Washington: There are very few dynastic families in America that have served the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of literally millions worldwide better than the Bush family. With George H. W.’s passing we can expect to see a long list of pundits, progressive and reactionary, fawning over the life and times of Bush, much like they did over Ronald Reagan.
One can expect these same people will be singing the praises of Henry Kissinger when he too departs this world before answering for his crimes against humanity.
The Bush family made its fortune in oil and war. Grandfather Prescott Bush was heavily involved in the re-arming and financing of the Nazi party in Germany, and was even charged with trading with the enemy. His son George, who has now just died, made his fortune in the oil industry and propelled himself into all kinds of behind the scenes adventures, wheeling and dealing, as head of the Republican National Committee and the CIA.
He is best known for some colossal failures, if you don’t count the promotion of his son George W. into the political limelight. Although his economic platform was lackluster, he is remembered for his role in the Savings and Loan disaster of the 80’s and the beginning of the destruction of public education with his No Child Left Behind, to be followed by further deterioration under Obama’s Race to the Top.
However, it is his foreign policy in which he shined for the war industry. His invasion of Iraq in 1991 and the subsequent destabilization of the entire region remains with us today, with President Clinton setting the stage for Bush #43 for the second invasion of Iraq and Obama’s continuation of the occupation and destabilization.
Bush was also known for the destabilization of the Americas, with his NAFTA agreement, later ratified under President Clinton. This treaty has caused enormous instability and a major factor in today’s immigration crisis, as much of Latin America has been overtaken by corporate interests, destroying local economies in the region and setting the stage for military coups, as Obama presided over the most recent one in Honduras, for which its victims are the major driving force of the asylum seekers heading towards the US border today.
Bush certainly didn’t begin the corporate takeover of Central America, but definitely exacerbated the situation. Ironically, there is a familial connection between the Bushes and William Walker, who led a mercenary army in a military conquest of Nicaragua in the 1850s.
George H.W. Bush will be credited for having a steady hand in dealing with the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as how he organized the Coalition of the Willing, or as it was also called, the Coalition of the Bribed, in its invasion of Iraq, but a positive spin will be put on everything he had done as president.
(Myles Hoenig is a long time activist for social and political justice in the US and world-wide. He is a Green Party member who has run for elected office on a number of occasions.)