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Jeb Bush the Iraq War Dead-Ender

Jeb Bush will be delivering [1] a hard-line foreign policy speech later today:

Jeb Bush will seek to recapture the Republican presidential primary race from Donald Trump on Tuesday with a hawkish speech echoing his brother’s foreign policy and attacking the Obama administration for leaving Iraq too soon.

It’s not news that Bush has embraced reflexive hawkishness on foreign policy. When his first instinct is to denounce normalization with Cuba and to call the Iran nuclear deal an example of appeasement, we should expect nothing else from him, and I don’t. If anyone still hopes that there is a crypto-realist hiding behind all of this boilerplate hawkish rhetoric, this should finally put an end to it.

The most remarkable thing about Bush’s position on Iraq in these speech excerpts is that he is boasting that he thinks that U.S. soldiers should have continued to fight and die in Iraq for the last three and a half years, and he is implying that a residual force should have been kept there indefinitely. Since the Iraqis wanted U.S. forces out of their country, there was no realistic chance of having such a residual force beyond 2011, but the telling thing is that Bush thinks there should have been one anyway. That force would have been a target for renewed insurgency, and many more Americans would have died and been wounded to carry out an unnecessary mission in a war that Bush’s brother started, and Bush wants people to identify him with this position. Because of his name and foreign policy views, Bush was never going to be able to separate himself fully from the Iraq war and its toxic legacy, but his choice to present himself to the country again and again [2] as an Iraq war dead-ender [3] is truly impressive political malpractice.

12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "Jeb Bush the Iraq War Dead-Ender"

#1 Comment By Ron Beasley On August 11, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

Jeb and Marco continue to show why they are unfit for governing. Unfortunately Hillary is not any better.

#2 Comment By Scott F. On August 11, 2015 @ 4:21 pm

No Bush should be allowed to include the word “Iraq” in any sentence that doesn’t also include the words “I’m sorry.”

And Ron, Clinton WOULD be better than Bush or Rubio if only because she would honor the Iran nuclear deal when they would not.

#3 Comment By Uncle Billy On August 11, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

If we vote for Jeb, we will get a third term of W. Bush. Such a deal. Jeb does not provide any reason why we should vote for him over the other candidates. The Republican Establishment likes him, but he appears to be nothing more than a taller version of his brother. I really do not want another term of W.

#4 Comment By Reflectionephemeral On August 11, 2015 @ 4:49 pm

I don’t think it’s “political malpractice”; Jeb is running for the Republican nomination.

Republicans don’t want to hear bad things about a Republican president they revered, and Jeb probably doesn’t want to say mean things about his brother anyway.

All influential party elites prefer an interventionist foreign policy; and Jeb loses few votes in the primary, and perhaps even fewer in the general, by arguing to re-invade Iraq.

I think it’s reasonable to argue that the policies Jeb is pushing make no sense, and that Republican elites have learned absolutely nothing from the past ten years (or any previous human experience).

But you run for president of the party you have, not the party you wish you had.

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 11, 2015 @ 5:52 pm

“And Ron, Clinton WOULD be better than Bush or Rubio if only because she would honor the Iran nuclear deal when they would not.”

It’s good to have a sense of humor during these times of trial.

First, Sec. Clinton has no intention of advocating for mild manner relations with Iran. She is an advocate of regime change there as she has been in nearly every ME country, Iran deal or no Iran Deal.

The Repblican party may be wrestling for their idenitity, but at least they have one. The fact, that democrats even consider Sec. Clinton despite the fact that she advocates nearly everything the party claims they hate, is a clear sign that democrats have neither identity, concience or ethics. Just making things up as you go along. Even when the evidence slaps you in the face.

Planned parenthood is not selling parts of babies for profit, they are supplementing shirtages. You folks are funny.

Second, Gov. Bush, will have to make a stand and his peace on Iraq and live with it. Right now the attempt fence straddle just makes him look wishy washy.

The ony manner in which US forces would have made a difference in Iraq was to invade with such force as to demand ascent. The only manner they would have had any impact after the invasion would have been to own the place via the same.

I would agree that leaving made the matter worse, but a residual force would have been a band aide on a gash the legnth of one body.

But I will have to wait for the speech.

And comments about the learning curve on the ME are a very hollow reed coming from a party that has done much worse with the issues they were handed and have very adeptly made the atters worse by following suit.

Promoted by the likes of Sec. Clinton and company.

#6 Comment By sglover On August 11, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

It’s hard to disagree with Scott F. Lousy as HRC is — and she is profoundly lousy — even she would be better than Bush the Lesser II (Bush the Lessest?), or indeed any of the passengers in the clown car.

You’d have to go back to the 1850’s to find a more pathetic bunch of “candidates”.

#7 Comment By Ken Hoop On August 11, 2015 @ 6:18 pm


Is Jeb filling the gaps against an unlikely Rand Paul resurgence?
More failed humor.

#8 Comment By Neal On August 11, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

The bipartisan consensus for endless war is intact.

#9 Comment By Reflectionephemeral On August 11, 2015 @ 8:33 pm

In fact, the more I think about it, this is probably the best thing Jeb could do for himself, at the moment. He can’t take on Trump; and on domestic policy, he’s to the left of much of the field on abortion & immigration, with no substantial differences on economic policy. So, to look “tough,” he can talk about foreign policy. What else would he talk about?

#10 Comment By Charlieford On August 11, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

“Reflectionephemeral,” indeed. The GOP hasn’t been able to offer a truly “conservative” (ie, pre-New Deal model) domestic platform since the 1940s, and they’ve rarely even tried (the one time they did was 1964, and we all saw how that worked out).

A foreign policy that’s “harder-line-than-the Democrats” has been their ticket since the Korean War and the rise of Joe McCarthy.

As for Hillary, she supports the Iran deal, and is now beholden to implement it. Whether that’s enough of a difference from the Republicans to make a vote for her acceptable to one’s conscience, everyone will need to decide for themselves.

But, if we take Obama’s foreign policy as our baseline, a President Hillary will be less further away from it when it comes to foolish wars than any of the Republicans with a chance will be.

#11 Comment By Dakarian On August 12, 2015 @ 7:42 am

“But, if we take Obama’s foreign policy as our baseline, a President Hillary will be less further away from it when it comes to foolish wars than any of the Republicans with a chance will be.”

Most of the posts on here have pretty much marked the reason why many democrats support Hillary. It’s choosing a plate of poorly cooked meat over a plat e rotten meat. Democrats just don’t go for the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. If a better candidate shows up that has half a chance then they will be considered. I would’ve considered Rand Paul, but I’m not sure he’ll have a chance to win nomination without rottening himself.

We are actually considering the idea of whether Obama could’ve stayed in Iraq, even after the country wanted us gone AND with Bush W. being the one to sign the agreement to leave, it doesn’t matter whether it made Iraq worse as staying would mean ripping up an agreement and destroying the political power of the Iraqi government we wanted to maintain.

That alone should mark our current political state. Conservatives have recently learned what the Left has learned long ago: everyone with a hand in the matter is a hawk. You aren’t going to find a dove, so your vote has to go to the least active of the hawks.

Similar issues show up domestically. When the Republican ticket looks as it looks now, saying “Hillary looks bad too.” isn’t very useful.

I know Hillary is poor meat. Find me an actual GOOD restaurant that stands a chance of being chosen or hush up while I go buy the nose clips.

#12 Comment By cfountain72 On August 12, 2015 @ 9:23 am

This sounds painfully like the post-Vietnam script. Just replace “Obama and Hillary” with “the Democratically controlled Congress”.

As for me, being pro-life (in a consistent sense that includes being anti-war/anti-death penalty), I am in a truly hopeless situation. I admired some aspects of Jeb when he was our governor; one of his first acts was to veto an expensive, public boondoggle high-speed train. And I agree with his boilerplate abortion stance. But obviously his handle on foreign affairs leaves everything to be desired.

Peace be with you.