A heroic effort seems afoot to restore former president George W. Bush to respectability, if not acceptability — since glory seems a far cry. However genial he may have been, Mr. Bush will be remembered for three things:
First, his inept, immoral response to terrorism, including torture, unwarranted wiretapping and subversion of the rule of law, not to mention the creation of a vast, costly, less-than-optimal security apparatus.
Second, his remarkably incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, allowing a major city to be ruined and converting a natural disaster into a historic catastrophe.
Third, his initiation of an unnecessary war on false pretenses, mendaciously linking it to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and reducing an advanced country to chaos at the cost of thousands of lives, both Iraqi and American.
Michael Gerson’s understandable loyalty notwithstanding [“A president who stuck to his principles,” op-ed, April 26], Mr. Bush will be remembered as an unprincipled president.
Manish Nandy, Reston
Eugene Robinson’s April 26 op-ed column, “History is not smiling on The Decider” and the same day’s letter “Opinion polls can’t obscure history” amount to distortions and untruths about George W. Bush’s presidency. Both articles failed to mention that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks almost destroyed our economy. Bolstering our security demanded huge expenses. The most important thing about Mr. Bush’s legacy is that he kept us safe.
The criticism about attacking Iraq ignores that our CIA and intelligence agencies of Britain, France and Germany all said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The recession of the last few months of Mr. Bush’s administration was due to a collapse in the housing market, caused by banks and other financial institutions. Under President Obama, not one banker has gone to jail.
When talking about failed presidents, look at the last three Democrats. Jimmy Carter will go down as one of the worst, with high inflation, high prices and high interest rates as part of his legacy. Bill Clinton lied under oath and had an affair with an intern. Mr. Obama has given us a national debt that our great-great-grandchildren will be paying. His biggest accomplishment, the health-care law, had to be passed with tricks.
Wayne Schrader, Ashburn