George W Bush, Starter of Two Wars, Will Receive Liberty Medal on Armistice Day

US

Former US President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will receive the Liberty Medal on Sunday in Philadelphia. With the award typically going to leaders “who have strived to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” more than a few people are baffled at the National Constitution Center’s choice.

The Bushes will receive the award on November 11, Veterans Day, which in Europe is known as Armistice Day. This year’s Armistice Day is a very special anniversary, because it will have been exactly 100 years since the armistice that ended the First World War on the Western Front on November 11, 1918.

It’s especially ironic, then, that Bush should be given a medal that typically goes to people who end conflicts or who fight for peace, such as Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, or overcome prejudice, such as Sandra Day O’Connor, John Lewis and Thurgood Marshall, on a day commemorating the end of what was once called “The War to End All Wars,” when Bush’s most notorious legacies are two colossal wars in the Middle East and the enormous expansion of the surveillance state in the US.

​Lest it be forgotten, Bush presided over the creation of the US Department of Homeland Security following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the massive expansion of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to house suspected terrorists indefinitely under conditions of torture. It was Bush…

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