The Bush Legacy


January 27, 2009

Thank you, Matt Patterson, for the column "Bush: The Great Liberator" (Commentary, Jan. 25). In this time when the flavor of the day is Bush-bashing, it is refreshing for someone to recognize that former President George W. Bush did his job of keeping America safe.

There are a great many people who do not agree with his tactics, but no one can doubt the bottom line - no attacks have occurred on American soil since 9/11.

Derrick Lowe, Elkton

I find it astonishing that the author of "Bush: The Great Liberator" ignored the fact that Saddam Hussein was not involved in the 9/11 attacks and that former President George W. Bush's inhumane attack on Iraq has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and the lives of more than 4,000 American soldiers and cost us hundreds of billions of dollars.

Hiroshi Shimizu, Timonium

With Matt Patterson joining the chorus of Bush apologists who tell us that our 43rd president kept us safe from terrorists, it is perhaps time to remind readers that more Americans died from terrorism during the Bush administration than during the rule of any other president in our nation's history.

As for liberating Afghanistan and Iraq, the job was never completed in Afghanistan - the Bush administration inexplicably turned its attention to Iraq before the 9/11 perpetrators and their Taliban allies were destroyed.

The subsequent bumbled invasion of Iraq left thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and left us with nothing but a greatly strengthened Iran and several hundred billion dollars added to our national debt.

Whatever one can say about former President George W. Bush, it isn't, as Mr. Patterson asserts, that he left big shoes to fill.

Dick Boulton, Ellicott City

As an outspoken critic of The Baltimore Sun's one-sided news reporting, I want to thank you for printing Matt Patterson's column "Bush: The Great Liberator."

I never thought I would see the day when The Baltimore Sun would give former President George W. Bush credit where credit is due.

Everett Livingston, Chestertown

The contortions employed in Matt Patterson's paean to former President George W. Bush are laughable at best.

Of course, it's difficult to argue against the pathos of scenes such as Kurds voting where they once were gassed. The problem with such arguments is that few Americans would have supported the war in Iraq if humanitarian reasons had been offered as the chief rationale for our involvement in Iraq in the first place.

Indeed, I could name a dozen countries led by ruthless dictators; the Bush administration considered several of them key trading partners.

And it is essential to remember this: Iraq did not attack us, and not one of the 9/11 attackers was an Iraqi national.

I don't remember many of today's Bush apologists lauding President Bill Clinton for "keeping America safe." But after all, the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993; Mr. Clinton managed the rest of his presidency without an attack on our homeland by radical Islamist groups.

Of course, scouring eight years of a presidency is bound to yield some positives. But ironically, Mr. Patterson leaves out Mr. Bush's greatest legacy: his utter failure of leadership paved the way for President Barack Obama's election.

For that, we owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Evan Balkan, Lutherville

Kudos to Matt Patterson for his insight into some of former President George W. Bush's accomplishments. It's about time that The Baltimore Sun published something different from the usual "Hate Bush" diatribes.

Larry Magner, Baltimore

In regard to Matt Patterson's column "Bush: The Great Liberator," I would note that former President George W. Bush liberated more than 4,200 American service people and more than 100,000 Iraqis from their lives.

Ed Brandt, Lutherville

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