WEST POINT TO HONOR THE DISHONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH
July 27, 2017
Thayer Award Committee West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) 698 Mills Road West Point, New York 10996
Subject: Your announcement that “WPAOG is pleased to announce that George W. Bush, will receive the Sylvanus Thayer Award on October 19, 2017.”
Dear Committee Members,
Welcome to the future at West Point, New York on October 19, 2017. It dawns a dark cold day. The clocks are striking thirteen and nothing but. This day, West Point hails George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States. West Point’s alumni association claims that George W. Bush embodies all that the United States Military Academy stands for. Specifically, George W. Bush has the “character, accomplishments, and stature that draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives.” In short, George W. Bush is the apotheosis of the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country. Moreover, through the Sylvanus Thayer Award, Bush’s “outstanding character, accomplishments and stature will be forever associated with West Point.” A vile, gritty wind sweeps over The Plain engulfing the Superintendent’s quarters built by Sylvanus Thayer in 1820. Perhaps Thayer, the “Father of West Point,” is outraged.
In 1817 President James Monroe assigned the 32 year-old Thayer to revitalize a slack, party-boy West Point. Thayer established a rigorous engineering curriculum, demanded strict military discipline and emphasized personal accountability that adhered to the highest level of honorable behavior. To Thayer, integrity of character was all. From him came the West Point Cadet Honor Code—“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” This was Thayer’s greatest legacy—the indelible hallmark of being an honorable “West Pointer.” Others agree.
General Maxwell Taylor said the honor system “shapes the lives of graduates” and is “an essential element in character molding.” President Eisenhower was even more specific. He felt that the honor system was so important to a graduate that it occupied “a mental position akin to the virtue of his mother.”
Enter George W. Bush, political impresario and initiator of the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history. One can peruse a few of his leadership achievements and identify those that deserve “wholesome comparisons to the qualities for which West Point strives.”
A trillion-dollar illegal war with millions of casualties—the dead, dying, wounded, dispossessed and otherwise destroyed. A war begun on-the-cheap with an under-equipped, poorly protected ground force. A war where military coffins came home under cover of darkness and news-blackout. A deceitful, illegal criminal escapade that remains unpunished. A war premised on lies, all tolerated and enhanced by George W. Bush.
“We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat,” so said the infamous Donald Rumsfeld about Iraq’s fictional weapons of mass destruction. (March 30, 2004)
George W. Bush: “Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.” (October 8, 2002)
Colin Powell during his matchbox car presentation to the United Nations: “We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction; he’s determined to make more.” (February 5, 2003)
Dick Cheney: “Saddam has long-established ties with Al Qaeda.”(January 14, 2004)
Condoleezza Rice on Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (January 10, 2003)
George W. Bush shamelessly mocking his own lies about WMD at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
A macho, cake-walking “Mission accomplished!” victory strut, premature, immature and tawdry.
Abu Ghraib and CIA Black Sites.
Guantanamo, orange jump suits, torture and starvation.
The “quaint” Alberto Gonzales and his “Torture Memos.”
And much more, sadly so much more.
At West Point, a single lie by a cadet, regardless of its significance, warrants expulsion. So?....?
The sins of the elders, the lies and deceit of George W. Bush and his regime, have indeed been visited upon the children. Thanks to their illegal, preemptive destruction of Iraq, as darkness follows darkness so death, destruction and displacement has been visited upon this suffering world. Today, pick a place on this planet not affected by the decisions and criminal behavior of Bush and his regime. Now, courtesy of West Point, a new “honorable” Bush has been born.
Darkness drops fast. It always does. George W. Bush has learned to love West Point. All presidents do. It’s their perfect audience. And “official” West Point loves George W. Bush too. But it is not enough. It is not over. The bad seed lives on. Another rough beast has come round, slouching towards West Point to be born anew. The vile Trump looms…
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…. W.B. Yeats