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‘The Record is Clear’ – Dick Cheney is Not Credible

‘The Record is Clear’ – Dick Cheney is Not Credible

Even amid the summer’s health care debate ugliness, I knew there was something absent that prevented it from being intolerable, but I couldn’t place it.  However, it all came rushing back to me when I looked over the headlines on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 22, which included several different variations of ‘Obama dithering on Afghanistan,’ I knew that the relative peace of the summer was over:  Cheney’s back.

 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, following his acceptance of The Center for Security Policy’s (no joke) “Keeper of the Flame” award, gave a speech that can only be described as a full on assault on the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

 

“Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission,” Cheney said before an exceedingly friendly audience.  “The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger.”

 

Dick Cheney’s speech was intended as a response to recent criticism from the White House regarding the sad state of affairs they inherited in January.

 

From Douglas K. Daniel of the Associated Press (via TPM), Oct. 21:

 

“When you go through all the analysis, it’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift, that we’re beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years,” [Rham] Emanuel said.

 

Cheney said the Obama administration seems to be pulling back and blaming others for its own failure to implement the strategy it had embraced earlier in the year.

 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, when asked about Cheney’s remarks, responded, “I think it’s interesting that what the vice president is suggesting the president isn’t acting on is what the previous administration didn’t act on.”

 

(See the full WH press conference HERE)

 

Vice President Joe Biden was right on when he responded to questioning about Cheney’s remarks.  “I think what the administration is doing is exactly what we said it would do,” Biden said when asked about Cheney’s insinuation that the former administration’s policy review  is somehow applicable to the present state of affairs in Afghanistan.  “And that is making an informed judgment based upon circumstances that have changed.”

 

For certain, Cheney is not the only one pressing Obama to hurry his Afghanistan strategy.  The Neo-Conservatives have taken to every media outlet that will have them; and, if they’re not talking about Afghanistan, they’re second guessing the president’s diplomacy with Iran, Russia, etc…

 

For reasons I find incomprehensible, media outlets — and not just Fox News, mind you — treat them as if their credibility isn’t completely lacking when it comes to matters of national security.  That ship sailed months, if not years before Obama’s election.

 

Consider the scathing rebuke of Cheney issued by Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), senior adviser for the National Security Network:

 

The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it.  2.  Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.

 

The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy ‘experts’ have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. Simply put, Mr. Cheney sees history throughout extremely myopic and partisan eyes…

 

This was a commonly held belief among Obama supporters during the 2008 campaign.  If nothing else, he was elected because he wouldn’t rush to judgment, particularly in matters involving the deployment  of the military.  Americans rejected Bush’s isolationist policy in electing Obama, opting for a policy of engagement.  That fact is often drowned out in the media which feeds on the invented controversy.

 

Tell me what you think.  Isn’t Gen. Eaton’s assessment, that the Bush/Cheney foreign policy was a disaster, the correct one?

 

Personally, I think Gen. Eaton was spot on.  Further, I find it comforting that Obama is carefully deliberating his administration’s Afghanistan policy.  Indeed, Eaton put it best, concluding, “No human endeavor can be as profound as sending a nation’s youth to war.  I am very happy to see serious men and women working hard to get it right.”

 

See Also:

David Corn, “Why Is Dick Cheney Helping Obama?PoliticsDaily.com, 23 October 2009.

 

David Swerdlick, “Obamastan – Why the right is wrong about Obama and Afghansitan.” TheRoot.com, 23 October 2009.

 

Amy Beth Arkaway, “Cheney’s Singing The Same Tune: Bash’s Obama, Defends Bush Policy.” NewsJunkiePost.com, 23 October 2009.

 

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Image from Flickr.com user World Economic Forum, by way of CreativeCommons.org

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3:24PM PST on Nov 1, 2009

Ray P., I agree with you that what Israel did to the people of Gaza was deplorable. It is creating a double standard, but our alliance with Israel is not coming from "the ELITE", but from the millions of Jewish Americans and the Israeli citizens here in the US and Great Brittan. The US should have condemned Israel's actions in Gaza and definitely should have halted any more weapons sales to them until they at least stopped building new settlements in Gaza and resumed peace talks with the Palestinian leadership.
By the way, I don't believe anything our leadership or much of our news media tells us and I never did trust anything that came out of Cheney's mouth.
Sir Walk F., I agree with you that we cannot win a combat war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, GWB blew that chance. When we went after Al Qaeda initially we should have completed that objective and then gotten out, like we did in Kuwait. Now that this has drug on for 8 years there is no easy answer for our President. I also understand that diplomacy doesn't come at the end of a rifle and that is what our President is wrestling with now. He is trying to come up with a solution to a no win situation. If he pulls out, it could be political suicide for him, since he made campaign promises to increase troop presence in Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda until their leadership was either captured or killed. It's too late to accomplish the latter. After today's developments, pulling out is the only answer.

9:35AM PST on Nov 1, 2009

Sir Walk F -"Rebuilding" has just become the Democrats code-word for extending our stay in the country, to the benefit of the oil cartels. The longer combat troops are there, the more opportunity to distract the locals from the oil pipeline being built on their land. If the Military leaves, they will force out the oil companies, which is why the US military is STILL there, fighting a losing war, in a region that has NEVER been subdued by foreign forces--as a distraction."

You HIT the NAIL on its HEAD. BRAVO !!!! Wish all americans would see through the LIES of their Leaders(LIERS).
Wars are just to fill their OWN Coffers and cause a DIVISION amongst the PEOPLES of the WORLD because if the Peoples of the world are United we will be STANDING against them but divide us and WE all FALL and that is Exactly what they are doing. The are actually succeeding in dividing the Peoples of the world with FEAR of IMAGINARY ATTACKS. We dont need to be a rocket scientist to fathom out THEIR SINISTER PLOT. May GOD Bless and save us all.

8:33AM PST on Nov 1, 2009

Sir Walk F -"Rebuilding" has just become the Democrats code-word for extending our stay in the country, to the benefit of the oil cartels. The longer combat troops are there, the more opportunity to distract the locals from the oil pipeline being built on their land. If the Military leaves, they will force out the oil companies, which is why the US military is STILL there, fighting a losing war, in a region that has NEVER been subdued by foreign forces--as a distraction."

You HIT the NAIL on its HEAD. BRAVO !!!! Wish all americans would see through the LIES of their Leaders(LIERS).
Wars are just to fill their OWN Coffers and cause a DIVISION amongst the PEOPLES of the WORLD because if the Peoples of the world are United we will be STANDING against them but divide us and WE all FALL and that is Exactly what they are doing. The are actually succeeding in dividing the Peoples of the world with FEAR of IMAGINARY ATTACKS. We dont need to be a rocket scientist to fathom out THEIR SINISTER PLOT. May GOD Bless and save us all.

8:16AM PST on Nov 1, 2009

Roger H. - I dont underst how come the solution did not come into force when Israel bombed and killed thousands of innocent men,women and babies in Gaza. Why did AMERICA stand by and WATCH the brutal killing of over 500 CHILDREN. Was that not OPPRESSION and Destruction of a civilization with intention to DE-HUMANIFY creation of GOD??? Why Then AMERICA instead of Saving innocent lives ACTUALLY supplied Israel with MORE Weapons against a practically defenceless Gaza??? Isnt that DOUBLE STANDARD?? Dont it make u wonder if there is a HIDDEN AGENDA as to why America is now intent on sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Google NEW WORLD ORDER to discover the plans of the Sinister Elite (Blair, Bush Family, Cheney and Friends) Also google The Arrivals to see the TRUTH about the preparation by the ELITE for the coming of anti-christ. Its truely a WAKE - UP Call for ordinary people like us who readily believe lies told to us by Leaders just to instill false fears into us of impending plans of attacks on our countries thereby justifiying the REAL Reason for their wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and mor countries in the near future. We ALL NEED TO STAND UP Against the preparation of anti- christ and defeat the Elites Plans to kill us off.

7:39PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

Robert, The Taliban had actually CUT poppy production in nearly all of Afghanistan by over 90% by about 1999. Immediately after the US invasion, it rose to levels HIGHER THAN EVER SEEN PREVIOUSLY. The US presence there is not helping.

The small amount of help that is highlighted by individuals such as yourself is far overshadowed by the everyday crimes of war, like innocent civilians being killed every day. To gloss over this fact is either callous or ignorant.

The US military doesnt need to be in Afghanistan "establishing freedom" when America has plenty of problems at home. To pretend that our National Security requires we be engaged in a war against a people far removed form us is so backwards it is baffling. To think that killing people, "bombing them into the stone age", as it was once said, is something they welcome and something that is productive is a sad, sad excuse for the usual crimes of empire.

To think that because a Democrat is now in office that war is somehow more "gentle" is ludicrous. There is certainly much America can do in Afghanistan to attempt to right the wrongs committed in our name for many, many generations, but hopefully Obama understand diplomacy never comes at the point of a rifle.

7:20PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

Also, it was the Taliban that was giving safe harbor and immense monitary aid thru their opium trade to Al Qada and Al Qada that declared jihad (war) on the US on 9-11 and we rightfully went after themm to protect ourseves from future attacks. By taking the Taliban out of control in Afganistan and making it possible for their farmers to switch from growing opium poppies without fear of retribution from the Taliban it has cut down the amount of money the Taliban makes off the illegal drug trade. I'm not saying the strategy is foolproof, but Al Qada will not end it's jihad with the US just because we pull out of Afganistan. Yes, we gave money and weapons to the Taliban to fight the Russians (our worst enemy during the cold war), but that didn't mean they were our allies either. It was the lesser of two evils at that time.
I also take offense to anyone that believes that just because someone joins the military, they are pro-war. Most people join the military because they love America and want peace and are willing to fight to keep peace here in the US and other parts of the world.
To answer Barbara H., I do not believe that we should go into other countries and try to force our ideals on them, but I do believe in stopping oppression and the murder tens of thousands of innocent Afgan people by the Taliban. All wars have caused the loss of innocent lives and Afganistan is no exception. Innocent lives lost at our hands are far fewer than if the Taliban were still in control.

5:08PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

Sir Walk F., I volunteered and was in a non-combat job classification in the Army National Guard. I was totally against the Vietnam war and did my share of attending protest rallies on my college campus. I am just too patriotic to flee to Canada, like many people did during those years. I believed I could serve my country in a military unit that concentrated on helping domestic disaster victims instead of going to Vietnam. Many National Guard units are still called upon to help during disasters, so calling me pro-war is a very below the belt insult and I would like an apology.

9:54PM PDT on Oct 29, 2009

Roger said: "The combat troups are trying to speed up the training of Afganistan's new army and increse it's size to the estimated 400,000 troups needed so they can take over their own security and we can start bring ing our troups home, But coming up with that many Afgan volunteers for their army and training them takes time."

Yes, and in the meantime, we are wasting hundreds of billions of dollars there to 'arm and train' people to fight the people we armed and trained.

As far as the "pro-war" comment, the fact that you seem to believe the complete lie that our troops (not 'troups') in Afghanistan are somehow 'preventing another attack on America' is total ludicrousness and is very representative of a business-as-usual pro-war attitude. in addition, anyone who volunteered for the vietnam war certainly isnt exactly against american Empire, are they? War=Empire.

10:11PM PDT on Oct 28, 2009

Sir Walk F., I am definately not "PRO-WAR" as you labeled me. I joined the Army National Guard duing the Vietnam war to serve my country without having to go to war. In the draft lottery my number was called the month after I joined. I served here in the US and helped in a non combat capacity with several natural disasters (severe ice storm damage in Wisconsin and Tornado damage in Indiana). The is a local Army National Guard unit in Afganistan now helping farmers who formerly grew opium poppies for the Taliban to build irrigation systems so the can grow corn for therir livestock and food for the Afgan People. You are correct that there are many Afgan people that don't want us there. There are remote areas of Afganistan that don't want any outsiders to be there, including the Taliban and people from other areas of Afganistan, but members of our local National Guard unit report that all the Afgan people they are working with are very receptive to them and have befriended them. President Obama, as I said earlier, has changed the role of many of our military in Afganistan and there are fewer combat troups compared to troups that have been trained in teaching. The combat troups are trying to speed up the training of Afganistan's new army and increse it's size to the estimated 400,000 troups needed so they can take over their own security and we can start bring ing our troups home, But coming up with that many Afgan volunteers for their army and training them takes time.

3:31PM PDT on Oct 28, 2009

I have published an Open Letter to Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, asking him to either properly investigate the 9/11 Attacks or charge me with libel for accusing Dick Cheney of murdering at least 175 innocent American citizens that fateful September morning. Please read the letter, and show your support by asking that the charges be filed against me if the government will not conduct an open investigation to find the true criminals responsible for murdering nearly 3,000 of our fellow countrymen.

www.BlandyLand.com

Thanks in advance for your help!

Daniel Edd Bland III
http://www.BlandyLand.com

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