On host David Webb’s eponymous radio show Friday, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino weighed in on the developing face of the War on Terror, blaming President Obama’s failure to enforce a red line on chemical weapons in Syria for growing chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq, and saying of the possibility that the Bush administration could have emphasized Afghanistan more as a warfront, “I don’t know if anything could have been done differently at that particular time.
Perino appeared on the David Webb Show to promote her new book, And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side. After discussing her upbringing and career, culminating in becoming the first Republican female White House Press Secretary, Webb pivoted the conversation towards Iraq and Afghanistan specifically, asking Perino what President Obama has done during his tenure to “destroy what the Bush team built and accomplished in Iraq.” Perino replied that President Obama’s withdrawal plan damaged the stability of the nation. As for Afghanistan, Perino replied that “it’s hard to just segment it into just Iraq or just Afghanistan: “What President Obama basically said is America is coming home. And that President Obama did not enforce his red line in Syria. I know a former national security person from the Bush Administration who said this is the day that wrecked the world.”
Webb also asked whether the Bush administration could have emphasized the war in Afghanistan more than they did at the time, as that nation has also descended into increase instability, having now reportedly become the home of post-Bush era terrorist powerhouse the Islamic State. “I think at the time, given the trajectory, I don’t know if anything could have been done differently at that particular time given the information available. Of course looking back is always a little bit different,” Perino replied, adding praise for new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani as “a better guy than [former Afghan president Hamid] Karzai.”
Webb also touched on a sensitive subject for the Bush administration– their closeness to Saudi Arabia, and whether that nation has helped or hurt the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. Asked Webb, “Do you think that during the Bush years, we got a straightforward analysis and a truthful explanation about Saudi Arabia and their involvement in the spread of some elements of radical Islam?”
Perino gave a short answer: that “there was full awareness” of what Saudi Arabia was up to as far as promoting Wahhabism, and “we were well aware and that we were able to try to work as best we could with them, certain elements of them in order to prevent additional problems.”
Listen to the full interview with David Webb here: