While it’s not really all that surprising to see Republicans trying to blame President Obama for the current chaos in the Middle East, no matter how many times I see them try to do it, I still typically walk away just shaking my head. It’s just amazing to me that after all of the catastrophic failures committed by the Bush administration in relation to Iraq, these people have the gall to try to blame the president who had to come in and deal with the aftermath of that incompetence.
Not only that, but I think most of us know what kind of shape this country was in when President Obama took office. When George W. Bush left office, he left this country in an absolute and total mess both domestically and internationally. The only reason why Iraq didn’t spiral out of control in 2009 is because our troops were still there. Yet, thanks to Bush’s 2008 SOFA agreement that set the date for our troops leaving Iraq, the country collapsed into complete chaos shortly after we left. I think most people with even the slightest shred of common sense knew that was going to happen. While some Republicans have said President Obama could have done more to keep our troops there, they’re ignoring three indisputable realities:
- The SOFA agreement was already in place, therefore the Iraqi government would have had to agree to change it.
- The Iraqi people – and most of their government – no longer wanted us there.
- The American people overwhelmingly wanted us out of Iraq.
And again, let’s not forget that at the time our economy was spiraling out of control and millions of people were out of work, so the last thing most Americans cared about was what was going on in Iraq. Especially with Republicans trying to sabotage President Obama at every turn.
Well, in a pathetic attempt to blame his brother’s failures on President Obama, Jeb Bush essentially tried to say that the reason ISIS exists is because of this president.
“ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president,” Bush said. “Al-Qaida in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was president. There were mistakes made in Iraq for sure, but the surge created a fragile but stable Iraq that the president could have built on.”
Politifact rated Bush’s statements as “Mostly False,” saying in part:
Bush said, “ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was President. Al-Qaida in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was president.”
There are problems with both pieces of Bush’s claim. Yes, a group called ISIS didn’t exist while Bush was president, but the roots of the organization were indeed present and operating under a different banner.
As far as claiming al-Qaida was “wiped out,” most experts consider that a stretch. The group’s power certainly diminished under Bush but it wasn’t wiped out.
But what they fail to mention, and what Jeb Bush damn sure doesn’t want anyone to talk about, is that much of the instability in the region that led to the “Arab Spring” and the chaos that broke out in Egypt, Libya and Syria was all related in part to the Iraq War destabilizing the entire region. As we should all know, that destabilization is really what lead to the rise of ISIS, the chaos in Iraq and the fact that the Middle East is more dangerous than ever.
Jeb Bush can try to blame President Obama for George W.’s mistakes all he wants, but all he’s proving is that he’s incapable of governing any differently than his brother.