There's a lot of blood in the George H.W. Bush legacy

Whatever the good qualities of the human being named George H.W. Bush, and of course his final judgment is not in my hands but with the God he worshiped, Max Obuszewski is right to recall, even as the national hagiography of this man's life and legacy continues, that President Bush (41), before and during his presidency, left a trail of destruction and human misery in his wake (“Don’t forget the failures of George H.W. Bush,” Dec. 3).

He fought tyranny in World War II, to be sure, but then adopted the means of terror and tyranny in a long career as a Cold Warrior, supporting proxy wars against Russia like the Iran-Iraq War which killed a million Iranians when Saddam Hussein was still our friend under Reagan-Bush. Then came the Gulf War, when Saddam was our enemy and we witnessed the 1991 war-crime “Highway of Death” event where President Bush ordered the slaughter of the retreating Iraqi Army.

These were all wars for control of oil, not for a “New World Order,” let’s be clear. And do not forget about Central America or “Operation Condor” that killed or disappeared 60,000 people over 30 years. After the not-at-all “cold” Cold War was ended in this country’s favor and for peace, or at least our “national security” as we call it and for which Mr. Bush is being credited, we have a kleptocratic, despotic Russia with Vladimir Putin (our current president’s do-no-wrong friend) controlling a nuclear arsenal sufficient to end all life on Earth — as do the U.S. and China.

Where is the peace and the security achievement in all that? So, thanks to Mr. Obuszewski for introducing a modicum of uncomfortable truth-telling as the national liturgy celebrating Mr. Bush’s legacy continues. As for me, I will write no more of this. It is altogether too wearisome.

J. Stephen Cleghorn, Baltimore

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