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Jeb Bush: The Iraq War was "won" before Obama became President. Oh yer?

We all know about those who seek to revise or rewrite history - Holocaust deniers being some of the most notorious amongst them - but Jeb Bush (the brother of one George Bush, previous president of the US) has taken things to a new level when he accuses Obama for what is the present debacle and tragedy now playing out in Iraq.   Before Obama came into office the war had been "won" - you will be surprised to learn!   

"There’s nothing here we haven’t heard from Jeb before. Back in February he gave another big foreign policy speech, and in the question-and-answer session that followed he heartily embraced this idea that Iraq was “won” by the time Obama came into office. After deploying the passive-voice to gloss over all the grisly chaos his brother visited on Iraq – “There were mistakes made in Iraq, for sure” – Jeb offered a spirited hosanna in praise of the surge:

'But my brother’s administration, through the surge, which was one of the most heroic acts of courage, politically, that any president’s done, because there was no support for it. It was hugely successful and it created a stability that, when the new president came in, he could have built on to create a fragile but more stable situation that would not have allowed for the void to be filled. The void has been filled because we created the void.'

The Republican foreign policy platform of the post-George W. Bush era is built around this idea that we actually won the Iraq war before Obama came in and lost it. It’s a fabrication, and it was concocted by the same people who dreamed up the invasion in the first place so that they could dodge ownership of the disaster they created. It’s a fiction that gives false comfort to those who believe against all evidence that the United States can reshape the world through military power – a notion that almost every Republican presidential candidate subscribes to.

Peter Beinart wrote the most recent debunking of the idea that the surge “succeeded” for the latest issue of The Atlantic, making the critical point that the reduction in violence that conservatives and Republicans boast about today was not its primary goal:

'The United States military bribed, cajoled, and bludgeoned Iraqis into multiple cease-fires. The Iraqi state was still broken; its new ruling elite showed little of the political magnanimity necessary to reconstruct it in an inclusive fashion. And the Band-Aids that Petraeus and his troops had courageously affixed began peeling off almost immediately.'

This point can’t be made enough: the surge was not meant to just tamp down violence. It was supposed to provide Iraqi leaders the space and security they needed to achieve political reconciliation. The exact opposite happened: then-prime minister Nouri al-Maliki exploited the lull in violence to consolidate power and crack down on his political and sectarian rivals. If you argue that the surge was a “success,” you’re saying that the government we installed in Iraq was stable, healthy, and up to the task of running the country. That obviously was not the case."


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