Jeb Bush’s given name is John Ellis Bush. “J.E.B.” are his initials, no doubt monogrammed on all of his clothes as a child of wealthy privilege. I’m sure there must be some lame Bush family story about how little Johnny thought his name was Jeb from the monogram on all of his clothing, and everyone thought it was so cute they all just called him “Jeb.” You had to be there.
Jeb Bush is trying to distance himself from his brother, former president C-Plus Augustus, George “W.” Bush, the unindicted war criminal who, along with his co-conspirator Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney, lied this country into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, the consequences of which we are still living with today.
“W” is also responsible for the Bush Great Recession, the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, at the end of his presidency which was a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers. By any measure, C-Plus Augustus was an unmitigated disaster for America. Jeb Bush is banking on Americans’ short-term memory loss to “get fooled again!”
Today, Jeb Bush tried to assert that he is his own man — but he comes with the heavy freight of the unindicted war criminals who were the architects of the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, who now want to get their war on with Iran. Jeb Bush vows his own course while tapping longtime family advisers:
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday promised to chart his own course on foreign policy — though one that would rely on the advice of a cadre of well-known figures who represent most strains of mainstream GOP philosophy regarding national security and international relations.
He also embraced the legacies of his father, George H. W. Bush, and his brother George W. Bush, saying in a speech here that he has been “fortunate” to have family members “who both have shaped America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office.”
“I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,” Jeb Bush added. “But I am my own man.”
In the speech Wednesday before the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Bush mentioned Iraq only once — and by mistake, when he meant to say Iran.
The threat of Iran as a nuclear power is “the defining foreign policy issue of our time,” Bush said.
Nearly all of the 21 names his campaign-in-waiting announced as supporters and advisers served in high-level positions in the administrations of his father, the 41st president, and his brother, the 43rd. The Same People Who Lied To You About Iraq Are Now In Charge Of Jeb Bush’s Foreign Policy:
[Jeb Bush’s] remarks come just days after Bush brushed aside questions about his view of President George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq [asked at an event Friday about his foreign policy speech, the former Florida governor replied, according to Bloomberg News: “I won’t talk about the past.”], and as the Florida governor and presumptive GOP frontrunner works to define himself in the early days of the 2016 campaign.
Yet Jeb Bush’s efforts to distance himself from his brother’s foreign policy may only be skin deep.
According to Reuters’ Steve Holland, Bush has tapped a “diverse” roster of former George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush officials to advise his burgeoning campaign on foreign policy, including key architects of the 2002 invasion of Iraq.
The list of advisers provided to Reuters by a campaign aide includes Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley, as well as former George W. Bush Homeland Security Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, and Bush adviser Meghan O’Sullivan.
Wolfowitz, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, began advocating an attack on Iraq shortly after the Sep. 11 attacks, established “what amounted to a separate government” to push for war and invited journalists to secret meetings in order to lay out the foundation for his plans. Wolfowitz established the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon that ignored the conclusions of the intelligence community and fed policy makers and the media discredited claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley famously disregarded warnings from the CIA and then-FBI director George Tenet and included references to Iraq’s pursuit of uranium in Bush’s speeches, a claim that proved to be false. Hadley later apologized for leaving the now-infamous phrase in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address and was promoted to become the president’s National Security Adviser.
Meghan O’Sullivan was as a top adviser to L. Paul Bremer — the U.S. viceroy in charge of the Coalition Provisional Authority that is blamed for mismanaging the occupation of Iraq immediately following the American invasion — and is credited with developing the security agreements and early transfer of sovereignty negotiations between the United States and Iraq. She also served as special assistant to George W. Bush from 2004 to 2007.
In some ways, Jeb Bush’s reliance on former Iraq war architects is not surprising, as it reflect his previous support for his brother’s Iraqi policy — endorsements the former governor is now downplaying as he prepares to officially enter the race.
In 2003, for instance, Jeb Bush explained to Florida reporters that “in his heart, I know [George W. Bush] is doing what he thinks is right, and I concur with him.” Ten years later, he told an NBC reporter that “history will be kind to my brother [on Iraq] the further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to what’s going on now.” And in a joint CNN interview with George in 2010, Jeb said, “I have never disagreed with [George W. Bush]… ‘til death do us part.”
Phillip Bump at the Washington Post provides a useful diagram. Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team is eerily familiar, in 1 Venn diagram:
If Bush’s goal is to present himself as his “own man,” that list of advisers undermines the point somewhat: 19 of the 21 people on it worked in the administrations of his father or brother. We’ve identified the roles each played in the past three Republican administrations, divvying them up as needed in the following Venn diagram.
It’s easy to suggest that the above diagram indicates that Jeb Bush is hopelessly linked to his brother and father. But it’s important to remember that the foreign policy team of any Republican president probably would draw heavily from the experience of the past three Republican administrations — each of which had a Bush at or near the top.
Jeb Bush represents the return of the Neocon war mongers, the unindicted war criminals who lied this country into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, the consequences of which we are still living with today. They are salivating at the opportunity to pick up where they left off, and to get their war on with Iran.
This is why President Obama should have established a Nuremberg-style tribunal and prosecuted these Bush-Cheney regime war criminals under the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal. He should not have allowed them to go free, and the possibility of returning to power again.
Never again, America! As C-Plus Augustus hilariously once tried to say: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again!”