Connect with us

Africa

Former US president George H.W. Bush dies at 94

Published

on

George Herbert Walker Bush – the upper-crust war hero-turned-oilman and diplomat who steered America through the end of the Cold War as president and led a political dynasty that saw his son win the White House – has died.

George W. Bush called his father a “man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for,” in a statement announcing his death.

“The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”

BARBARA BUSH

Bush’s passing comes just months after the death in April of his wife and revered first lady Barbara Bush – his “most beloved woman in the world” – to whom he was married for 73 years.

The 41st American president was a foreign policy realist who navigated the turbulent but largely peaceful fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and assembled an unprecedented coalition to defeat Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein two years later.

But the decorated war pilot and former CIA chief suffered the ignominy of being a one-term president, denied a second term over a weak economy when he lost the 1992 election to upstart Democrat Bill Clinton.

His favouring of stability and international consensus stands in sharp contrast to the provocative bluster of fellow Republican and current White House occupant Donald Trump, a man whom Bush did not vote for in 2016.

BUDGET BATTLE

Bush presided over economic malaise at home, and infuriated his fellow Republicans during a budget battle with rival Democrats by famously breaking his vow: “Read my Lips: No new taxes.”

But he was the respected patriarch of a blue-blood political dynasty – son George spent eight years in the White House, and son Jeb served as governor of Florida.

At the time of his death, Bush was the American president to have lived the longest.

Jimmy Carter was born a few months later, so he could quickly reset the record.

OBAMA MOURNS BUSH

“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude,” former president Barack Obama said in a statement.

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy New England political dynasty – the son of Prescott Bush, a successful banker and US senator for Connecticut.

Bush had a pampered upbringing and attended the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, but delayed his acceptance to Yale in order to enlist in the US Navy on his 18th birthday and head off to war.

WORLD WAR II

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II. Shot down over the Pacific by Japanese anti-aircraft fire, he parachuted out and was rescued by a submarine after huddling in a life raft for four hours while enemy forces circled.

Bush married Barbara Pierce in January 1945, shortly before the war ended, and the couple went on to have six children, including one, Robin, who died as a child.

Instead of joining his father in banking upon graduation from Yale University, Bush headed to bleak west Texas to break into the rough-and-tumble oil business.

OIL DRILLING

He surprised many with his success, and by 1958 had settled in Houston as president of an offshore drilling company.

In the 1960s, Bush, now independently wealthy, turned to politics.

He was a local Republican Party chairman, and in 1966 won a seat in the US House of Representatives.

He served there until 1970, when he lost a bid for the Senate.

Over the next decade, he held several high-level posts that took him and Barbara around the world: head of the Republican National Committee, US ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was praised for restoring morale after revelations of widespread illegal activity.

REAGAN’S DEPUTY

He served as vice president to Ronald Reagan after losing to him in the 1980 Republican primary, an eight-year period of hands-on training for the top post he would go on to win by a solid margin in 1988, as the Cold War was coming to an end.

In a major test of the post-Cold War order, Saddam’s million-man army invaded Kuwait in 1990 and looked set to roll into Saudi Arabia, which would have given the Iraqi strongman more than 40 percent of the world’s oil reserves.

Bush famously vowed: “This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.”

He assembled a coalition of 32 nations to drive Iraqi forces out in a matter of weeks with a lightning air and ground assault.

GULF WAR

Some 425,000 US troops backed by 118,000 allied soldiers took part in Operation Desert Storm, decimating Saddam’s military machine without ousting him from power – a task that would be accomplished 12 years later by Bush’s son.

Buoyed by his victory in the Gulf, Bush and his hard-nosed and widely respected secretary of state James Baker cobbled together the 1991 Madrid Conference to launch the Arab-Israeli peace process.

The conference was mainly symbolic, but it set the stage for the Oslo Accords two years later.

In late 1989, Bush sent US troops to Panama to oust strongman Manuel Noriega. He also set the groundwork for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

TAXES

Domestically, however, the economy stalled and Bush broke his pledge not to raise taxes in order to reach a budget deal with Democrats – a cardinal sin in the eyes of Republicans.

In 1992, Bush lost his re-election bid to Clinton – whose aide coined the now famous slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” – as eccentric third-party candidate Ross Perot syphoned off conservative votes.

The elder Bush’s cautious realpolitik would later be contrasted to his son’s far more costly ambition to transform the Middle East, but “Bush 41” refused to weigh in on the debate, insisting he was proud of the presidency of “Bush 43.”

SKYDIVING

After retiring from public life, Bush fulfilled a wartime pledge to one day jump out of a plane for fun and famously went skydiving on his 75th, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays.

He joined Clinton to raise funds for victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2011, Obama awarded Bush the highest US civilian honour, the Medal of Freedom.

He worked with Carter, Clinton, Obama and son George to raise money for hurricane victims in Texas in 2017.

In 2001, Bush became just the second US president after John Adams to see his son become president.

Son Jeb made his own presidential run in 2016, but fell short in the Republican primaries against Trump.

AFP

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Africa

Kenyans reject Uhuru’s avocado, baby carrots deal with Mauritius

Published

on

The news that Mauritius had lifted a ban on Kenyan avocados has not been well received by the Kenyan online community.

Kenyans online have lamented that they are already grappling with a decrease in production of their “dear avocados” and did not want a trade deal involving the produce.

The government of Mauritius lifted a ban on several Kenyan farm produce, including avocados, baby carrots, baby beans and broccoli.

The decision was is part of a trade deal made during bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his host Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

President Kenyatta said the lifting of the ban will help improve Kenya’s export and will greatly boost horticultural farmers in the country, especially women who are the majority in the sector.

At the same time, China on Sunday completed an inspection tour by two experts from the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation who were hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) for eight days as a prerequisite given by the country before it opens its market for Kenyan avocados.

ONLINE UPROAR

But online Kenyans were not happy about the recent deal with Mauritius citing shortages of the prized fruit.

“Why export when local demand and supply is still wanting?” Sarati A. Richard wondered.

“Ile drought iko huku jamani badala zipelekwe huko Kwanza…. We don’t have an oversupply of the produce in discussion,” Migwi Sam lamented.

“DP told us guys to diversify tukasema maize maize… sasa ona,” Cherotich Carren Kiki wrote.

“This ovacado thing kumbe was true! Maize farmers kwisha,” Buluma Godwin commented.

“Ati avocado? Mkipeleka wapi? Msijaribu,” Kenneth Makau warned.

“We don’t even have enough avocadoes in Kenya to feed the demand in the country,” Wachira Jackson commented.

source:nairobinews

Continue Reading

Africa

PHOTOS: Uhuru arrives in Mauritius for four-day State Visit

Published

on

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius for a four-day State Visit.

The plane carrying Mr Kenyatta and his entourage touched down at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shortly before 7pm local time.

On arrival, the President – who was received by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth – inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the special mobile force of the Mauritius Police Service followed by a 21-gun salute.

After the arrival ceremonies,  Kenyatta paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of Mauritius Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory at State House, Le Reduit.

His visit to Mauritius is largely aimed at boosting the economic, cultural and social ties between the two nations, according to PSCU.

The forum will be used to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius and Kenya.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) among other senior government officials.

PHOTO COURTESY: PSCU

Continue Reading

Africa

PHOTOS: Narcotic miraa seized at JKIA

Published

on

Detectives at Jomo Kenyatta airport, Nairobi, have intercepted 500 kilogrammes of narcotic dry miraa concealed as tea packets for export to the US, Australia and Austria.

The drugs were hidden in 52 packets, packed as green stevia tea, according to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

DCI on Tuesday said the packets were sent by various exporters and were on their way out when detectives smoked out the drugs during a routine screening.

The heroin that was found hidden inside speakers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has issued a seizure notice on the narcotics.

While this was khat (also qat) laced with hard drugs, debate on whether miraa is a drug or a harmless stimulant has been raging on for years.

The leaf, whose active ingredient is cathinone, is grown mainly in Yemen and East Africa— Kenya, Ethiopia, some parts of Uganda and in Madagascar.

It has been associated with various health problems, such as impotence in men, dental complications as well as heart conditions.

The compounds cathinone and cathine, active ingredients of the mild stimulant, were listed in a schedule of harmful compounds in the 2000s, effecting the ban on the crop in the US, Norway, Canada and Sweden.

Khat is quasi-legal (its legality is ambiguous), as Lee Cassanelli, a scholar who wrote a seminal chapter on the drug, once said.

The heroin that was found concealed as make-up. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Kenya, it is not only legal but also a main cash crop in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Miraa gained popularity in the rest of the world after Somalis, who are very fond of it, trevelled with it around the globe.

But in 2013, the Netherlands, which acted as a transport hub for the drug to rest of the world, also banned it.

The then Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers is quoted by Radio Netherlands as saying that 10 percent of Somali men in the country were badly affected by the drug.

“They are lethargic and refuse to co-operate with the government or take responsibility for themselves or their families,” he said.

A government report released to back the ban also cited that noise, litter and perceived public threat posed by the men who used the drug were the reasons behind the move.

The UK soon after declared miraa a class C drug, banning further imports of the stimulant into the country.

Kenya’s biggest market for miraa today is Somalia, with 90 percent of the product going there.

Mogadishu once banned the stimulant after Nairobi banned direct flights between the two cities over terrorism fears.

source:nation.co.ke

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!