Common Sense

The Right Stuff

He looks all of 100 pounds soaking wet.

He kind of resembles Woody Allen.

You might mistake him for a waiter, not a world leader.

He speaks softly, if he speaks much at all.

His eyes dart. His attention wanders. He's fond of chocolate, but apparently not fond of clocks.

He's late — a lot.

But what this disheveled, almost hapless-looking character lacks in grandeur, he more than makes up for in gravitas.

He oozes it. He lives it. And as president of one of the most terrorized nations on earth, Alvaro Uribe, fights it, with every bone of his surprisingly small-framed body.

He is a heavyweight on the global stage. A man whose father was killed by warring guerilla groups in his country, who came back to lead the fight, and win the fight, against guerillas in his country. FARC, as it is known, is still potent, but not nearly as much.

In the three years he has been in office, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians have collapsed more than 60 percent. Kidnappings are down nearly 70 percent.

Inflation is down. Unemployment is down. Drug traffic is down. And now, the very rebels who terrorized a country, are taking their guns and putting them down.

And all because of this unassuming man, who knew full well an economy cannot pick up until you kick the terrorists down. He has and continues to — amid death threats too many to mention and political opposition too overwhelming to imagine.

In meeting him yet again on Friday, I was struck by his simple bravery and honor.

It needn't matter he look like a hero. It matters more, he "is" one.

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