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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Republicans are still squabbling with each other, but there is already a public war of words going on with an eye toward the general election. And it involves someone with the last name “Bush” lambasting the opposition for messing up Iraq — yes, really.

Tonight, Jeb Bush will deliver a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, on “Addressing the Threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism.” (We can probably assume, however, that he won’t openly propose to deal with radical Islamic terrorism the same way that Reagan himself did — by selling weapons to both the Iranian regime and Iraqi strongmen.)

From early excerpts posted online by Jeb’s campaign, he will indeed admit to certain past mistakes in Iraq — and then say it was all President Obama’s fault for abandoning the project after it was going so well:

No leader or policymaker involved will claim to have gotten everything right in the region, Iraq especially.

Yet in a long experience that includes failures of intelligence and military setbacks, one moment stands out in memory as the turning point we had all been waiting for.

And that was the surge of military and diplomatic operations that turned events toward victory.

It was a success, brilliant, heroic, and costly.

And this nation will never forget the courage and sacrifice that made it all possible.

So why was the success of the surge followed by a withdrawal from Iraq, leaving not even the residual force that commanders and the joint chiefs knew was necessary?

And he will single out Hillary by name:

And where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge…then joined in claiming credit for its success … then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.

In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once.

Who can seriously argue that America and our friends are safer today than in 2009, when the president and Secretary Clinton – the storied “team of rivals” – took office?

The two campaigns also waged a mini-flame war on Twitter Monday night, starting with Jeb’s people replying to a tweet from the Clinton campaign about her college education proposals.

Hillary’s people then responded by pointing to Jeb’s own record on higher ed:

To which the Jeb folks then switched to Hillary’s “H” campaign logo:

Photo: Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to attendees at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia on August 8, 2015. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)

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  • Independent1

    Why is it that these GOP Clown candidates, especially JEB seem to have amnesia when it it comes to who was the architect of the Iraqi withdrawal agreement – namely JEB’s brother George. And it seems that the author of this article either didn’t research or remember, that all Hillary has to do is point out that JEB is once again, FABRICATING THE TRUTH BY NOT POINTING OUT THAT IT WAS GWM WHO SET THIS ALL UP!!! (Al Maliki would simply not agree to not holding American troops liable to Iraqi law for anything the Iraqis may want to charge them for while they were in fact working to protect Iraq from its enemies. This is why Obama was left with no recourse but to pull our troops out.)

    See this from Wikipedia:

    The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq) was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. combat forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.[1] The pact required criminal charges for holding prisoners over 24 hours, and required a warrant for searches of homes and buildings that were not related to combat.[1] U.S. contractors working for U.S. forces would have been subject to Iraqi criminal law, while contractors working for the State Department and other U.S. agencies would retain their immunity. If U.S. forces committed still undecided “major premeditated felonies” while off-duty and off-base, they would have been subjected to an undecided procedures laid out by a joint U.S.-Iraq committee if the U.S. certified the forces were off-duty.[2][3][1][4]

    (I’m going to be very disappoint if Hillary doesn’t stuff JEB’s words in tonight’s speech right back down his throat!!!!!!!!)

    • FireBaron

      I think we all need to reevaluate our estimate that Jeb is the “smarter brother”.

      • Jinmichigan

        I think Jeb has proved that was a serious miscalculation, multiple times now.

      • plc97477

        He is not only not the smarter brother but he seems to be afraid of his brother or maybe it is cheney he is afraid of. I have to admit cheney is pretty scary.

        • Ladyred497

          Cheney dictated to George how things were going to go. After all, Halliburton needed those war profits even if they were paid for by future taxpayers since they also did not fund the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. They just charged them to the future and gave the Halliburtans and elites a bigger tax break. That is the major reason for our deficit–two unfunded wars and the tax breaks to the corporations and the rich. Now the GOP is aching for more war, anywhere in the Middle East–Iran, Syria, they don’t care. They need war. So The Donald comes out with–Make my day–I’ll blow them all away. And Jeb counters with it’s all the Dems fault, we need to go back. Really? Who will he support? The same group his brother dethroned–the Sunnis? Or maybe the Syrian rebels McCain wants to arm–the same rebels who are in actuality–ISIS. None of them have an F-ing clue.

  • marby

    Is it chutzpah or delusion or desperation for a candidate named Bush to initiate a public conversation about the Iraq War? What could possibly make him think he has ANY credibility on this subject???

    • FireBaron

      Chutzpah, definitely

      • 1Zoe55

        No, this is pure stupidity on Jeb’s part. Did people notice where he delivered his speech–in front of a conservative group, where else? I would have more respect for all these politicians if they spoke before unfriendly groups. I do not like Trump, but he does face down or up to his hostile audiences.

  • charleo1

    The question of whether we should have stayed where we should have never gone in the first place, is a dandy. Is it not? Stayed after the time had expired on the authority under the international law, and UN auspices with which we came in. The question then becomes one of, if we should have stayed on anyway, as illegal occupiers. Where we weren’t invited, or ever wanted by the Iraqi people in the first place. Who absolutely, by huge majorities, wanted us out. If we should have stayed in a place where our presence destroyed the thin bounds of peace within their society, and triggered a sectarian civil war. That caused the dislocation of more than 3 million Iraqi citizens from their homes. The majority still having not returned. And caused perhaps as many as 250,000 of their deaths. Maybe more. Maybe many more. To have stayed on in this place, where we had spent more than 800 billion dollars killing them, having them kill us, knocking down their infrastructure, and overthrowing their government. And of course after all that, the only thing they hate, and distrust more than us, is the corrupt, and dysfunctional government we left behind. And yet, here we are in our fine little lives, in our fine little homes. No one having came in from the other side of the World, and turned our lives upside down. And we burn the precious hours of our lives discussing minutia, and speculating fabrication. It’s an absurd conversation!

  • Dominick Vila

    Does anybody know how many of Jeb’s sons are serving in the military or planning to volunteer to go to that country to defend our economic interests and support our geo-political goals?
    The question is not whether our departure from Iraq was premature (it was based on W’s withdrawal schedule), but the justifications made to support an invasion of a country, and the removal of a regime, that enjoyed our full support during the Iran-Iraq war, when Saddam was considered an effective tool to contain Iranian physical and ideological expansionism. The invasion, not the withdrawal, caused the havoc we have seen since that dreadful decision was made.

    Let’s not forget that Iraqis, and its Shia majority, had nothing to do with 9/11. We were attacked by Al Qaeda, a Sunni organizations whose members were mostly Saudi Arabian members of the Wahhabi sect. That includes Osama bin Laden, the Saudi princes that financed Al Qaeda, and 17 of the 19 terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.
    Two million Sunnis fled for their lives after Saddam was deposed and executed, and after they lost their livelihood following the purge of members of the Baathist party by the United States. Those Sunnis are now back with a vengeance, and a bone to pick. There are consequences to our decisions, and the decision to invade Iraq and remove our former allies for political and economic reasons is one of them. I don’t have a problem with Jeb trying to defend his older brother’s decision. I do have a problem with a candidate for President who refuses to learn from the mistakes made by his predecessors, including close relatives.

    • 1Zoe55

      I pose this question to those who are against the Iran Treaty: are you ready to send your own sons and daughters off to war in the Middle East? The senior Bush served our country honorably, but these fraternity brat sons of his, not so much. And all the other chicken hawks that seem to populate the Republican/Teabag party.

      • plc97477

        Since most of them are elderly it might be best to ask how many are willing to send their grandchildren.

      • Dominick Vila

        The nuclear agreement with Iran is not being criticized because it is ineffective, it is being attacked because it is so effective that it would result in the stabilization of a part of the world that has served as an excuse for out of control DoD budgets, that helps keep our arms industry profitable, that supports our geo-political ambitions and objectives, and that guarantee the preservation of foreign and military aid to Israel.
        Neither Russia, nor China, Germany or France would have supported this agreement if it was flawed. The greatest threat is the distinct probability of the rest of the world pressing on, lifting sanctions, and the USA being marginalized because of the political and economic priorities of the not so Grand Old Party, not to mention the intense hatred and prejudices of some of its members.

      • CPAinNewYork

        Speaking of chicken hawks: don’t leave out Chuck Schumer. He’ll gladly sacrifice anyone’s sons and daughters to protect Israel.

    • CPAinNewYork


      Hillary Clinton comes from that class of rich elitists who think that they’re entitled to do whatever they want. This isn’t tied to party, gender or whatever. Mitt Romney is a rich elitist, but fortunately for the country, he made enough stupid statements and partnered with Paul Ryan so that he lost the election big time. Even the American middle and lower classes figured him out as wanting to eliminate Social Security and Medicare and dumped him.

      Hillary Clinton knew that she committed security breaches by putting sensitive emails on her own server, but she was probably thinking about source data for her planned memoirs, which hopefully she’ll never write. Shades of Nixon!

      • Robert Cruder

        Do you mean that she was born a rich elitist like Trump, Romney, Ryan or Bush? She and her husband were born poor as was Nixon.

        Some like the Kennedys and Roosevelts see inherited wealth as an obligation while the previously-mentioned Republicans consider it a species difference. Why their base sees themselves as the same species when their candidates apparently do not is unfathomable.

        Fighting one’s way up leaves scars. For Nixon they were bitterness and enemies. For Hillary it is obsessive secrecy.

        The demonization, conspiracy-mongering and reflexive name-calling that we see in politics caused both those scars. Attack those who are doing that today before those who were scarred from yesterday.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Oh, please stop! I can’t stand it! Poor Hillary! Everybody’s beating up on her!

          Don’t insult me with your Poor Hillary crap. She’s a miserable individual who will do anything to gain her ends, just like most of the politicians that we have in America today. As for your justification of her penchant for security: It doesn’t cut any ice. She is guilty of violating basic security procedures to hide whatever “games” she was playing.

          • Robert Cruder

            Christianity differentiates the good (who make mistakes) from the evil (who choose acts that benefit themselves while harming others). Even the latter are considered redeemable.

            What of those who do what they feel necessary to protect themselves and do not feel that it is harming anyone?

            I watched the Nixon Senate hearings. At the time I placed him in that second group but now place him in the third.

            People are not born making that kind of choice. They do it from experience. Hillary became the target of fabricated conspiracy accusations in 1992 and they continue.

            I most certainly place her in the third group but must for now place CPAinNewYork (who lacks the courage to use his real name) in the second.

  • Jinmichigan

    Jeb’s big red nose must have fallen off just before he took the stage for this clown show.

  • plc97477

    I noticed he didn’t mention how many times w and cheney went to iraq during their involvement.

  • nana4gj

    This poor guy is pathetic. It is uncomfortable to hear his positions on anything, the worst being, on everything Iraq, or foreign policy. If he ever was “the smartest one in the family”, it explains a lot, and he may have convinced everyone he was smart, back in 2000, before his big brother ran ahead of him and “f’kd” everything up.

    Jeb Bush is screwed and he keeps tightening the bolts and screws, himself. Such a fantasy and fairy tale he weaves on Iraq. I would like to know what Condi Rice was doing during all of this “shock and awe” going on in Iraq? Was she collecting the bouquets of flowers being thrown our way?

    Between Trump and Bush III, it is a sad state of affairs.

  • Jake Hawkes

    I thought Bush one and two were bad, but Bush three really takes the cake. He tells the most obvious lies and then doubles down with more lies. He can’t ever admit he was wrong and is completely incapable of learning from his and his families’ mistakes.