President George W. Bush finally spoke out about Barack Obama–and he had some choice words.
Bush has continually refrained from criticizing his successor in public–these comments were made in Las Vegas in what was supposed to be an off-the-record, off-the-books meeting, not public record. Quotes from Bush are as reported, and possibly paraphrased, by attendees.
Much of Bush’s criticisms were regarding Obama’s admittedly aimless foreign policy goals. While Bush was heavily criticized for the Iraq War during his term of office, his “surge” in 2007 has been, in hindsight, widely credited with helping turn the tide in the war–until it was undone by Obama.
Regarding ISIS, which Bush referred to as the “second coming of Al-Qaeda,” he was heavily critical that Obama had no plan for victory and did not loop in key military strategists.
Bush’s route would have been simple: “You call in the military and say, ‘Here’s my goal. What’s your plan to help me achieve that goal?'”
When asked to elaborate on what action should be taken against terrorists, Bush was succinct: “Well, you kill them.”
He also called Obama’s plan to withdraw troops from Iraq–just as America was winning the war–a “strategic blunder.”
History will continue to shape George W. Bush’s legacy–but it’s clear that, no matter what you think of Bush’s foreign policy agenda, the Middle East is in much worse shape now than it was during his Administration.
Bush ended with a warning for Americans, about what happens if we continue to practice Obama’s messy foreign policy: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren.”