A gutsy 19-year-old college student did not shy away from telling Jeb Bush exactly what she thinks about his brother’s role in the rise of ISIS.
At a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, Bush claimed that the turmoil in the Middle East was caused by President Barack Obama’s decision to remove American troops from the region, and that in turn caused ISIS to take power.
But in a video captured by ABC News, Ivy Ziedrich called out Bush on his statement as he was signing autographs after the meeting.
“It was when 30,000 individuals who were part of the Iraqi military were forced out — they had no employment, they had no income, and they were left with access to all of the same arms and weapon,” she said. “Your brother created ISIS!”
“Is that a question?” Bush responded.
Ziedrich refused to drop the debate and probed Bush further:
”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? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”
“We respectfully disagree,” he replied. “We have a disagreement.”
Before turning away, Bush said to Ziedrich, “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.”
Bush stubbornly clung to his opinion during the heated debate, but Ziedrich was right to clarify who really is responsible for the escalation of the downright nightmarish and seemingly unstoppable terrorist group.
George W.’s invasion created the necessary conditions that led to the rise of ISIS. When he invaded Iraq and ousted Sunni minorities (like Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein) — instead placing Shiite leaders in control — he unleashed disastrous sectarian strife in a region that was already boiling with sectarian tensions right underneath the surface. With one poor foreign policy move, the Bush administration ripped away Sunnis’ power and livelihoods. It is no wonder that top ISIS commanders were once commanders in Hussein’s army. This in turn led these Sunnis to collaborate with Al Qaeda forces already present in the country, and thus radicalize in the wake of poverty and destruction. Plus the war itself (killing huge numbers of Iraqis and turning thousands into prisoners or refugees) convinced many that the terrorist narrative was indeed correct: that Americans will invade and force their Western values on you.
Bush has stood by his brother in recent weeks, identifying him as his top foreign policy adviser and agreeing with George W’s infamous 2003 Iraq invasion. Bush’s loyalty to his family has clearly backfired, however, making him appear delusional and overwhelmingly ignorant on foreign policy if he’s taking direction from America’s worst president ever.