George H.W. Bush – racist henchman for imperialism 
Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 4:15PM
Challenge_Desafío

The first George Bush president from 1988–1992, died on November 30, 2018, and has since been lionized by the bosses’ media and politicians. But Bush’s vicious, racist legacy caused decades of death and suffering, for the working class around the world.
The U.S. ruling class wishes its murderous actors would carry out their roles with finesse, rather than bumbling ineptness like Trump. Bush committed mass murder in the name of spreading democracy, as have all U.S. rulers since this country’s inception. It matters not whether we assess liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican presidents – they all kill and oppress the workers of the world in order to preserve power and resources. It is the capitalist/imperialist imperative, a system that must be overthrown with workers’ power.
The career of a killer
As a college student at Yale, Bush belonged to Skull and Bones, one of the secret societies for wealthy white Christian men, from which the CIA did much of its recruiting. After graduating in 1948, Bush went into the oil business in Texas and began his covert association with the CIA, using his business ventures as cover. His Zapata drilling company, ironically named after the Mexican freedom fighter, was involved in the U.S-backed overthrow of the elected left-leaning Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. It was also implicated in the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, where Bush family sugar holdings had been seized by Fidel Castro. (The Nation 12/4)
Bush became a Congressman in 1966 and soon afterwards traveled to Vietnam with a CIA official to examine the Phoenix Program, a massive U.S. terror and death squad operation that tortured and killed 25,000–50,000 insurgents. He also became involved in Operation Condor, a program enabling right wing dictators in Latin America, as in Chile and Argentina, to brutally kill tens of thousands of dissidents. Later, when Bush was running the CIA from 1976-1977, a CIA asset with the Chilean secret police fatally bombed Chilean diplomat, Orlando Letelier, and his aide in Washington, D.C . Bush deliberately misled the FBI investigation away from the killer(The Intercept 12/5).
Another mass murderer in the White House
In 1980, Bush became Ronald Reagan’s vice president. Jimmy Carter had lost his bid for re-election largely because 52 U.S citizens taken hostage in Iran after the overthrow of the U.S.-supported Shah in 1979, had not been freed. Since the hostages were released the day after Reagan’s inauguration, it is strongly suspected that Bush had made a secret deal with the Iranians to insure Reagan’s victory.
Once in office, the Reagan-Bush team began a long sequence of secret and vile actions in Central America. Somoza, the dictator of Nicaragua installed by the U.S. in the 1930s, had been overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979. Hoping to reverse this revolution, the U.S. trained death squads and torturers, the Contras, at the School of the Americas in Georgia and supplied them with arms.
After Congress passed an amendment in 1984 banning aid to the Contras, Bush, together with his National Security Advisor Donald Gregg from the Phoenix Program and CIA head William Casey, began a secret arms plan to supply them with weapons. It was financed by illegally selling arms to Iran and cocaine in the poor, mostly Black areas of U.S. cities (the Iran-Contra affair).
When running for President in 1987, Bush’s most successful tactic was a viciously racist ad that featured Willie Horto, a Black man convicted of  murder, who was on a weekend furlough from prison when he committed another crime. Bush used this rare event to smear his opponent as soft on crime and, by implication, not sufficiently wary of violent Black men.
But Bush was responsible for far more extensive death and deception when he became President in1988. Soon after, he invaded Panama, ostensibly to arrest the dictator Noreiga for drug trafficking, although Noriega had been a CIA asset for years and had allowed the Contras to ship drugs from Panama. Over 24,000 troops invaded this tiny country and killed at least 3,000 people, mostly civilians.
 This invasion was meant in part to overcome the embarrassment of the American failure in Vietnam, to re-establish U.S. supremacy in the hemisphere and to get rid of Noriega, whose drug-running had become too well publicized. It was, of course, touted as an exercise in “restoring democracy”(Greenleft 12/8).
But this was just a rehearsal for the horror that Bush was to unleash on Iraq, Operation Desert Storm, as well as setting the stage for his son’s wholesale invasion in 2003. The U.S. had soured on its former ally Saddam Hussein, who sat on the world’s second largest oil reserves, was threatening to begin selling it for euros instead of dollars and was a potential threat to Saudi Arabia.
Bush launched the forever war in Iraq
The Bush administration appeared to give Saddam permission to enter Kuwait via its ambassador April Glaspie, and then publicized a completely fake story about babies being murdered in a hospital nursery by Iraqi soldiers in order to justify the invasion. As the Iraqis retreated, Bush told his soldiers to “put some hate in your heart” and attacked the fleeing troops mercilessly on what became the Highway of Death, as well as bombing Baghdad, including targeting 400 people in an air raid shelter.  Yet the hope  for  a breezy overthrow of Saddam did not materialize, nor did the “short war” that was supposed to demonstrate the infallibility of new high-tech weaponry forestall further war (The Intercept 12/5).
In addition to the millions of lives destroyed by Bush’s drug fueled Iran–Contra secret war, Bush also left a legacy of death and discrimination against workers in the U.S. suffering from AIDS. The HIV epidemic was in full flower in the 90s, and 70,000 mostly gay men died during his presidency. Funding for AIDS research was cut, while Bush repeatedly urged people to change their behavior and criticized Act Up, the main organization advocating for AIDS victims, for using “excessive free speech” (The New Yorker 12/7).
The legacy of that great “statesman” Bush is a massive war in Iraq that is still unresolved that has caused over a million deaths, the rise of Islamic extremism, millions of workers dead or disabled by disease, drugs, or incarceration, and an increase in war and racism. Let us build Progressive Labor Party internationally to drive capitalism from the face of the earth and assure that no more “great politicians” are able to ruin our lives.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.