“Your brother created ISIS,” Ivy Ziedrich, a 19-year old political science major and college Democrat at the University of Nevada told Jeb Bush on Wednesday morning at a "town hall" event in Reno.
Moments before, Bush had argued that it was President Obama's "retreat from the middle east" that was responsible for the rise of the fanatical Islamist group in Iraq and Syria, not his brother's incompetence and bravado.
“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 argued. “Your brother created ISIS.”
Ziedrich is referring to Paul Bremer's policy of "de-Baathification," which banned all public sector employees and members of the military who had ever been affiliated with Saddam's ruling party from ever holding office again. This group of well-armed, educated and unemployable men form a key pillar of ISIS operations in Iraq to this day.
JEB BUSH: All right. Is that a question?
IVY ZIEDRICH: You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.
BUSH: Pedantic? Wow.
IVY ZIEDRICH: Just answer my question. Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East, when it’s [caused by] 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?
JEB BUSH: 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...
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. 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.