This was a week of goodbyes.
President George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, passed away. The nation mourned, and brought back memories of the life he led. Some memories were good, recalling Bush's service to the nation as a Navy man and politician. others reminded us of the four years he was the Commander in Chief, replacing Ronal Reagan and moving the country into the post "Cold War" era. Many did not look on those four years favorably, and recall the campaign promise of "no new taxes" which, two years after he was elected, he is accused of breaking.
As I recall, it wasn't actually a new tax, but the raising of an existing tax which occurred, because otherwise the nation would have headed towards a much higher deficit as well as a recession. But, because he raised taxes, the Democrats capitalized and were able to wrest the highest office from GOP control, and started the eight year reign of the Clintons.
Those four years under Bush were certainly controversial, with the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the ensuing war which liberated Kuwait. Bush made a hard decision then - he did not press further into Iraq even though many in and out of politics called for the toppling of Hussein. Back then, Bush did not intend for the United States to become the world's police force, to be the defining power to align country boundaries and punish those who might be violating human rights.
"Dubya" would take care of this a little over a decade later, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the ensuing claim of terrorist cells and weapons of mass destruction hiding in Iraq.
But, we remember George H.W. Bush as he is laid to rest in Texas. Regardless of what anyone says about his presidency, the man deserves respect for stepping up and serving this country - as a veteran, as a statesman, as a humanitarian.
Rest In Peace, sir. Thank you for your service.
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