News & Politics

Why I Wasn't Impressed With George W. Bush's Statement on Afghanistan

Why I Wasn't Impressed With George W. Bush's Statement on Afghanistan
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

One of the first things I thought in the wake of Biden’s epic disaster in Afghanistan was, “What must George W. Bush think about this?” His presidency was defined by 9/11 and the war on terror, and it was inevitable that he would release a statement about what has happened. As expected, he released a statement following Biden’s speech on Monday.

Now, George W. Bush has generally proven himself to be a class act. Despite ample reasons to, he never publicly criticized Obama during his presidency. However, when Trump entered the Oval Office, the 43rd president decided that criticizing the current occupant of the White House is okay.

“I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated,” Bush told People magazine in March 2017. Groan.

It wasn’t easy seeing the man I supported and even donated money to playing right into the Democrats’ hands with accusations of Trump being racist. But what made it worse was that he’d been silent for eight years under Obama. Trump would go on to be a more effective conservative president than George W. Bush was, yet, for some reason, Trump, not Obama, was the one who got criticized.

Naturally, I thought that Bush now saw no problem criticizing any president who wasn’t his immediate successor. So, surely, he’d openly criticize Biden’s incompetence, right?

“The Afghans now at greatest risk are the same ones who have been on the forefront of progress inside their nation,” Bush’s co-statement with his wife, Laura Bush, read. “President Biden has promised to evacuate these Afghans, along with American citizens and our allies. The United States government has the legal authority to cut the red tape for refugees during urgent humanitarian crises. And we have the responsibility and the resources to secure safe passage for them now, without bureaucratic delay. Our most stalwart allies, along with private NGOs, are ready to help.”

“Laura and I are confident that the evacuation efforts will be effective because they are being carried out by the remarkable men and women of the United States Armed Forces, diplomatic corps, and intelligence community,” Bush continued.

Bush also said that he and Laura remain “steadfastly” optimistic.

Who could watch Biden evacuate the military before ensuring American civilians were safe and be optimistic?

Who could watch the chaos that unfolded during the evacuation and be optimistic?

Who could watch the footage of Afghan people falling from a plane while trying to escape and be optimistic?

Who could watch Joe Biden blame everyone but himself for what’s happening and be optimistic?

Who could watch twenty years of American blood and treasure going to waste in a matter of days and be optimistic?

According to Karl Rove, Bush’s former senior adviser, President Bush was undoubtedly “deeply upset” over the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. But I didn’t get anger out of Bush’s statement at all. Concern? Yes. Anger? No.

George W. Bush ought to be furious with Joe Biden for taking a country he liberated and letting it fall to the Taliban. Afghan women and girls will now be subjected to a brutal Taliban regime.

The fall of Afghanistan gave George W. Bush the best reason to express anger at any sitting president. Joe Biden’s careless and incompetent withdrawal will have disastrous consequences, not just for the Afghan people, but for America as well. This defeat has undermined America’s status as the world’s number one superpower.

Related: George W. Bush Is Trying to Have It Both Ways on the Immigration Debate