Today on the homepage, we publish Part V of my interview with former president George W. Bush. Let me paste a couple of excerpts, here on the Corner. Also a letter from a reader.
Bush says that, when he gives speeches, he sometimes asks the audience, “Does it matter whether young girls suffer again in Afghanistan?” And he sees people nodding their heads, especially women. They’re saying it does indeed matter to them.
I say, “That place is going to hell, Mr. President, is my concern.”
“Yeah,” says Bush, “because it’s not ready to be alone. Neither was Iraq.”
“It’s going to be like Vietnam,” I say. “Another Vietnam.”
Bush responds to this in a surprising way (surprising to me). …
The “unelected” have a natural fear of a freedom agenda, Bush says. And they have a battery of ways to maintain control. Imprisonment is one — imprisonment of opponents. A monopoly on the press is another.
Bush brings up Vladimir Putin. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” and the other networks.
Yesterday, a reader wrote me to say,
A shame that W. didn’t do more, rhetorically, to defend himself from the leftist assault during his presidency.
Your interview affirms his intelligence, his serious approach to life-and-death issues, and his human decency. Shame on my lefty (and otherwise intelligent) friends for their simplistic and simple-minded attacks.
Well, most of the attacks I hear come from the right. Maybe I’m short on lefty friends (despite my upbringing in dear old Ann Arbor).
Whatever you think of Bush, he expresses himself thoughtfully and candidly and with unmistakable good will. Part V, again, is here.
P.S. Laura Bush is a peach, too — though she’s from Texas, not Georgia.