U.S. Must Lead By Example

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, left, and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shake hands after inaugurating an oil drill at San Tome, Venezuela, Monday, Sept. 18, 2006.
Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.
It irritated all of us last week when two of the world's leading blowhards — President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, insulted America and its leaders.

But it was probably a good thing for us because the more the world sees and hears these two, the quicker they will understand just how awful they — and what they represent — are.

With every appearance, the Iranian President reminds us that in a movie about Hitler, he'd be the perfect "Mini-Me" for the Nazi dictator and I doubt there is much of a market for Nazism anymore, no matter how much some people resent the United States.

And speaking of movies, the more you hear Chavez, the more you realize this guy wouldn't be a credible villain in a Batman flick.

Sure we have to keep an eye on them, but the way to hurt their cause is to keep encouraging them to show the world how they do things and let the world compare it to our way.

That's why it was so important that while they were blowing off, Senator McCain and the White House came together on a plan that insures America will abide by the Geneva Conventions in dealing with enemy prisoners.

It's not a perfect plan, but it shows how we do things in a democracy — out in the open — and in accordance with the law even when dealing with the worst of the worst.

We'll never win a battle for hearts and minds by preaching. We do it by showing who we are and inviting the other side to do the same.