Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has been on a mission to rewrite history and fool the American people into believing that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are to blame for the rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in the Middle East. He has said on a number of occasions, most recently at the Iowa State Fair, that “ISIS didn’t exist” when George W. Bush was president (it did) and that Obama’s “decision” (really President Bush’s decision) to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011 is to blame. Unfortunately for him, his lies are not fooling anyone and now he is being called out by a very prominent political figure: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In an op-ed penned for Politico, Albright slams Jeb Bush for his attempt to change history and calls him the liar he is:
“Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s brazen attempts to rewrite history in a series of campaign appearances last week cannot go unchallenged. By blaming President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the rise of ISIL, Governor Bush is clearly seeking to absolve his brother’s administration of responsibility for today’s problems in Iraq. This argument may serve Governor Bush’s political interests, but it does a disservice to the truth.”
The country’s first female Secretary of State hit the nail right on the head. Jeb Bush, who refused to even admit his brother was wrong for invading Iraq in the early days of his campaign, is now trying to pull one over on the American people, just like his brother did more than a decade ago.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton are absolutely not to blame for the rise of ISIS. Albright points out that ISIS actually emerged after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. When President Bush invaded the country, unseated Saddam Hussein and disbanded the military, the terrorist organization rose from the ashes. Many of the members of the group were former members of al Qeada, something Jeb “forgets” to mention while he is busy blaming Obama. Just like he “forgets” to mention that his brother was actually the president who negotiated our pull-out date and even though President Obama wanted to stay in Iraq a little longer, he didn’t because Iraq was refusing to grant U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution.
The former Secretary of State also mentions that Jeb Bush makes it a point to refer to member of ISIS as “Islamic terrorists.” Ms. Albright explains that it is offensive to call ISIS “Islamic terrorists” because “it feeds the false narrative that we are at war with a religion.” He does this, because he wants to appeal to the Islamophobic GOP base who are always claiming that President Obama refuses to acknowledge that Islamic extremists exist — another Republican lie. She then gives the president and Hillary Clinton credit for the gains we have made in the Middle East:
“Words matter in the world of diplomacy, and so does leadership. The reputation of the United States was severely damaged during President’ Bush’s administration. Today, America’s place in the world is far stronger than it was in 2009 thanks to the leadership of President Obama and former Secretary Clinton. They renewed alliances, relentlessly pursued our terrorist enemies, and forged international coalitions on Iran sanctions and on the fight against climate change. That’s a laudable record of achievement—one that needs no re-writes.”
President Obama has done much to repair our diplomatic relationships, in spite of Republicans’ every effort to sabotage him and them. The GOP has done absolutely nothing to support our president since he took office in 2008, but it didn’t matter because no matter how many roadblocks they put in his way, he prevailed. A perfect example of this is the Iran nuclear deal. Republicans have been up in arms over Obama’s negotiations with Iran. They, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, do not believe in diplomacy; they want the USA to become in yet another unwinnable war in the Middle East that will cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. Fortunately for America, President Obama has a level head and believes war is the last resort, not the first.
The GOP candidate refuses to acknowledge any of this and continues to place the blame for the Islamic State on Obama’s shoulders, because it not only appeals to his base, but he can’t admit that his brother is an incompetent fool who thrust our country into an unwinnable war and cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives.
Former Secretary of State Albright concludes her op-ed by explaining why it is so important to call Jeb out for his lies:
“The United States cannot afford another President Bush who blinds himself to global reality and who forges ahead into chaos. Americans deserve a president who will acknowledge the past and will forge a better future.”
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.