Grateful Kuwaitis visited the US Embassy to sign the book of condolence and express their sympathies over the passing of the Late US President George H.W. Bush and honour the memory of the man who played a tremendous role in rallying together a coalition of nations to secure Kuwait’s liberation in 1991.
US Ambassador Lawrence R. Silverman expressed his deep appreciation for the outpouring of messages from all corners of Kuwaiti society since the news of the passing of Former President Bush on Nov 30 first broke. He shared that the heartfelt message of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, confirms the special relationship the two countries share.
Commenting on President Bush’s role in ending the occupation and bringing about the liberation of Kuwait, Ambassador Silverman stated, “He thought that we were just doing our job. He was very happy to do it, he was very proud to do it and he had no second thoughts about it.” He added, however, that sending troops into battle is not an easy decision for an American President to make, “He had parents pleading with him not to send their children into battle. We have a memorial in the Embassy that bears the names of the 148 Americans who died during the liberation of Kuwait.
President Bush never had a second thought that this was the right thing to do and it was the necessary thing to do. But he was also a human being and he had feelings. He was a parent and he knows that these are difficult decisions and he worried if they would succeed. The answer was yes, absolutely. We needed to do it for the world order”, he shared. “The outpouring of emotion and thanks from the Kuwaiti people, and the putting up of the image of President Bush at the Kuwaiti Towers, I deeply appreciate as an American and as the US Ambassador here.”
Ambassador Silverman shared that the Kuwaiti people saw the late President Bush as a father figure. He is fondly remembered and highly regarded that grandparents who were unable to come personally and give their condolences, sent their children and grandchildren on their behalf. “People here say, Mr Bush is in our hearts, but Mr Bush had a piece of Kuwait in his heart very much so because he really did feel that this was a time when America made a commitment and kept its commitment.”
He also highlighted the role of Kuwaitis and the coalition of nations that came together to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. He affirmed that President Bush’s commitment to upholding international law and order is shared by the US and Kuwait even today. He shared that the Kuwaiti leadership always supported the rule of law internationally and he expressed his happiness that Kuwait was a fellow member of the UN Security Council.
He drew attention to President Bush’s charge of diplomacy as another common value shared between the two countries, “President Bush felt the need to get the legitimacy that came with the UN in part because he had been ambassador to the UN He knew how to prosecute the war and give our soldiers what they needed, it is because he had been a soldier himself and was shot down during World War II.” “He knew the need for diplomacy and tried every option until war was the only recourse.
HH the Amir, with his long career in diplomacy as Foreign Minister also shares the same outlook of trying to solve things diplomacy. This is not just about the liberation of Kuwait but also a much larger principle.” Ambassador Silverman, who had had the opportunity of personally meeting the former President, shared that even if George Bush Sr hadn’t been President, he would have had many admirers as a father, as a grandfather as a politician, as a businessman, and as an ambassador.
“That is the kind of person he was – about setting an example and trying to guide the development of his children and grandchildren up until the day he passed away.” He affirmed that the best legacy of President Bush is all of the people that he inspired and influenced. “We have the gift of having him be President but even the larger gift of George Bush the man.” He announced that US Embassy Diwaniya would be named after the late President to leave something tangible behind in his name, permanently in Kuwait. He shared that while the focus these days will rest on the Gulf War and the liberation of Kuwait, he is sure that the Late President Bush would be just as proud of the fact that the relationship between the US and Kuwait has continued to grow since then. He pointed out that while the liberation of Kuwait was an instance, a moment of emergency that brought the world together to come to the aid of Kuwait, the US and Kuwait have built on this relationship.
“I think he would be very pleased that we have a strategic dialogue and that we are expanding our relations in defense, security, trade, investment, education, cultural affairs, and consular issues.” He stated that the US was still committed to the security of Kuwait and added, “Restoring the sovereignty of a country is one thing, but what are we doing with that sovereignty? What are we doing as two sovereign countries not just to build the very strong bond between us but also to help in the stability and security, well-being and prosperity of the region? I think he would be just as proud of the relationship and if he were still President. We appreciate the example that he set.”
SOURCE : ARABTIMES