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Europe remains at peace long after the Cold War. We have George H.W. Bush to thank

Europe remains at peace long after the Cold War. We have George H.W. Bush to thank
President George H.W. Bush and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev laugh during a joint news conference in Moscow on July 31, 1991. (Mike Fisher / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: History is filled with tipping points, and the demise of the Soviet Union was truly one of those. (“George H.W. Bush dies; 41st U.S. president saw the Cold War end,” Nov. 30)

Critical to nailing down the end of the Soviet empire was the remarkable ability of President George H.W. Bush and his team to navigate shoals to eliminate Moscow’s massive military force in Eastern Europe. The result opened the door for the reunification of Germany on U.S. terms, granting Soviet-occupied countries farther east the opportunity to define their destiny.

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The positive European security legacy of the Bush years remains to this day and ought to to be celebrated as we remember our 41st president.

Bennett Ramberg, Los Angeles

The writer was a policy analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration.

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To the editor: Choosing a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, who received a split rating of “qualified” and “not qualified” by the American Bar Assn., for apparently no other reason than having the slightest similarity to Thurgood Marshall did not win any points with me.

However, I regard it as a genuine act of leadership when a president takes his responsibility seriously and sees an unpopular act as necessary for the good of the country or the world. That’s what Bush did when he went back on his word not to raise taxes and when he recognized the sovereignty of Iraq’s borders.

I also found it particularly admirable when he resigned his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Assn. in 1995 after it compared federal agents to Nazis.

Ronald Webster, Long Beach

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To the editor: Regardless of how you view his presidency or his politics, Bush was smart, kind, educated, honest, moral, ethical and patriotic. He was also a terrific husband, father and friend — in other words, a good person.

The American flag should be flown at half-staff not just for 30 days, but until the Trump administration is gone and we no longer have to sit in mourning for the passing of our democracy.

Marshall Barth, Encino

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