You are beholden to the Bushes

Dear President Trump,

Timing can be such a funny thing. Last night on the way home from the grocery my brother texted to let me know that George HW Bush had died (Laura was driving so it was cool for me to read my texts). We speculated and hoped that you wouldn’t be invited to the funeral, but alas, apparently it would be too much for a former president’s family to bar the current president from the funeral. The timing thing, though, was that within a half hour of learning of Bush Sr.’s death, Laura and I were searching the house for a warranty we need and came across an old “Impeach Bush” bumper sticker. I showed it to Laura and quipped “seems quaint, doesn’t it?”

Yes, Bush Jr.’s questionable deeds pale in comparison to yours, but really, it wasn’t at all off the mark to want Bush Jr. out of office. His decision to start the Iraq war under false pretenses led not only to an interminable and costly military offensive that we cannot extract ourselves from, but it paved the way for you and other isolationist nut jobs to crank up terror and hate with which to control the populace.

But Bush Jr. didn’t get this going by himself. I’ve pointed out before that the seeds of all this shit started well before Bush Jr. and probably even before Bush Sr., but it was the latter’s handling of the First Gulf War that I think primed the anti-American pump and helped fuel the 9/11 attacks. As a reminder, this is part of what I wrote to you on 9/11/18:

“During the approximately 6 months of that war, over 20,000 Iraqi combatants were killed and an estimated 3,500 civilians were killed outright with another 100,000 estimated to have died from the war’s effects (all this is from Wikipedia). The US death toll was 146, including the 35 who were killed by “friendly fire” All told, 341 US and allied troops died in the First Gulf War.”

So although I’d trade either Bush for you in a heartbeat, I am not going to forget that their ill advised, overly aggressive actions set things in motion that made your rein of terror possible. For all this, history should not give either of them passes.

May we be safe from impulsive leaders.
May we be willing to deal thoughtfully with nuanced, messy reality.
May we have the ego strength to not attack first and ask questions later.
May we interrupt this old cycle of violence and make our way towards peace.

Tracy Simpson

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