June 17th, 2014

Let’s listen to our ex-president, George W. Bush, on the subject of Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq

That headline of mine was a trick. No, George Bush hasn’t commented on present events in Iraq, probably because he doesn’t believe it helpful for ex-presidents to criticize their successors.

But he already described the whole thing back in 2007, when he gave a speech explaining why he was vetoing a bill passed by the Democratic Congress which would have pulled troops out of Iraq (the first three minutes of the video are especially relevant):

For those who say “but Bush negotiated the agreement by which Obama ended up pulling out of Iraq,” there is no question that everyone involved in those Bush negotiations expected the next president would make a new agreement when the time came and that it would involve leaving some residual forces there. But it was clear that Obama had no interest in doing so; he barely participated in the talks and pulled out when the going got the least bit rough.

Contrast Bush’s speech in the video above with this speech of Obama’s which he made on the occasion of the complete withdrawal from Iraq. He justifies and celebrates that withdrawal by praising the accomplishments the US had made in Iraq up to then—including and especially those of the surge which he had bitterly opposed as a senator. Ironically and tragically, those achievements have evaporated now, although their loss might well have been prevented had he left a small residual force in the country.

If we had a real press, they’d all be pointing this out on the front page. But we don’t.

16 Responses to “Let’s listen to our ex-president, George W. Bush, on the subject of Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq”

  1. Mike Says:

    The absolute shame of America – and in this case the shame is bipartisan – is that it ridiculed and rejected the good man; and praised and accepted the bad man.

    All you need to know about how morally corrupted the people of this formerly great Nation is revealed in that choice. Shame on America. It turns out that Reverend Wright was right – God da*m the country that made that choice!

    And He is.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    A real press is an individual ability to publish, it’s not some new aristocracy people invest with privileges and immunities.

  3. AndrewZ Says:

    There’s still the retreat from Afghanistan to come, and the Taliban will do everything in their power to turn it into a rout.

    But what if the Pakistanis and the Russians decided to covertly obstruct that withdrawal? The Pakistanis could easily arrange some “landslides” to block narrow mountain roads and create endless bureaucratic delays to stop any repair work. They could manufacture a diplomatic row with the United States to provide cover for what they were really doing. The motive could be support for the Taliban, revenge for the humiliation of the bin Laden raid, or simply hatred of the decadent Western infidels.

    Putin would see an opportunity to humiliate America and destroy its reputation as a military power. The Russians wouldn’t hesitate to use a mixture of bribes and threats to get Afghanistan’s small neighbours Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to co-operate. The only other routes out of the country would be to cross into China or Iran. The Chinese would never allow that and the border with China is too small for it to be practical anyway. The Iranians would almost certainly be in on the plan.

    The result would be an American army trapped in Afghanistan under constant attack, with its supply routes cut and fuel and ammunition quickly running out. The countries responsible would publicly insist that they were doing everything possible to resolve these unfortunate transport difficulties. In private they would be presenting Obama with a huge list of concessions that he would have to make in order to get the border crossings opened again. They would probably wait until a few American prisoners had been beheaded live on the internet before making their demands in order to increase the pressure. They might even insist on the Americans leaving under the “protection” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards just to maximise the humiliation.

    That may sound like an extreme worst-case scenario, but they don’t seem to be so uncommon at the moment.

  4. Rachel Says:

    we are not the United States anymore. We have survived fighting amongst ourselves (Civil War – 625000 dead), fighting for Europe not once (WW I – 116000 dead in *one year*) but twice (WW 2 -407000 military dead ) and two other wars in the Pacific. But God help us with a central Arabian power (Hussein killed 1.2 million in 30 years while we lose 4500 soldiers * in five years*) and we act as if this was our first war. I don’t understand. We were strong before, we mourned our dead and hated our mistakes but we kept on fighting for good. What happened?

    now we just use our military dead as political weapons against people we didn’t vote for. The only war crime George W Bush did was be a Republican while he decided this war; notice how 52% of Congressional Democrats – including Hilary Clinton – approve this war and get no flack whatsoever. And notice how the “loss of American blood and treasure” in Afghanistan in hardly front page news now that Obama’s in charge.

    This is why I no longer consider myself a Democrat- our leaders led the charge against tyranny. It was not easy and often led to bloody mistakes. But at least they knew mistakes or not, to do the right thing. Now all they are worried about is public relations. And all we are worried about is the newest tv show or gadget on our phone

    Now we will make issues worse the way we did with the WW 1. We will pretend that it’s not our problem anymore. Iraq was our problem way before 9/11. Sooner or later we would have had to fight there. Hussein was not going to live forever and to babysit Iraq was going to end someday (people forget that Clinton bombed Baghdad for four days in December 1998 – what if he got lucky?)

    ps – I have known people who have served and died in Iraq. One of my coworker’s only son was killed there and had a front page of our local newspaper dedicated to him.

  5. NeoConScum Says:

    “Miss me yet??”

    YES, you strong, talented, steadfast Wartime Leader, Mr.Bush. I have greatly missed you since January 20, 2009. So do thousands of butchered Iraqis.

  6. Matt_SE Says:

    Obama didn’t want the SOFA, but he wanted the appearance that he wanted the SOFA.
    So he sent Biden to make sure that negotiations failed.

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    Judging by the Left’s blame Bush posters, they think he’s still President here and to blame for Republican actions in Iraq.

  8. Cornhead Says:

    Dick Cheney has weighed in in a new piece in the WSJ.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Just read Cheney’s piece, “The Collapsing Obama Doctrine” and his criticism’s of Obama are right on the money. But with all due respect to Mr Cheney (and I do respect him) he appears to be still mired in the same flawed view of what fighting the war on terror should consist. No mention that democracy cannot be grafted onto ME societies. No mention of Islam’s theological tenets being completely and fundamentally antithetical to ours. No mention that Islam, because of the particular nature of its theological tenets is incapable of reform and revision. And without those realizations, America has been and will continue to fight with both hands tied behind its back.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    He may know it but feel he cannot say it.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    He may indeed feel that way but if so, it’s a mistake. Forthrightness is always the best policy… in the long run.

  12. J.J. Says:

    What a stark contrast! Bush laid out all the reasons why the things Obama is doing (withdrawal timetable, not taking his military commander’s advice, basing war decisions on politics, etc.) are not good policy. It also strikes me that Bush is earnest in wanting to do what he sees as his duty as C-in-C. Obama never seems to care about that – only politics and self-aggrandizement.

    The difference between a human striving to do his best and an actor playing a role.

  13. parker Says:

    “He may know it but feel he cannot say it.”

    That in and of itself is a sign of our decline and our refusal to address the issue of islam in a forthright manner. What more scorn can the MSM and the ‘progressives’ heap upon Cheney? He has nothing to lose in the court of the left’s opinion.

    The term islam does not mean peace, it means submission. While this does not apply to all muslims, it does apply to muslims who wage jihad — either against the world at large or the sunni against shia schism; these are ruthless murders beyond the pale. All their heads belong at the business end of a pike.

  14. Ymarsakar Says:

    Until Americans accept, publicly, that the Left in America must be destroyed and purged, there’s little reason for people to talk about an external foreign enemy like Islamos as it is insufficient by itself to defeat Islamic Jihad.

    The Left, so long as they exist, won’t allow Islamic JIhad to be defeated either here or there. So thus the first goal must be to clean up the home front, if the longer term objective is the Islamic world. That goes true for many things in life. There is no house without a foundation.

  15. Eric Says:

    Geoffrey Britain: “No mention that democracy cannot be grafted onto ME societies.”

    The same was said about Asia.

    The project was progressing in Iraq at the point we left. Nascent and imperfect, but no more imperfect than Korea at a similar stage and progressing.

    It still strikes me that the essential element, removed from Iraq when we left, is security.

  16. Ymarsakar Says:


    Can people get rid of the Benghazi and Afghanistan casualties so easily?

    If it makes Americans feel better to put the blame of Iraq on Iraqis, that is human nature. Who are you going to blame and what difference will it make, when the chickens come home to rooster and Americans have nowhere left to run or blame?

    Will the people who said democracy was impossible in Iraq, say the same thing about America?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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