The point of this Slate article is to criticize Bush's belief that the world owes us gratitude (as opposed to appreciation). Fair enough (and make sure you skim to the press conference episode on page 2). But here's what's really interesting:
In his memoir of his year in Baghdad as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, L. Paul Bremer recalled that President Bush once told him that the leader of a new Iraqi government had to be "someone who's willing to stand up and thank the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq."
Umm, this almost makes it sound like the Americans have some influence over who rules Iraqis. I must be missing something.