An open letter to G.H.W. and Barbara Bush...
by Bill Arnett, Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:18:41 AM EST
Dear President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush:
I believe it is important to ask you certain questions of historical import regarding the presidency of your son, George W. Bush, and to also satisfy my own curiosity.
Please allow me to preface my questions and remarks with this statement: Mr. President, you lost reelection in 1992 because you broke your pledge, "Read my lips. No new taxes." At the time, and still now, I think it was one of the most selfless acts I've ever seen by an elected official. You deliberately sacrificed your political career to do what you knew had to be done for America and raised taxes. For that, Sir, you will always have my respect and gratitude for having integrity that is now completely lacking in the Republican Party, generally, and George W. Bush's administration, specifically;
So I must ask: Are you proud your son orders the kidnapping and torture of people?
Are you proud that military spending is breaking our budget and gutting social programs? That poverty has gone up every year under W.? Wages down every year? More uninsured than ever before? More elderly and infirm having to choose between a meal of dog food or taking the medicine that keeps them alive? Are you proud that W. has exploded the budget and trade deficits in a way never seen before in our country's history? After inheriting surpluses?
Are you proud that your son has invaded a sovereign nation that posed no threat to America? And that he had to lie, co-opt the press, fool the Congress, and the people by claiming force would be used only as a last resort? Not to mention the lies about WMDs?
Are you proud that the GOP has become the sycophantic, rubber-stamping, back W. at all costs, and the hell with the amorality of it party? Are you happy that they back W. no matter how foolish, illegal, or damning to America his actions are?
Do your hearts swell with pride that W. is the first U.S. President to lose an entire city in the continental United States? Or are you just still worried about how many of them might settle in Texas?
Are you happy that W. has appointed so many unqualified cronies to vital government positions? And the exodus of qualified people by the thousands because of it?
As a former CIA Chief, are you at all concerned that W. would expose our nation's covert operatives purely for political expediency? And that leakers like Karl Rove still have their top secret security clearances and jobs, despite their involvement in leaks? And that this is the reason we have had hundreds of spies with thousands of years of combined experience flee the Agency in droves at a time when we could least afford it?
Do you approve of W.'s assertion that he has the "plenary" powers of an all powerful "Unitarian Executive?" Do you, too, believe he is right when he says he is free to do ANYTHING he wants, including ignoring the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and acts in direct contravention of every societal norm, including the issuance or orders to kill someone?
Do you believe W. has the right to ignore and break any/every treaty ever signed by the government and, thereby, destroy the international reputation of America for decades to come? And that have alienated us on the world stage?
Are you as certain as he that "terrorism" is more threatening to America than WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the cold war with Russian missiles aimed at us?
Do you agree that the danger is so grave and imminent that it justifies domestic spying, denying citizens habeus corpus, indefinitely confining possibly innocent people forever without trial, charges, attorneys, or contact with the outside world? And torturing them endlessly in violation of everything America used to stand for?
Do you stand behind his propaganda in America actions, the demonizing of the press and, now, the threat to prosecute any reporter with the temerity to report on the wrong-doings or illegal acts of his administration?
I truly don't mean these questions to be demeaning or embarrassing to you. I simply believe that when historians look back on your son's presidency, having your answers to these questions could be vital to understanding just what went wrong; how America was twisted and perverted into a war-mongering machine that respected no borders, no religion (except W.'s own), no other country's right to sovereignty, and one that, bizarrely, thought democracy was brought at the front end of a gun.
I am also curious as a parent, as I know I could never remain silent if my son did such damage to our country and its institutions.
So my final question: How can you remain silent unless you condone his actions?