White­wash­ing the (orig­i­nal) moral leper

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Ex­cept for those with­out a ca­ble TV con­nec­tion, few among my gen­er­a­tion will for­get this line from CNN re­porter Bernard Shaw: “The skies of Bagh­dad have been il­lu­mi­nated”. They were the first words that an­nounced to the world, the begin­ning of Ge­orge HW Bush’s mass mur­der­ing ad­ven­ture in Iraq.

That was Jan­uary 1991. For months (or was it years?) after­wards, Bernard Shaw’s an­nounce­ment was the sig­na­ture ad­vert for Amer­ica’s ace satel­lite sta­tion.

But that wasn’t the first time in his­tory that the skies of Bagh­dad had glowed. The first time, it was il­lu­mi­nated with the light of learn­ing and knowl­edge cham­pi­oned by the Ab­basid Caliphs, and kept alive by novel in­sti­tu­tions like the Bayt-al-Hikmah. That was sev­eral cen­turies ago.

When, as pres­i­dent of the United States, Ge­orge Bush Snr sent fiery mis­siles across Iraqi skies, killing hun­dreds of thou­sands be­cause it suited his aims, he had no idea that the same fire will boomerang and con­sume him. Yet, that was what hap­pened. Ge­orge HW lost his sec­ond term bid for no other rea­son that his Iraqi mis­ad­ven­ture.

We heard this on the au­thor­ity of his ri­val (dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial de­bates) and suc­ces­sor, Bill Clin­ton that the Gulf War was the sole hand­i­work of Ge­orge HW Bush, and that if he had not or­ches­trated the cri­sis that led to the war, there would never have been a Gulf War at all. Clin­ton called this ma­noeu­vre ‘Iraq-gate.’

But long be­fore Bill Clin­ton’s con­fir­ma­tion of this con­spir­acy, many news me­dia in the West­ern World had dis­closed the real rea­son Sad­dam Hus­sain in­vaded Kuwait and why the US was ‘forced’ to go and lib­er­ate Kuwait.

It all be­gan, ac­cord­ing to them, the day Pres­i­dent Bush Snr, sent a top-rank­ing state depart­ment of­fi­cial (some say it was Su­san Rice) to tell Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sain, that the Kuwaitis were steal­ing Iraq’s oil be­hind his back, and get­ting richer at his ex­pense. Sad­dam re­port­edly asked the of­fi­cial what to do and her fa­mously re­ported re­ply was:

‘We have no mu­tual de­fence agree­ment with Kuwait.’ Mean­ing that since the US had signed no treaty to de­fend Kuwait against ex­ter­nal ag­gres­sion, Sad­dam was free to take any mea­sure he deemed nec­es­sary, in or­der to pun­ish Kuwait.

Sad­dam knew what that meant, he him­self was an Amer­i­can ally, be­cause all re­ports about his rise in the Iraqi po­lit­i­cal sphere, at­trib­uted it to his be­ing a CIA agent. He quickly pre­pared his troops and on the 2nd of Au­gust 1990, he in­vaded Kuwait and de­clared it to be 19th prov­ince of Iraq. This show of force was nec­es­sary not only be­cause Kuwait needed to be a taught a les­son but be­cause af­ter his eight-year­long war with Iran, Iraq was cash-strapped and needed to pay a pile of for­eign debt.

Sad­dam Hus­sain did not know what hit him, when a day af­ter his an­nex­a­tion of Kuwait, Ge­orge HW Bush, his for­mer boss at the CIA, turned around and or­dered him out of Kuwait or he would be dealt with. Of course Sad­dam re­fused to leave, could not even be­lieve the Amer­i­cans were se­ri­ous, I mean weren’t they the very peo­ple who showed him ev­i­dence of how the Kuwaitis were rob­bing him blind? So he re­mained bel­liger­ent and in Kuwait; and the rest is his­tory.

I was forced to re­call all this when I heard world lead­ers, past and present, fall­ing over them­selves to say what a great states­man Ge­orge Bush Snr was and what a good po­lit­i­cal loser he was be­cause he lost ami­ably to Clin­ton.

Not only did Bush Snr shed tears, on stage, when he bade farewell to Amer­ica, in front of his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, he also left a note on his ta­ble at the Oval of­fice that ef­fec­tively said what a sour loser he was.

The note sim­ply said ‘Wake me up in 1996 and tell me it was all a bad dream.’ The CNN spent that whole day show­ing this note, which was stuck to a ta­ble-top cal­en­dar on the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent’s ta­ble. Though I was a busy bank staff then, I couldn’t help re-read­ing and mem­o­ris­ing it at the end. So where is the ami­able states­man here?

For all in­tents and pur­poses Ge­orge Bush Snr was more like the North Kore­ans la­belled him.

While he was still pres­i­dent of the United States, they paid him a spe­cial trib­ute at a big ho­tel in Py­ongyang. His face dec­o­rated a large door­mat that ev­ery ho­tel guest had to match on while work­ing into the lobby. And they named him ‘A moral leper.’

Now this is more like what Ge­orge HW Bush was, when he held sway as Amer­ica’s pres­i­dent. All those plat­i­tudes and sweet ep­i­thets that have been used to de­scribe him, by po­lit­i­cal al­lies and foes alike, are all at­tempts to white­wash a mass mur­derer whose neg­a­tive ex­ploits in the Mid­dle East are still be­ing felt.

For all in­tents and pur­poses Ge­orge Bush Snr was more like the North Kore­ans la­belled him

That his son came and added to the pains and misery of Iraqis and other parts of the World, by stage-man­ag­ing the Septem­ber 11th 2001 ter­ror at­tacks, did not sur­prise many. Grand de­cep­tion and lur­ing oth­ers to war, for their self­ish ends ob­vi­ously runs in the Bush fam­ily. In­deed his own fa­ther Prescott Bush was re­puted to be Adolf Hitler’s banker. Whether as owner or CEO of the bank, Prescott was sup­posed to have lent a hand to Hitler dur­ing the sec­ond World War.

So with a fa­ther who aided and abet­ted a mass mur­der in Europe and ben­e­fit­ted im­mensely from it, should we be sur­prised that he planned and or­ches­trated the killing of Iraqis in his thirst for their oil? And that his own son launched an all-out war with no limit of time or ter­ri­tory, in pur­suit of oil and gas re­serves in Afghanistan, free oil in Iraq, in Libya and any­where else that their lust for the black gold takes them?

Yes, so-called world lead­ers might re­joice in white­wash­ing his mem­ory and call­ing the hero that he wasn’t, the rest of us will re­mem­ber Ge­orge HW Bush as the moral leper and blood­thirsty mass mur­derer that he was.

Late Ge­orge Bush

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