"Looking Back on a Troubled Presidency" [December 15-22] was about as fair as the media have been to President Bush. I do not agree with the author's position on the president's call to depose Saddam. Each president, including Bush No. 41 and Bill Clinton believed that Saddam possessed WMD. Every European leader, Saddam's own generals, and Iran all believed that he did. That WMDs were not found speaks volumes about the man but does not in any way suggest that President Bush lied. It is also unfortunate that the author chose Howard Dean to give a rebuttal on the president's invasion decision. He could not have found a more biased individual. The article author also faults the president on the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. The fact remains that Louisiana Governor Blanco failed to carry out her sworn duty as the chief executive of her state. History and time will show that this president was not the responsible party with regards to the collapse of the U.S. economy, but in fact, Clintonites and certain Democratic senators were primarily responsible. I hope to live long enough to see that.
Robert Reichert, Punta Gorda , Fla.
Regarding President Bush's legacy, obviously, there will be many that will want to rate this man as the worst president in our history. I would disagree! As any somewhat intelligent person would agree, President Bush embodied everything that is good within the human spirit and, until 9/11, had shown ability, desire, and a plan to move this country forward and to do so in many ways! Unfortunately, as with the game of poker wherein we are often dealt a bad hand and forced to play it as best possible—so was President Bush! No president in the history was ever dealt as bad a hand as George Bush, and he played it as best he could, given the circumstances and obstacles thrown in his path!
Tom Letourneau, Cumberland , R.I.
U.S. News, like nearly all American media, has been most generous to President Bush. Your article "Looking Back on a Troubled Presidency" made no mention of the characteristics of his administration: a near total inability to plan ahead and an emphasis on public relations often to the exclusion of substantive efforts. Bush prides himself as having acted aggressively, but making aggressive noises after the fact and without meaningful planning is nothing to be proud of. The times to plan and act were before 9/11, before Katrina, before invading Iraq, and before the economic meltdown. Bush violated a very basic administrative principle by not preparing during good times for possible crises. He should go down in history as a textbook example of how not to govern.
Lou Karas, Catawissa , Pa.
What will it take to burnish the reputation of George W. Bush? If terrorists hit the United States a couple of times in the next eight years, we will all look back on the Bush presidency as a peaceful, golden age.
Taras Wolansky, Kerhonkson , N.Y.