another great man dies.

Dylan maynard, reporter

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George H.W. Bush, the careful and pragmatic manager of the Cold War’s final dramas, had nearly every tool a great president needs. He had fire and drive, which are indispensable to a great statesman. From his glamorous youth through his momentous single term as 41st President of the United States, Bush was consumed, in the words of one biographer, by “an almost insatiable ambition and competitiveness.” He had experience, gained over decades in private business and public service. He had good judgment, cultivating the quality that Aristotle called “practical wisdom,” but which Bush referred to as “prudence.” He had the courage to make difficult decisions. He was discerning in his choice of strong advisers, and was comfortable with dissenting views. Bush was a natural born leader.Bush—who died Nov. 30, 2018 at the age of 94 years, eight months after the passing of his wife Barbara—employed all of his strengths as, step by cautious step, he consolidated America’s position as the lone superpower in a new world order while, at the same time, he allowed the Soviet Union to die with a measure of dignity. Rarely, if ever, has so much power shifted so peacefully. Then Bush marshaled this enhanced U.S. influence to lead a global coalition to repel Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Thirty-five nations, from Syria to Senegal and Bahrain to Bangladesh, contributed support to the U.S.-led Operation Desert Storm. Bush’s decision, after driving the invaders out, to stop short of forcing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power was necessary to hold the coalition together. It was the prudent thing to do, though arguably it came at a price that is still being paid more than a quarter-century later.

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