You can buy George W. Bush’s portraits of US military veterans
Former US president George W. Bush’s portrait of post-9/11 US veterans is on sale. Called Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, all author proceeds will be donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, “a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war”.
The book’s authorship and the eponymous ‘Center’ suggest the project is mostly about Bush, rather than the veterans. But do we mind the grandstanding so long as the hurt get help?
Can we overlook what many see as the ‘lies‘ that led to Bush declaring the “second stage of the war on terror” on 11 March 2002, six months after 9/11? The Bush administration went looking for the enemy. It identified Saddam Hussein and then hunted around for a cause to get him. Was the Iraqi leader behind 9/11? Did Saddam have Weapons of mass destruction?
Was it as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it ‘the latest chapter in the culture wars, the conservative dream of restoring America’s sense of Manifest Destiny. Extirpating Saddam is about proving how tough we are to a world that thinks we got soft when that last helicopter left the roof of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975’?
Is this book a self-help book for Bush, who only continued the long-held US policy of intervening in foreign affairs?
The book’s blurb tells us:
Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation’s call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.
So long as it helps, right…