Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: Jeb Bush schooled by college student: 'Your brother created ISIS'

By Megan Hamilton     May 15, 2015 in Politics
Reno - Potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush found himself in troubled waters when a college student confronted him and said his brother, former President George W. Bush was responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.
The confrontation occurred at a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, The Huffington Post reports. University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich, 19, approached Bush and questioned him about comments he made during the meeting. Bush was blaming the Obama administration's weak foreign policy as the catalyst for the rise of ISIS in the Middle East.
She'd heard Bush say that America's retreat from the Middle East under President Obama is the reason why ISIS is so powerful now, and she told the former governor that he was wrong, The New York Times reports. Instead, she said the blame lies with the decision by the Bush administration to disband the Iraqi Army.
"Your brother created ISIS," she told Bush.
Ziedrich added, per The Huffington Post:
"You stated that ISIS was created because we don't have enough presence and we've been pulling out of the Middle East. "However, the threat of ISIS was created by the Iraqi coalition authority, which ousted the entire government of Iraq," she said. "It was when 30,000 individuals who are part of the Iraqi military were forced out. They had no employment, they had no income, yet they were left with access to all the same arms and weapons."
This rodeo of a confrontation continued, the New York Times reports.
"All right," Bush said. "Is that a question?"
"You don't need to be pedantic to me, sir," Ziedrich said.
"Pedantic?" Bush countered. "Wow."
The exchange heated up:
"Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it's pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism?" Ziedrich asked. "Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?"
Bush didn't really answer her question, however.
"We respectfully disagree. We have a disagreement. When we left Iraq, security had been arranged. Al Qaeda had been taken out," he said. "There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence."
He continued:
"And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress. The result was that the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled."
He ended the conversation with:
"Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because America pulled back."
Ziedrich has, however, made a strong point and it comes at a time when Bush is in the process of trying to clean up an earlier mess he made, when he was asked if, knowing what he knows today, would he have invaded Iraq. He said yes he would. That set the conservatives baying at the moon. This was not a good campaign strategy they said, and Bush fell back on an old familiar excuse used by many politicians before him. He said he "misheard" the question.
Then he even called Sean Hannity to say he misheard the question, and created a mountain of more questions about his position on Iraq when he refused to implicate his brother in any wrongdoings. This non-answer isn't likely to make most Republicans happy, and some, the Huffington Post notes, are calling for Bush to put the matter to rest before it dominates the upcoming primary debates.
This is why Ziedrich's questions come at a good time. Had the U.S. not invaded Iraq, history would have unfolded in a vastly different way. As she notes, decisions made by the Bush administration led to the rise of ISIS, especially since the administration engaged in a widespread policy known as "de-baathification." This policy made most people who were associated with the former regime, including even the lowest-level bureaucrats, ineligible for government employment, the Huffington Post notes.
Jeb Bush's awkward non-answers don't make the reality of this go away.
Ivy Ziedrich may only be 19, but she already knows how to ask the hard questions, and it's interesting to note that she's grown up in a conservative family, but over time became a Democrat. Active in her high school debate team, she still helps out when she can. She told The New York Times that she was also influenced by Howard Zinn's book A People's History of The United States.
When she showed up at the meeting with a few college friends, she wasn't sure whether she wanted to ask any questions. But when Bush talked about the rise of the Islamic State and then blamed Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq, she became angry. She believed that ISIS rose to power because of former president George Bush's bungled Iraq war.
"A Bush was trying to blame ISIS on Obama's foreign policy — it was hilarious," she said. "It was like somebody crashing their car and blaming the passenger."
The whole thing made her nervous, she admitted, but she did it anyway, and kudos to her for that.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Isis, Jeb bush, your brother created isis, George w bush, Obama
More news from
Latest News
Top News