (Orlando, FL)

"Believe it or not, I'm on Chavez's side! While many would not wish to admit it, Chavez is one of the only Western leaders with the tenacity to actually speak boldly and truthfully about the crimes of the Bush Administration and the problems with the United Nations. Should he have called Bush 'the devil'? Maybe not, but I still support him. If we cannot acknowledge the terrible things our government has done domestically and internationality over the past years, even with the input of a foreign leader, then we are simply pathetic in our arrogance." — Miles (Winchester, MA)

“If I were president, I would tell another country's leader that when he is in America he will act with respect and when I was in his country I would act with respect.” — Nola

“Obviously with the vile comments issued by Chavez and the applause that followed from those just as despicable, it is not a 'United Nations' anymore. We should take the high road and bow out. They can all find help elsewhere. This is one case where 'stick and stones' do hurt.” — Nancy (Carlisle, PA)

“It would be difficult for me to ignore such a vicious attack, but I deeply admire our president's ability to do so. However, I would cut all aid to that country, and would not purchase another drop of oil from there, nor allow any entities in this country to contract with such an obviously anti- American country for any such purchases.” — CBJ (Florida)

“If I were president, I would express my deepest sympathy to the people of Venezuela . No country should have such poor, infantile leadership as Chavez.” — Carol (Jacksonville, FL)

“When an outsider comes calling our president names, we need to come together and condemn his words, if not his message. It's great to have free speech, as long as we don't lose sight of the fact that we are still Americans and that sometimes you need to stand up and stand together for the good of the country. Or our freedom is certainly our weakness.” — Sam (Vero Beach, FL)

“I would ignore him to show that he isn't important enough to acknowledge.” — Leah

“I would ignore him publicly, and I would ignore him politically. I would not ignore him in terms of cooperative dealings with him.” — Wade (Texas)

“I wouldn't dignify his comments with an answer!” — W.H. (Toney, AL)

“I wouldn't respond to his comments unless asked about them. If asked, I would just say, 'Look at the source. There isn't anything to comment on because there was nothing of substance.'" — Richard (Tampa, FL)

“I would behave exactly as President Bush has — keeping my mouth shut and not engaging in verbal fighting with a crook like Chavez.” — C. R.

“If it was a leader I had respect for, I would have to think about the reasons they insulted me. People don't say things for no reason. Someone like Chavez, I must admit, I'd probably be amused. All these small country leaders like Venezuela and Iran think they are very powerful because they have oil.” — Dana (Lake City, FL)

“If I were president, I would simply ignore the rants of a mad man. To respond to them only gives them credit and prolongs the medias frenzy over this issue. I would however, see that this man was quickly returned to an environment that appreciates his form of lunacy. In other words I would not have allowed him to visit churches in the U.S.” — Lanya (Murrieta, CA)

“The first order of business would be to drop out of the United Nations. The second would be to re-evaluate the foreign aid that we giving. The third would be to seriously tighten up on our borders.” — Joyce

“I would say to him that you do not see thousands of people sneaking into his country to live like they do in the United States. He should take care of his own people before he talks about other countries.” — Peter

“For all those countries that applauded the Venezuela president, I would make sure they do not receive aid of any kind from the U.S.” — Larry

“I would do exactly what Bush is doing right now — nothing! Some pests are worth ignoring.” — James

“It is really sad that leaders of the world bring themselves down to the maturity of a school kid by name calling. As president, I would act like a grown up and ignore it.” — Austin (Texas)

“I would communicate directly to the president of Venezuela through diplomatic channels and express my opinion of him as a person and of his performance in New York. His attacks simply were a reflection of the type of person he is. I would refrain from responding to his attacks publicly because that is exactly what he wants. I would just remind everyone of the many problems of Venezuela at the present time under Chavez' administration.” — A

“If I were president, I wouldn't give Chavez the benefit of a comment. I would consider the source and ignore it. He's an embarrassment to Venezuela, not America.” — Ralph (Joplin, MO)

“I would prohibit his country's products from being imported into the United States. I would stop all aid if there were any. I would stop exports from the U.S. into his country.” — Kenneth (Kapaa, HI)

“For the most part, I'd ignore them. If a particularly egregious remark was aimed at me or my country, I'd probably make a comment, tactfully disagreeing with the remark.” — Jacob

“If I were the president, I'd probably be so frustrated right now and I'd probably walk off the job.” — Suzie

“I would have asked Chavez to leave my country and have him escorted out.” — Jeanne (Georgia)

“In this instance, President Bush is doing the right thing. Not responding to Chavez's remarks reaffirm that he is uncultured, uneducated, and lacking any real morals. He seems to be driven by emotions rather than reason and logic.” — Norman (Massachusetts)