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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thank you Bush 41

Dear President George H. W. Bush,

For over twenty years I have wanted to express to you my appreciation for something that you did while you were president of the US.  I am sorry that I have taken so long.  I love history, but, as will become clear below, I am not a historian

Your handling of the Gulf War was excellent and the wisdom of your restraint in that conflict has been since confirmed.
I very much appreciated your willingness to place our country ahead of your party and even your own reelection by supporting an increase in taxes which laid the groundwork for the surpluses of the nineties which strengthened our country.
However, laudable as those achievements were, they pale in comparison to what I think was your best work.  What I appreciated the most about your presidency was the way you handled the final chapter of the 40 year Cold War – the collapse of the Soviet empire and finally the Soviet Union itself.  It was an extremely delicate situation that could have exploded in many different directions and with incalculable damage to the world.  It is hard to remember the attitude of the American public, and many in our leadership, toward the Soviet Union at end of the Cold War.  After all that time there was in many quarters a visceral hatred of the Soviet Union and while that huge edifice was crumbling you were under intense public pressure to seek a greater American advantage, to inject the US into that collapse in order to “guarantee” this or that outcome. You decided not to interfere in that decline.  I have always assumed that it was because you thought that to do so might have driven the Soviets to desperate measures and/or would have actually made it harder for those nations in that empire to be restored to independence.  

I think your stand against that pressure to intervene went beyond commendable and into heroic and I think that the wisdom of your decision has been supported by the recent history of Europe. 

Thank you.

Wayne Bell

PS Perhaps that is why the comedian’s description of your rejection of some proposal on the grounds that it “wouldn’t be prudent” resonates so well.

PPS I confess that I never voted for you.


  1. Excellent letter. I concur with everything you said. I believe, considering his background, his experience and his temperament, he was the best person for the job that he had at the time that he had it. His type of true statesman is sorely missed today.

    PS I wish his "Thousand Points of Light" dream had had more of an impact, instead of becoming a puchline.

    PSS I confess that I voted for him/Reagan every time.


  2. The following note was recieved by WCB who expects it was Form 3.

    November 5, 2012

    Dear Wayne,
    This note is long overdue. My apologies.
    The letter you wrote me back in September was so
    very thoughtful. I'm proud of my Administrations's
    accomplishments, and kind sentiments like yours
    mean a lot. Thanks so much for writing.

    Barbary joins me in sending warm regards to you
    and all your family.

    G. Bush