via @JonathanLanday @lesleyclark
WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, in his Tuesday speech that was billed as a major foreign policy address, provided a distorted version of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and an incorrect account of the origins of the Islamic State.
Bush vowed that if elected he would expand U.S. military intervention in the Middle East significantly. His version of events, however, seemed intended to absolve his brother, President George W. Bush, of blame in destabilizing the region while trying to pin the region’s current bloodshed on President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic presidential frontrunner.
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.