Fooled me once…

Today likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush tried to shift attention from his flubbing the “what would you have done” question about invading Iraq by blaming President Obama for the presence of and gains made by ISIS/ISIL in Iraq. Bush not only conveniently ignores that it was the 2003 invasion and its aftermath that totally destabilized Iraq, but he actually lies about whose decision it was to remove all combat troops from the country. It was his brother who signed the agreement with then Prime Minister Maliki providing for the withdrawal of troops. President Obama’s representatives were unable to persuade Maliki to agree to a status of forces agreement that would give U.S. troops immunity from Iraqi sanctions, and Obama was happy to fulfill his campaign promise by carrying out the withdrawal of troops on the originally agreed timetable. In any case, it should be clear to us now, but is not clear to any likely and now-declared Republican presidential candidates, that stationing thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq can never be more than a temporary stabilizing factor, at best, and they have to come home at some point. At that point, there will again be chaos as the resumption of generations of feuding between Shia and Sunni muslims continues to tear apart that country. Investing our soldiers’ lives and our dollars in a futile effort is indeed foolish. As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is also true that those who ignore or lie about the mistakes of the past will repeat them. If we as voters elect Jeb Bush or any other interventionist candidate to the White House in 2016, it is we who are the fools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *