During an exchange with a reporter, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest blamed former President George W. Bush for the existence of ISIS, the radical Islamist group that has taken much of Iraq and Syria, the White House Dossier reported Tuesday. Keith Koffler posted a transcript of the exchange between Earnest and an unidentified reporter.
“Jeb Bush said yesterday that ‘ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was President,’” the reporter said. “He has a point, doesn’t he?”
“No, I don’t think that he does,” Earnest said. “We’ve sort of been through the history here.” But, the reporter said, “ISIS didn’t exist when his brother was President.”
“Well, again, I think that’s missing the point, actually,” Earnest responded. “But I’ll allow others to critique his position.”
“I mean, what about that, though?” the reporter asked, pressing the point. “I mean, ISIS — the larger point there is that because the President decided to complete a full withdrawal from Iraq — and of course we can go back and debate the circumstances around that, but you didn’t have the status forces agreement with the Iraqi’s that you wanted to have and so forth — that that vacuum allowed ISIS to develop into the threat to this country and to that region that they are today. Isn’t there something to that?”
“No, there’s not. Because, again, the outgrowth of — we know that ISIL was an outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that did not exist prior to the fateful decision made by the previous administration to launch an invasion of that country,” Earnest said. “And that is also a relevant fact.”
Koffler said that perhaps Bush “should have blamed Woodrow Wilson for the way he helped redraw the map of the Middle East after World War I.” As The Blaze reported last September, the Middle East borders changed significantly after the war due to something called the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a treaty struck between France and Great Britain that carved up the Ottoman Empire.
“Remember, the goal was to divide the Arabs, not to unite them, divide them, so they could protect the trade routes,” Glenn Beck said. “They didn’t care about the Arabs, they didn’t care about the Jews, they didn’t care about anything. They wanted the trade routes.”
It’s not the first time the Obama administration has blamed George W. Bush, as we have reported several times. In 2011, for example, Obama blamed Bush and a “tough, messy democracy” for his own failures.
“It’s been a long, tough journey. But we have made some incredible strides together. Yes, we have,” he said, playing off his 2008 campaign slogan. “But the thing that we all ought to remember is that as much as good as we have done, precisely because the challenges were so daunting, precisely because we we were inheriting so many challenges, that we’re not even halfway there yet.”