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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 19, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Farewell to President Bush

Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

President George W. Bush speaks during his final press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 12.

A heartfelt thank you

Editor, The Times:

As President Bush’s days wind down, it seems like many are taking their final shots at the administration. Rather than dwell on any mistakes that may have been made, I want to send out a big “Thank you President Bush” for keeping our country safe and secure since 9/11. I appreciate the tremendous efforts made by the different security agencies, as well as the tough choices I know our president made in our best interest.

Also, President-elect Obama’s victory is a historic moment for our country. I congratulate him on his victory. We can only hope that he will show the same resolve in protecting the citizens of this great country.

— Eric Harris, Renton

Undeserved credit

Well, I see President Bush is still using the line, “I kept you safe from outside attack since 9/11.” He should have completed the statement with, “But, me and my boys sure attacked you from the inside.”

By the way, there were no major volcanoes erupting during the Bush presidency, and we weren’t struck by a killer asteroid. Is Bush going to take credit for that too?

— David McKenzie, Federal Way

Media-driven criticism

President-elect Obama recently decided to retain Robert Gates as secretary of defense, a definitive endorsement of the progress in Iraq. A little over a year ago, President Bush fired Donald Rumsfeld and hired Gates. While his critics cried withdrawal, Bush proposed the opposite: troop surge. The recent silence of Democrats on Iraq surely points to the vindication of Bush’s bold decision.

Now Bush’s farewell address, “I have followed my conscience.” This comes from a president whose decision-making framework was much larger than national sentiment or party politics. In the face of Republican opposition, Bush supported the guest-worker program. He also spent more taxpayer dollars helping the fight against AIDS in Africa than anyone expected.

The president spoke of good and evil in a way that made people from both political parties uncomfortable.

Once Bush leaves office, much of the media-driven criticism will fade away. History will likely forget Bush’s 30 percent approval rating.

What will remain is a president with deep convictions, which compelled him to make tough decisions furthering the freedom and faith of the American people. Through the rough, cowboy veneer is a man who earned my respect.

— Matthew McCleary, Seattle

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