In a slightly ‘awkward’ moment for 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush at a town hall style event this Wednesday morning, a 19 year-old college student confronted him with an inconvenient part of his political dynasty, telling him, “Your brother created ISIS.”
“Governor Bush,” Ivy Ziedrich shouted as audience members clamored for Bush’s autograph. “Would you take a student question?”
From the New York Times:
She had heard Mr. Bush argue, a few moments before, that America’s retreat from the Middle East under President Obama had contributed to the growing power of the Islamic State. She told the former governor that he was wrong, and made the case that blame lay with the decision by the administration of his brother George W. Bush to disband the Iraqi Army.
“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 weapons,” Ms. Ziedrich said.
She added: “Your brother created ISIS.”
Mr. Bush interjected. “All right. Is that a question?”
Ms. Ziedrich was not finished. “You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.”
“Pedantic? Wow,” Mr. Bush replied.
Ms. Ziedrich then asked, “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? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?”
“We respectfully disagree. We have a disagreement. When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.” Bush replied
“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,” he added. “The result was the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.”
“Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because American pulled back.” Bush concluded.
According to Michael Barbaro of the Times, Bush turned away and ended the conversation there.
[Update] Here’s video of the exchange, via ABC News:
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