George Herbert Walker Bush is dead and buried with full honors as the 41st president of the United States. What we are told to remember about him is circulating on television, radio, newspapers and social media.

Apparently, he was great man who did great things like say we needed a kinder, gentler nation and no new taxes. I voted for Ross Perot to try and save the company pensions and affordable health insurance you no longer get.

The official narrative is awash with quaint references of bush being the “quiet,” unappreciated president who did no harm. The problem is, I don’t have amnesia. An article in the New York Times on Sept. 23, 1990, pointed out that the invasion of Kuwait, which resulted in the first Gulf War, began with Bush and his kinder, gentler approach to a menace named Saddam Hussein.

Hussein was rattling a sabre with 30,000 troops amassed on the border of Kuwait. Bush dispatched April Glaspie, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, on July 25, 1990, to meet with Hussein where she delivered a message. The message did not say, “If you attack Kuwait we will intervene militarily.” Glaspie delivered Bush’s message that the U.S. wanted to maintain friendly relations with Iraq and was curious as to Saddam’s intentions.

Saddam was at the end of his rope because he was heavily in debt to Kuwait and Kuwait was producing oil at a high level, cutting into Iraq’s revenues. Saddam was testing the waters when he announced to Glaspie that he fully intended to annex Kuwait, under the pretext of it stealing his oil through slant drilling, unless a solution could be reached.

Incredibly, Glaspie responded by saying that the U.S. has no opinion on border disputes between Arab nations. Clearly Saddam understood this to mean that the U.S. would not intervene; he promptly took Kuwait eight days later.

Students of history may recognize that this is the kind of lethal diplomatic incompetence that starts major wars and the Gulf War ensued, ending with Saddam’s retreating troops, mixed with civilians in Volkswagens, being slaughtered on the highway of death, which enraged Arabs everywhere.

1993: Arab revenge attack No. 1 on the World Trade Center.

2001: Attack No. 2 by agents of Saudi Arabia utterly destroys it.

2003: Bush’s son attacks Iraq, which had no part in 9/11, obscuring a black mark on his father’s legacy.

Arabs still hate us; more attacks are coming.

RAY COLBURN

P.O. Box 10252

Swanzey