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Bush's limited responsibility

Reader comment on item: The Afghan War's Dismal End; Blame Bush Too

Submitted by Rob A. (United States), Jun 18, 2014 at 12:22

Democratization efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are not simple, short-term propositions. Either they are completely impossible (in which case, Bush and those leaders that supported the effort were, by definition, throwing away blood and treasure and should be criticized for doing so) or they are merely very difficult (in which case, the follow-on decisions of Bush and other leaders, at the time and in following years, are what should be examined and criticized or praised as warranted).

In the second case, inherent to the policy is that the ultimate success of the process, by virtue of the fact that it must outlive the Bush administration, would be dependent on the actions and decisions of future administrations, as well as other groups and individuals (al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iraqi government to name a few).

Now 5 ½ years after Bush has left office (only one President ago, but two presidential terms ago), it is difficult to see how his decisions or actions with regard to this process could possibly have left such a determining mark as to define the events in the middle east from January 2009 to the present day, and how policy errors could not have been detected, rectified or fine-tuned in those 5 ½ years (especially since detecting and rectifying the errors of Bush, on the whole, was ostensibly why then-Senator Obama sought the Presidency). Singling out President Obama for current events does not make sense (let's hear it for the local governments, and also the middle east's culture of violence), but to put these failures on Bush is to ignore the realities of causality.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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