Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Who Is Brent Scowcroft?

             My VIP for this week is Brent Scowcroft. He was born and reared in Ogden, Utah, and he lived to serve and be respected by numerous Presidents of the United States. He died last week at age 95 leaving a great resume.

… He was an adviser to [Richard] Nixon and national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush. He founded the Forum for International Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy think tank. He served in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the headquarters of the Air Force and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. He served as chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under the second Bush from 2001 to 2005 and Obama called on him to help choose his national security team.

            So how did this Utah boy become so influential? When he was inducted into the University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics political hall of fame in 2008, Scowcroft “said the principles that guided his political career were formed while growing up in Ogden.

Utah has the best workers in the country … the most honest and hardworking with integrity…. That was the environment in which I grew up, and whatever success I’ve had is due to that and due to the people around me.

            Th Deseret News opinion piece praised Scowcroft for his ability to serve America as he worked with various Presidents and in numerous capacities.

A brilliant foreign policy expert, Scowcroft may have done more than anyone else to shape how America interacted with the world over the past 50 years. Despite this, it is doubtful his name is readily recognizable. That’s because he rarely sought the spotlight for himself. He was a true stateman. People who wielded real power in Washington, whether Democrats or Republicans, knew that when he spoke, they ought to listen.

From Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, U.S. presidents relied on Scowcroft’s expert understanding of the world and his ability to weigh information free from partisan considerations. He wasn’t afraid of offending politicians with his honesty. He may have been “the guiding hand” behind President George H. W. Bush’s military operation to liberate Kuwait, as The New York Times put it, but he was one of only a few Republicans willing to publicly oppose President George W. Bush’s campaign to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein from power several years later.

When the president wouldn’t listen to him, he published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, warning that an attack would jeopardize the nation’s counterterrorist campaign and settle little. He also said it would undermine the faith others in the world had in an America they believed “meant well.”

“It’s easy to lose trust, but it takes a lot of work to gain it,” he said.

            Scowcroft was a true patriot who served America with integrity. He was humble and “serviceable” to the nation even though he did not stand in the spotlight. He left a great example for all of us to follow.

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