George W. Bush: 'The lessons of 9/11 are being forgotten'

Former President George W. Bush is hitting the campaign trail in support of his brother Jeb Bush in South Carolina, and the two did a joint interview on Monday to vouch for the younger Bush’s plan to keep the country safe.

George W. Bush said the lessons of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were being “forgotten” and recalled some lessons from the Iraq War that could be applied to defeating the terrorist group ISIS today.

“What troubles me is that the lessons of 9/11 are being forgotten by a lot of people and that is the human condition elsewhere matters to our national security,” Bush said.

He then talked about how Pearl Harbour affected his father, former President George H. W. Bush, and said, “If we let down our guard against this group of thugs, they will hurt us again. And the good news is, Jeb won’t let down his guard.”

George W. Bush also invoked the 2007 Iraq surge, during which the US pushed more troops into the country to defeat a growing terrorist insurgency, which included Al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor to ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh).

“ISIS can be defeated,” Bush said, mentioning the surge. 

Bush argued that ISIS terrorists were “the same type of people” as Al Qaeda in Iraq: 

They murder the innocent, they terrorize the tribes, they are thugs, they have public executions. … And yet we defeated them. And we defeated them by giving hope to people on the ground. Most people don’t want to live under the clutches of these thugs, and if given the chance they will rise up and secure their freedoms.

He also vouched for Jeb Bush’s plan to protect the US against terrorism. Bush is campaigning to become the third member of his immediate family to sit in the Oval Office.

“What’s interesting about this election cycle is that foreign policy is a central campaign issue,” the former president said. “It wasn’t in 2000, for example. So I hope the voters take a look and see who’s got the clearest-eyed view of the world and who’s got a plan to deal with those who would do us harm. I’ve look at Jeb’s plan. I know how solid it is.”

He continued:

The other thing that’s needed in the White House, and Jeb understands this, is you set a goal — defeat ISIS — and then you call upon the people who know how to help you achieve that goal, that would be the military and intelligence community. And Jeb respects them. And that’s what you really want. You want somebody who understands how to make decisions and somebody who knows who can help you achieve goals.

“I’m not an expert in a lot of things, but I’m pretty knowledgeable about what it takes to be president,” Bush said. “Since I were one.”

Here’s the full interview:

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