ISIS: George W. Bush’s Legacy or America’s Spawn?

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The term barbaric means savagely cruel, exceedingly brutal, wicked, and just about every other word denoting evil incarnate. With the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State (IS) the word barbaric seem tailor-made to describe the viciousness President Obama called a “cancer.”  However, unlike cancer, ISIS, in all its barbaric glory is a movement New York magazine termed “America’s legacy,” and more aptly, “Washington’s spawn” according to Tom Engelhardt. John Kerry said ISIS is the “face of ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil which must be destroyed,” while the Secretary of Defense said ISIS is void of any “standard of decency, or responsible human behavior,” and a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said the terrorists are a “scourge… beyond the pale of humanity that… must be eradicated.”

It is beyond refute that ISIS is bad; really bad. What else can one say about displaced Iraqi Sunnis and enraged Muslims that slaughter innocent journalists, water board captives, crucify prisoners, persecute and murder non-Muslims, or massacre innocent people who got in the way or failed to comply with the group’s demands? If one is honest, they say ISIS is a product of American brutality; because save beheading captured journalists, ISIS is closely following tactics that George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan employed on innocent Muslims unfortunate enough to be targets of America’s barbaric war of aggression. It is that barbarism borne of invading two sovereign Muslim nations that set the stage for ISIS’s rise to power and destabilized the entire region to such an extent that now the dreaded Islamic State of Iran and America are working in concert to defeat an enemy created by Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Iran’s aid to Iraqi Shia’s to drive Iraqi Sunnis into neighboring Syria to spawn the Islamic State.

It is possible that Americans, in their holier-than-thou exceptional glory, either ignore or choose to forget America’s barbarism against innocent Muslims in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is certain that hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of Iraqi, Afghan, and Muslims around the world can never forget. Whatever level of barbaric cruelty ISIS is responsible for, it can hardly eclipse the record of America’s ten-year vicious assault on innocent Muslims due to Bush’s ill-advised and completely unnecessary wars of aggression and outright cruelty toward Muslims in general; particularly Iraqi Sunnis now making up ISIS.

Who can possibly forget the images from Abu Ghraib prison where American soldiers and intelligence personnel  abused and tortured captive Muslims, including “imagery of a crucifixion” ISIS  is labeled as “barbaric” for doing in real life.  While Americans are reviling ISIS for killing two journalists in cold blood, and assailing President Obama for not invading another sovereign Muslim nation, Syria, to exact retribution, they should remember the video of an American Apache helicopter gunning down two journalists from Reuters and murdering innocent Iraqi civilians in a quiet Baghdad neighborhood. Maybe Americans forgot a “warrior” video of American troops urinating on dead Afghanis fighting for the Taliban to defend their homeland from an invading army,  or read about “trophy photos” of dead Muslim’s body parts brought home by U.S. soldiers. And for the record, America has no place condemning ISIS for persecuting and slaughtering people of other religions when then-President Bush labeled America’s war against two sovereign Muslim nations “a crusade;” a crusade that produced civil wars (Syria and Iraq), insurgencies, expanded extremist militias, and a recruitment tool that has proven invaluable to groups like ISIS.

It would be a mistake to claim America created ISIS, there is a centuries-old battle to create a purely Islamic caliphate in the once Sunni-populated northern Iraq. However, it is entirely fair to say America set the stage for the Islamic State’s formation and rise to power; first in Syria and now northern Iraq. Prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq, there was no discord in Syria as a result of American support for Iraqi Shia Maliki and his campaign of terror against Iraqi Sunnis that drove them into Syria. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, but he kept relative peace between Shias, Sunnis, and a small Christian population in Iraq, as well as holding Iran in check. Now, there is no dearth of criticism from Republican and conservative warmongers assailing President Obama for “allowing” ISIS rise to power to wreak havoc on the region when he was one of a few Americans to oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq he termed a “dumb war.” Sadly, it was so much more than a “dumb war,” because although America was evicted after brutally decimating Iraq, it is left to President Obama to deal with what is Bush’s Iraq war spawn; ISIS.

What incited this particular rant is not solely the hypocrisy of Americans condemning ISIS for its brutality when America’s invasion and occupation killed, maimed, and tortured innocent Muslims with no connection whatsoever to the Saudis who committed the terror attacks on 911. It is the persistent claims of primarily conservatives and Republicans that ISIS’ rise and reign of terror is somehow Barack Obama’s doing. Of particular note is the condemnation of the President over the killing of two journalists as if there would even be unrest in the region if not for America’s barbaric invasion and slaughter of hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Muslims. There was no Republican outrage against, or blame reserved for, George W. Bush when journalist Daniel Pearl was brutally beheaded; particularly when the al Qaeda leader who killed him admitted it was retribution for prisoner mistreatment at the hands of Americans at Guantanamo Bay. But Bush is white and he was prosecuting a “crusade” against Muslims so he was praised as a “war president.”

There is a well-known phrase in the Christian bible that “you reap what you sow.”  America is now reaping what it sowed by invading innocent Muslim nations and brutalizing innocent civilians for well over a decade. It is true that ISIS is barbaric and images of dead civilians, Christians, Kurds, and Iraqi Shias are hard to view, but the horrors committed by ISIS in six months cannot possibly erase over ten years of America’s war horrors against innocent Muslims.

Republicans and conservatives desperately want President Obama to launch new offensives against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, likely for the profits to their military industrial complex donors. However, it was America’s launching two wars of aggression against innocent Muslims that enabled ISIS’s rise to power and reign of terror. Many Americans are memory-challenged and not only ignore, but happily forget, this nation’s record of barbarism while condemning ISIS’s brutality and calling for another “dumb war” against Muslims. It is tragic because it is a portent that after two “dumb wars,” thousands of Americans killed and maimed, hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Muslims slaughtered, there is a movement afoot to revisit the exact course of action that incited ISIS’s brutal barbaric crusade that is not unlike Bush’s vicious crusade against Muslims.

h/t tomdispatch

32 Replies to “ISIS: George W. Bush’s Legacy or America’s Spawn?”

  1. Full blame goes to the Repiggery Party of Greed and Gunz.

    They caused it all beginning with DaddyBush and continuing through NOW~

  2. Not at all. The Tea Party is disgusting and annoying, but it is not the equivalent. What IS equivalent are Dominionists who have already killed in pursuit of their power and who have taken their heretical view of their religion to extremism. ISIS is the outgrowth of both internal fundamentalism and a reaction to Western brutality going back to the Inquisition and Versailles through the French barbarity in Algeria to Bush’s ‘little war’.

    This is way too complex to be dismissed so lightly as the ‘Tea Party’. This is world historical resistance. It is very much to the credit of the current president that he understands that and is seeking to end the vile barbarism while equally seeking not to further destablize Mid-Eastern peoples. They HAVE to find their own way on nationhood, culture, and future but do require our best help to stop the violence against innocent lives. The latter is a Western legacy that we now must help stop.

  3. “Shock and Awe” they have learned well.

    I wonder how this plays out geopolitically, since Isis is now also threatening to attack Russia, to free Chechnya. Putin will have his chance to show the American right how he deals with an internal terrorist threat, aided by a well-funded and armed terrorist organization. If he starts talking about forming alliances with the West (and Obama), and downplaying Ukrainian friction, the fanboys of the Right will have a seizure.

  4. You can’t stick the rose back on the rosebush, and once you have opened a can of worms, they only go back into a much bigger can.
    Edit: And once you have stuck your penis in a pineapple, taking it out and leaving it in are equally ruinous.

  5. ISIS is a natural development that comes from giving groups and countries weapons. We should stop. We never should have but it can’t be undone.

    That being said, if we were to stop, there would definitely be another Iran/Contra situation because the US government LOVES to give weapons to people and can’t stop themselves. They’re junkies for it.

  6. “But Bush is white”. You’re STILL playing the race card???? So let me get this straight. Bush had a coalition of 48 nations against Iraq in 2003. FORTY FIVE. AND many liberal democrats backed him (google democrat wnd quotes). Then in ’11 Obama spiked the football (he’s good at this): ‘We’re Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq’. HE CREATED A VACUUM to fulfill a campaign promise and totally left Iraq. Maliki asked for help last year. Obama did nothing. Radical Islam has been present for centuries. They are pure evil. Panytwaist obama thought if we don’t call them terrorists and don’t say we are war with them then they will be nice in return. HOW’S THAT WORKING OUT FOR US!?!?!?!?!??!!? Jihad is coming whether we like it or not. Liberals need to get that through their thick craniums! 9/11 was 13 short years ago. Don’t get complacent sheeple!

  7. The picture above in this story…..look at the veiled ISIS thugs with their automatic rifles….then picture hooded Klansmen in groups like this. Almost the same goals, but one group can’t do it now in this 21st century America, (they were successful in another era here in the USA.) Ask the black man or any other minority what the Klan did to them. Its in the history books of the USA. White supremacy vs. the Sunni/Muslim supremacy. ISIS wants a Caliphate, The K’s and their modern counterparts want a WHTE-WHITE America.

  8. You lie. First the so call coalition only 3 contributed troops, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland. After the invasion there were some who sent troops to support not fight. So that bullshit that there was a world unity is just that bullshit. In 2008 IRAQ WOULD NOT SIGNED THE SOFA AGREEMENT!! Now I know your idiocy don’t know what that means so I suggest you Google it. Maliki did ask for help in 2013 but he was the cause of the problem today by treating the Sunni’s like shit. So why help someone who renege on the agreement to include everyone in the government? Your simple ass thinking is why we cant have a reasonable discussion on how to move forward. Take your ignorant self back to fox where they can soothe your simple mind brain with nonsense

  9. Abu Ghraib ring a bell! You reap what you sow! This is the results when you break Humpty Dumpty! I believe Collen Powell tried 2 tell Bush & Cheney this & they didn’t get it either !!!!!!!!!

  10. I do suggest you read the report written by Lt Col Daniel Davis about the actions in Iraq, the true actions he saw. I have a family full of veterans and 3 still serving. I see the hawks are mostly the guys who will never be back in Iraq and whose kids will never face war in Iraq , just as they didn’t the first time…..as for the ” coalition” please do some research as to what these nations actually contributed…and look at the nationalities of KIA. Buying off the Sunnis in the bogus ” surge” was just a step…then Maliki assaults on the Sunnis got the Al Qaeda Sunnis ready for ISIS. That is reality. Read the Davis report and get back to us, I would be interested in your reevaluation given facts on the ground. As for sheeple…there ArE primary sources that DO show facts. I remember knowing the whole Jessica Lynch hero BS was just that, BS as SHE told us…because I speak 3 languages and can get information not on US corporate media. Do read and get back to us.

  11. this whole mess is without a single doubt, the direct fault of and the legacy of G W Bush and Dick Cheney an their colossal, history changing mistake of going to war with Iraq based on blatant, unapologetic lies and deceit on behalf of the administration and republican party. a global watchgroup and global entity has recently charged Bush and Cheney with war crimes over Iraq. there are over 935 documented, verified and confirmed lies that were told by the bush administration in the months leading up to the Iraq invasion. the unfortunate thing is now we all must deal with the repercussions while bush and cheney hide out in their mansions enjoying their millions of dollars, and in cheney’s case, enjoying his billions of dollars he and his businesses made off the 2nd Iraq war. bush was a clueless stooge, but hell has a special place reserved for cheney.

  12. This is just Good News Thursday, I guess:

    “A federal jury found former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife guilty of corruption on Thursday for accepting loans and gifts from a businessman to endorse his healthcare products.

    McDonnell, a Republican, was found guilty of 11 of 14 charges. His wife, Maureen, was convicted of nine of 14 counts, including obstruction of justice.

    McDonnell, who left office in January, stood with his head bowed during the reading of the verdict in U.S. District Court. The repeated word “guilty” brought gasps and wails from the packed courtroom, and family members burst into tears.”

  13. Bush! That utter obscenity. That smarmy coke-addled scatological frat boy. May he live a long life in ignominy, then burn for an Eternity in the fires of Hell.

  14. And I, also, call bull pucky on your “coalition of 48(45?) nations”. The majority of those nations reported, later, that Bush threatened to withhold foreign aid if they didn’t go along with him. Nothing like a little blackmail is there?

    al Maliki demanded, under the SOFA, that our military be subject to Iraqi civil law if they remained in Iraq. Perhaps you would have prefered to see our military subjected to the same torture that that we dealt to our captives? Yeah what the hell do you care, as long as it isn’t you.

    Bush was warned, repeatedly, by a number of people, that if he went to war in Iraq it would destabilize the Middle East. The only thing one can say to that is MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  15. I find it ludicrous that people can believe that our actions to promote Democratic principles in the Middle East (however misguided) are the cause of the brutality we see today. These people we call “Islamist” have lived with this brutality in their midst for generations. It is framed by their culture and stoked by their religion. Now this brutality seems to be directed toward us and in no uncertain terms. Are we to simply ignore it and hope it will go away? We are the big boy on the block. We are the target because we have the lions share of the power on this planet. That is the other reason we are being called out. To let this “call out” go unanswered would be a show of weakness in the eyes of these savages. We are seeing the result of this perceived weakness in the current fractious state of world affairs. The world is a dangerous place. There is danger if we act and there is danger if we don’t. One certainty is that these fanatics will not relent.

  16. Guess who is selling all of those weapons of mass destruction.

    Now guess who is paying and paying and paying for them.

    What would happen if we could find a way to quit paying taxes too.

    Follow the money

  17. There’s no question that our vulnerability to terrorism rose after the idiotic Bush Cheney invasion of Iraq. But our problem with terrorism began long before that. We are hated in the Middle East and all of the Muslim world for our unbridled support of Israel and Israel’s brutal occupation and oppression of the Palestinians and the brazen theft of Palestinian land by Israel. Osama bin Laden told us the reason he attacked us on September 11 was because of that. We need to stop bombing Middle Eastern countries. We need to stop demonizing our own citizens who are Muslim. We need to go back to our origination papers and show respect for basic freedoms and rights of all peoples.

  18. People are brutal with what they have at hand. ISIS has a knife and, of course, some of that US military equipment we left sitting around in Iraq. We have modern means of brutality: bombs, missiles, drones. Hamas has rocks and some crude unguided rockets; Israel has tanks, armored vehicles, attack helicopters, fighter jets, bombs and missiles. It is ludicrous to think we with powerful means are any less brutal just because we slaughter from a distance.

  19. Hey Jim, you don’t think for even one minute that the first time (we as a Nation) started to torture captives,( our people, men and women news people anyone who is American) wouldn’t be endangered?
    quite being a dreamer Jim what else, could we expect? Thank you Mr. shrub and Cheney!!!Along with the rest of the rethug gang of liars, cheats, war mongers.

  20. It’s sad that the legacy Bush-Cheney left is one of a total disaster. Too many innocents were lost,now beheadings and still the Rethuglicans continue on their war path. Bus was never good for our country with his cowboy mentality. Obama was left with a pile of crap and they still accuse him of all that their man did. All in the Bush administration should be standing trial and in prison for life for all they have done to this country. We are reaping what that administration has sown,only bad part is neither he nor anyone who served him is suffering. I never trusted Bush and most certainly do not want another running for Pres. In 2016 but Dubya should become a man and admit all his errors. I know it will never happen but he is the worst of the worst. He and Cheney deserve to have the most miserable existences that can befall any human. There is a special place in hell reserved for them and their entire administration.

  21. It never fails to amaze me how those who know so much really know so little.Have you been to the war zone? Has it ever occurred to anyone that just because we choose to stay in denial in our cozy homes in front of our big screen HD TV while continuing to become overweight, the only body part getting exercise is our thumb as it hits the remote buttons.We are spoiled, lazy, hypocrites that jump from one opinion to the other depending on what side of the bed we get up on.Unless you get yourself up out of your comfortable life and go to the war zone yourself and see with your own eyes do you really have the right to say a word? Get with the program. Are you really that ignorant to think that this all started with Bush? People, it started when we were born in America. Bush picked it up when they hit our towers. The man punched back. Did he play fair? Is there any fair in war? I can assure you, being there myself, they don’t play fair. The only time they want fair is when we have them.

  22. I got some history for you….
    Get your boots on and hit the war zone!Come back and tell us what other proof you need. The history we have here is of no use. We see, hear, and learn only what our government lets us learn. You want to know the truth go to a dentition center in Iraq and tell me what other truth you need. Water boarding? Really? We do that crap on Fear Factor for a measly few thousand dollars.Let them storm your home and torture your family and then ask for some proof in history. Setting them up to degrade them in a detention facility? How about sending individuals with leaning disability or pregnant women to blow up troops? We rant about torture? The only time our Geneva Conventions work in war is when it comes to how we treat them,and trust me, they know what it is because it is posted throughout every dentition facility we have, in Arabic.Stop pointing fingers, get out and join the military, go do something about your hypocritical comments and prove your American

  23. Sorry, joining the military doesnt prove you are American. We have many non American citizens in our military.

    Next?

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