Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright takes Jeb! to task for his attempts to rewrite the history of the Iraq war and the growth of ISIS/ISIL. She opens her op-ed for Politico as follows:
Since leaving office, I have come to a détente with many of my Republican friends, agreeing not to keep rehashing mistakes of the past and to instead focus on the future of America’s foreign policy. However, 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.
Just a few weeks ago Jeb! refused to even admit his brother was wrong for invading Iraq, and he’s trying to play the same misinformation game his brother did more than a decade ago. Georgie Boy lead this country into an unnecessary, trumped up war, and now Jebby is doubling down on the lies.
Anyone who was paying attention knows, as Albright points out, that ISIS emerged after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Georgie invaded Iraq, unseated Saddam Hussein and disbanded the military, enabling the terrorist organization to rise from the ashes. It’s not surprising that many members of ISIS are former members of al Qeada.
Either Jebby doesn’t know squat about Iraq or ISIS, or he’s engaging in some strategic “forgetting to mention,” in order to push blame onto President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton. Somehow, he also “forgets to mention” that his brother was actually the president who negotiated our pull-out date and and the reduction of troops plan even though President Obama wanted to stay in Iraq a little longer. Georgie forced President Obama’s hand; thanks to Georgie’s agreements, Iraq was able to refuse to grant U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution.
Secretary Albright also notes that Jebby makes it a point of referring to member of ISIS as “Islamic terrorists.” Albright rightly states that it is offensive to call ISIS “Islamic terrorists” because “it feeds the false narrative that we are at war with a religion.” Jebby does this, of course, because he wants to appeal to the Islamophobic GOP base. Exposing yet another of Jebby’s lies, she gives credit where it is due 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.
Secretary Albright concludes her powerful indictment of Georgie and Jebby by asserting why it’s so important to call the Bush brothers out for their lies–past and present:
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.
Words matter as do actions. The Bush brothers spin lies and their actions in the past led to war and now seek to take us there once again.