With 16 Republicans vying for the GOP Presidential nomination, the field is crowded to say the least. The original presumed leader, Jeb Bush, has been struggling to make his candidacy relevant without much success. Yesterday he added another package of hot air which will be difficult to talk around in future debates should he somehow get the nomination.
Yesterday, Jeb tossed out the already well worn line that ISIS is a direct result of President Obama withdrawing US troops from Iraq too soon (after ten years of a war fought for no valid reason). Bush gratuitously added Hillary Clinton to the list of coconspirators. He claimed the policies of both left Iraq exposed and unprepared for whatever lie around it. Hmmm.
Many observers’ first reaction is to ask, “on who’s watch did the US troops get into Iraq in the first place?”
Further questions might be who supported (selected in many analyst’s views) Nouri al Maliki as Iraq’s Prime Minister and did nothing to replace him when it became clear Maliki was driving a wedge between Sunnis and Shiites?
Jeb’s speech, billed as a major foreign policy statement, certainly ranked higher on importance scale than most of Donald Trump’s bluster. That is, however, not much of an endorsement.
Bush is also one of many who have denounced President Obama over the Iran nuclear deal. Jeb’s also calling for a “better deal” whatever that is. Apparently, Bush believes that magic will somehow intervene and Iran will disavow its nuclear ambitions on its own accord.
Jeb’s opposition to President Obama and just about anything the President has done is not really a surprise. Some say this is just politics. When one considers, however, that a group of leading American scientists (who would understand the technical aspects of the agreement) and another group of retired senior military officers (who would understand the difficulties and dangers of a war with Iran) have both issued letters saying the current agreement with Iran is the best alternative available now, Bush’s (and many other politicians’) rejection of the agreement makes one wonder whether they are thinking things through?
Jeb’s brother George W certainly did not think through what a war in Iraq might lead to. “W” added to this intellectual laziness (or incompetence) a hard sell to the nation where “faulty” intelligence was used to convince the American people war was the right option.
Jeb’s view that had America kept its fighting forces in Iraq, ISIS would not be where it is today is simply problematic. Maybe or maybe not. What is not problematic is that had the US still kept combat mission forces in Iraq, they would have been used resulting in deaths to more Americans. Probably as certain would have been that Iraq would have still not undergone the political and social reforms necessary to mend together the Iraq’s sectarian differences.
If Jeb Bush (or any other candidate) wants to speak on foreign policy and to really be relevant, they need to address the situation as it exist today. I wonder what Jeb would say about the Iranian nuclear deal given the world’s endorsement? What would he do when President?
I also wonder what Jeb would do with Iraq as it is today? Hmmm.
And while he is at it, how does he think the US can handle the Middle East, Russia (western expansion creep), and China (south China sea expansion), and the mess that is called Africa? Such statements are unlikely because they are highly nuanced and bold clear unequivocal statements would unlikely stand the test of do we have the forces, the will, and the budget to undertake them.
Consequently Jeb is left to making statements on what “should” have been and even then he is getting it wrong. Jeb is drifting towards irrelevance.