Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jeb Bush's Foreign Policy: My Brother Didn't Do It! (Sorry, Jeb, He Did.)

Don't take my word for it. Take McClatchy's. Here's a tease:
The former Florida governor asserted that the Islamic State’s takeover of large swaths of Iraq in 2014 was a direct consequence of the “fatal error” of Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the country in 2011 after the eight-year U.S. military occupation. He claimed the withdrawal squandered the “success, brilliant, heroic and costly,” of the 2007 U.S. troop surge. He said Clinton “stood by as the hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.”
Bush’s account of the withdrawal as a “case of blind haste” omitted the fact that it was his brother who’d set the withdrawal date of Dec. 31, 2011, in an agreement that he signed with the Iraqi government in 2008.
He also neglected to note that the Iraqi government strongly opposed the continued presence of U.S. forces.
“The last American soldier will leave Iraq” as agreed, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said in a Dec. 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal. “This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alternation. It is sealed.”
Funny thing is that's exactly the way I remembered it. Jeb? Probably does, too. So why attempt to rewrite history? I have a few ideas. This is for the base, and he wants to have a foreign policy, a "muscular" one at that. So, what he would "fix" can't have been his brother's fault, must be Obama's and Clinton's. Only trouble is, the Etch-A-Sketch era is over. I'd hate to have to withstand anyone, especially Hillary Clinton, in a one-on-one debate. "I didn't say that" is not a good answer anymore.

The above excerpt was just one of many deceptions -- distortions is the nice word -- explained in the article.

update. Pile on with WaPo's Paul Waldman.

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