A reminder that
he was most wrong
about most things
Dick Cheney had the gall to critique current US policy on Iraq.
In all that has been written about the impossibly bad choices facing the US in Iraq, too little has reminded America and the world of how we got to this impasse and why.
The utterly outrageous op-ed in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal by the one most wrong about most things to do with Iraq – at the most enormous cost in blood and treasure – dares to call President Obama “blithely unaware.”
Dick Cheney is wrong again. But, perhaps inadvertently, he has performed a valuable public service in reminding everyone of the disastrous historical mistakes and outright falsehoods that put the US in its current position.
“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” begins the Cheney screed titled The collapsing Obama doctrine.
It sure sounds as if he is talking about his own former boss, doesn’t it?
Shock and awe, anyone? Mushroom clouds? Aluminum tubes? Saddam in bed with Osama?
Cheney and his neocon cohorts Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice (among many others) were more wrong about pre-2003 Iraq than any others in history.
Now he has the brazen chutzpah (the word used and defined today by E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post) to offer advice and a critique of Obama’s response to the unfolding civil war in the country Cheney and his men so effectively destroyed.
Cheney has the gall to accuse his successor of failure. “… he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”
The op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Dick and Liz Cheney. Read it and weep for the outrage. Click image to enlarge.
Was that the throngs of cheering Iraqis who were supposed to line the streets as US troops advanced on Baghdad in April 2003?
Or maybe the 4,500 US solders killed in battle?
Or perhaps the oil revenues that were supposed to pay for the invasion and nation building (that estimates have said have cost US taxpayers as much as $4 trillion already)?
For those who remember history, how can this man have a shred of credibility?
As Dionne so appropriately points out: “The Cheney polemic would be outrageous even if our former vice president’s record on Iraq had been one of absolute clairvoyance. As it happens, he was wrong in almost every prediction he made about the war.”
Not only was he wrong, but in some cases it seems deliberately so.
In 2003, Cheney’s boss was forced to withdraw a misleading State of the Union speech claim on Saddam seeking uranium in Africa after it was debunked. It was not the only deliberate obfuscation.
We can all be grateful the current occupant of the White House does remember the history and is being careful not to repeat it.
This was on public display today when he said in his televised address: “What’s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States to ask hard questions before we take action abroad, particularly military action,” the president said.
He might easily have been directly rebutting Dick Cheney, who clearly has learned nothing from his disastrous misadventures in the region – not the least, a bit of humility.
According to reports, the hardest question the current president is asking after every less-bad option for US intervention is presented to him is: “Then what?”
It’s a question that obviously never occurred to Cheney.
Obama’s measured response to the deteriorating situation was captured in this sentence from his televised address.
“American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well,” the president said today.
As the US once again weighs its dwindling options in a region where its aims have repeatedly come to naught, we must remember the history of how and why we arrived at this sorry juncture. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a war of choice: ill-conceived, ill planned and sold to the public on false pretenses.
That its chief architect would insert himself into the debate at this critical moment serves no one well, except if we use it to remember the mistakes that were made, who made them and the cost that is mounting daily.
Chutzpah is not nearly strong enough to describe Cheney’s latest foray into the debacle he foisted on the world. He should shut up, already, for all time.
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