Iran Iraq Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush Has a Question for His Brother

Jeb directed this rhetorical question at the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, but it's actually a question for his brother, George W. Bush.

In prepared remarks Jeb Bush is scheduled to deliver today, the "smart one" will point the finger at President Obama and Hillary Clinton for creating ISIS.

"Why was the success of the surge followed by a withdrawal from Iraq, leaving not even the residual force that commanders and the joint chiefs knew was necessary?" Bush will ask in prepared remarks. [...]

"That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill — and that Iran has exploited to the full as well," Bush is expected to say, emphasizing ISIS grew from U.S. disengagement.

The "success of the surge" was not achieved by the use of force, it was achieved by the use of the national credit card. But I digress.

In case you've forgotten, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that called for total withdrawal from Iraq was agreed to by the George W. Bush administration. To the chagrin of liberal critics, the Obama administration sought to reach a new agreement with the al-Maliki administration that would have left some American forces in the country, but the former Iraqi government would not agree to give legal immunity to American troops.

Personally I would oppose leaving a permanent force in the country, but if we're going to assign blame for a particular historical event, we should at least get it right.

As for the idea that withdrawing from Iraq created ISIS -- Jeb says a void or power vacuum in Iraq led to the creation of ISIS and the rise of Iran, and he's right about that, but he's wrong about who created the power vacuum.

Invading Iraq, deposing its ruler, and disbanding the Iraqi military will be seen as an epic blunder for all of recorded history and George W. Bush is responsible for all of it.

Jeb's apparent belief that he can blame someone else for Iraq without making the country collectively cringe is a testament to either his ignorance or arrogance.

Jeb Bush will never become president.

  • DetroitSam

    Don’t forget that Jeb???! was a signatore of the PNAC. You know, the plan to invade and destroy Iraq first followed by the other Middle Eastern countries.

    What I don’t get is that progressive publications, pundits and talk show hosts NEVER mention Jeb???!’s role in the PNAC destruction plan.

    I get that the “liberal” media will never bring up Jeb???! up, but why won’t progressive media?

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum yesterday pointed to an Atlantic article by Peter Beinart.

    The point of The Surge wasn’t to crush al-Qaeda or to stop the Iraqi Civil War, it was to give the government an opportunity for political reconciliation, an opportunity Nouri al-Maliki actively undercut. The US didn’t politely force him to play nice with the Sunnis, so the Sunnis felt they had no choice but to start fighting again. Hence, the rise of Da’esh.

    As Drum puts it:

    As with the Vietnam myth [that Congress turned a war that was essentially won into a humiliating defeat], the fable of the surge is mostly a political construct. Nobody who understands the actual Iraq timeline takes it seriously, but it’s a handy way of attacking Obama, and it plays well with low-information voters who figure that it’s just plain common sense that war is about military force and nothing else. As an added bonus, it plays right into the Republican theme that our military has been hollowed out by Obama and needs a Reaganesque rebuilding.

    Jeb Bush isn’t saying anything The Base doesn’t want to hear about Iraq, even—or perhaps especially—when it’s demonstrably untrue. Neither is any other R running for President.

    Jeb Bush will never become president.

    Probably not, but the R candidate will have a non-zero chance of doing so, and that thought scares the poo out of me.


    • j hentai

      the “surge” was actually about making sure that darth cheney and his padawan darth shrub could walk away; from the white house, and the media (how difficult was that?) and most importantly from the repercussions! bush/cheney for the hague 2016!

      • muselet

        If the surge had only been about covering the respective arses of George W Bush and Dick Cheney, the generals would have walked away. Giving the Iraqi government the space to make nice with the Iraqi people was why the generals wanted more personnel in country.

        As a practical matter, though, you’re right.


  • Nefercat

    “Jeb’s apparent belief that he can blame someone else… is a testament to either his ignorance or arrogance.”
    Or to a well-founded belief in the ignorance, stupidity, laziness, and/or short attention span of the American electorate.

    • Christopher Foxx

      A VERY well founded belief.

  • Aynwrong

    I wish I had something of substance to say or even just something just clever. These lies have been told and debunked so many times they should be numbing at this point. But they are not. The lies are about something too important. The reason the war started and the possibility that it could happen again due to the 45% of the electorate that insists on voting for the GOP, consequences be dammed and so called middle of the road/independent voters being too lazy to inform themselves or unwilling to care. And a media that refuses to do it’s job and describe lies as lies.

    I wouldn’t trust JEB! to run a dog show let alone the U.S. Military.

    • fry1laurie

      Heck of a job, Brownie. (No, wait, that was horses)

      • Aynwrong

        And a hurricane that the village idiot George W. Bush needed to be shown a montage of news clips on DVD before he understood that it was in fact a hurricane.