If Jeb wants to make it to the White House, undoubtedly he will be forced to address the legacy of his brother’s presidency. It seems like he’s showed how he’ll do that in a recent speech he gave at the Reagan Library: he’s going to blame Obama for George’s failures.
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? That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill – and that Iran has exploited to the full as well. ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat. 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 one time.
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? So eager to be the history-makers, they failed to be the peacemakers. It was a case of blind haste to get out, and to call the tragic consequences somebody else’s problem. Rushing away from danger can be every bit as unwise as rushing into danger, and the costs have been grievous.
It seems like Jeb is practically tripping over himself to ignore the Status of Forces Agreement that ensured the troop pullout. That little scrap of paper was signed by Jeb’s brother, George, not by President Obama.