Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Cheney vs. Obama: A plague on both their houses
When, in his recent Wall Street Journal column, Dick Cheney said "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," he was right about Obama. The problem is that the exact same thing could be said of Cheney himself. Cheney belongs on the stool right next to Obama over in the political corner there with a dunce cap similar to the one he's prescribing for Obama.
Rand Paul is absolutely right in saying that the Bush administration, with Cheney in the supporting role, is more guilty than Obama for what is now going on in Iraq.
There was no good reason for going into Iraq in the first place. The reasoning started out as part of the response to the Twin Towers disaster, but when the Bush administration could not make that plausible (mainly because Saddam Hussein, for all his other faulths, had nothing to do with it), it changed its excuse midstream and claimed the reason for going in was because of WMDs.
And we know how that turned out.
Is Obama incompetent in foreign policy? Of course he is. But Cheney is the last person to put out there to criticize him. He unwisely helped make the war Obama is fecklessly trying to get out of. It's the pot and the kettle thing.
Cheney and his neoconservative cronies really believed that we could just go in to Iraq and install an American-style democracy, hand over power to it, and ride off into the sunset. But no reasonable person even at the time thought this was plausible.
Saddam Hussein was obviously no friend of the U. S., but he at least kept Iran in check. The older U.S. policy was to play Iran and Iraq off against each other, never letting one get the clear upper hand. Then had their hands full with each other, making it less likely they would bother other countries.
But, thanks to the war for which Cheney is now partly responsible, we now we have a situation where the balance of power in the Middle East favors Iran, always more of a threat to the U.S. than Iraq. In fact the Shiites now have majority control in Iraq. By one account, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki was literally hand-picked in Khamenei's office!
We go into Iraq, sacrifice thousands of American lives to hand over Iraq to Iran as a client state?
If Cheney is going to have any credibility on this issue at all, he should explain in what way the decision to go to war with Iraq (his policy) was successful.
Until then, he is in no position to criticize either Obama or Rand Paul.