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Jordan Candler / April 28, 2015

Earnest: You Know Who’s Really at Fault for ISIL’s Rise?

Is there anything that’s not George W. Bush’s fault? In the eyes of the Obama administration, not really. The 43rd president offered a rare critique over the weekend of Obama’s foreign policy, particularly on his handling of Iran, the Islamic State and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. On the second point, Bush pointed out that ISIL is merely the second iteration of al-Qaida, and the U.S. needs a plan to bring about its defeat. “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed,” he said. Obama evidently didn’t take too kindly to that remark, as spokesman Josh Earnest shot back by blaming the Islamic State’s existence on Bush’s mingling in the Middle East. “There are links between al-Qaida in Iraq and ISIL,” Earnest acknowledged. However, “The fact is that al-Qaida was not in Iraq prior to President Bush’s decision to commit significant American resources on the ground in that country. That is a historical fact. But again, the fact that President Bush has a different perspective and a different philosophy when it comes to foreign policy isn’t just a well-known difference. In the minds of many people it’s the principle reason President Obama is in the Oval Office.” No doubt many of those people now wish they had elected a president with some backbone. The White House can point fingers all it wants, but it brings us no closer to conquering Jihadistan.

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