It’s All ‘W’s’ Fault — Not

As unannounced GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush ended his visit to Reno, Nevada, Ivy Ziedrich called out, “Governor Bush, would you take a student question?”

The 19-year-old Democrat and political science major at the University of Nevada, Reno, had to preface her question first.

“Your brother created ISIS,” Ziedrich said, speaking of George W. Bush.

Then Ziedrich asked: “Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”

Bush pointedly responded: “When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.”

“And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress,” he added. “The result was the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.”

He concluded: “Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because America pulled back.”

As John Adams stated, “Facts are stubborn things…”

While is true that ‘W’ signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the U.S. in 2008, establishing that U.S. combat forces would withdraw by June 30, 2009, with all U.S. combat forces completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

Negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq for a new SOFA began in fall 2010, as the legal authority — United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790 — expired December 31, 2008. The draft bill was approved by the Council of Ministers of Iraq on November 16.

In August 2011, the U.S. and Iran settled on between 3,000 to 5,000 troops to remain behind after the Obama Administration concluded Iraq was not at risk of slipping into chaos in the absence of U.S. forces. And on October 15, 2011, the Obama Administration proceeded with the plan to withdraw American forces from Iraq.

If we follow Miss Ziedrich down the same rabbit-hole — with George Bush out of office and a new SOFA on the table, any vacuum created in Iraq is Barack Obama’s failure, and thus the creation of ISIS/ISIL is his fault as he was at the time, and still is Commander-in-Chief of U.S. combat forces.

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