(OPINION) — Former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter, failed Senate candidate Liz Cheney, took to the Wall Street Journal to sharply criticize President Barack Obama on Iraq. Oh, the irony — this is coming from one of the chief engineers of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The Cheneys painted a picture of gloom and doom from the start of their op-ed: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.””Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is ‘ending’ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality.”
Cheney, who gained a lot from the war via Halliburton, said al Qaeda had already been “largely defeated” when Obama took office, thanks to the “heroic efforts” of our soldiers during the Bush administration. Um, just like the ‘Mission Accomplished’ stunt George W. Bush pulled on the air craft carrier only to watch all hell break loose shortly thereafter.
According to Dick Cheney and his daughter (who suddenly became a foreign policy expert) believe President Obama had one job in Iraq and that was to “negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace.” But “instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.” Wow, you would think he and George W. Bush had prevailed in Iraq and captured Osama bin Laden too. Talk about hubris.
The Cheneys slammed Obama for talking about climate change and golfing as Islamic militants were making gains on the way to Baghdad in recent days. They went deep — beyond accusing Obama of having his priorities twisted — adding he’s “willfully blind to the impact of his policies.”
They added, “despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists’ takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.”
I should also note that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw Obama under a bus during her town hall interview in CNN over his handling of the Syrian crisis. This comes as the president’s approval ratings for foreign policy have taken a hit. Still, it’s just incredulous that Dick Cheney, of all people could attack Obama on the handling of the Iraq war which he helped to engineer. According to one study, top Bush administration officials told 935 lies bout Iraq, with 48 of those attributed to Dick Cheney. Enough said.
- “And he [Saddam Hussein] is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time.” (March, 2002)
- “I think it will go relatively quickly. Weeks rather than months.” (March, 2003)
- “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” (March, 2003)
- I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” (July, 2005)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tore into Dick Cheney and all the neo-cons beating their war drums:
But instead of addressing issues at home, we’re stuck listening to the very same neocons who pushed us into the Iraq War in the first place, as they try to plunge our military into another foreign misadventure. And what is truly absurd is the fact that after all these years, their suggestions haven’t changed one bit. And who are these so-called experts, so eager to commit American service members to another war? Why is their advice so valuable?
How about former Bush Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who has accused President Obama of not taking a ‘strong position’ in Iraq? In 2003, Wolfowitz took a strong position on Iraqi sectarian violence, when he absurdly stated: “There’s been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another.”
There’s also conservative pundit Bill Kristol, who infamously predicted that American soldiers would be welcomed as liberators, and that the Iraq war would last two months. He also claimed that there’s no evidence of discord among Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. Yet, even in light of his incorrect assertions about Iraq, Kristol is beating the war drum alongside all of his neo-conservative friends.
This morning, an op-ed by former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared in the Wall Street Journal. If there is one thing we can all agree on here, it’s that we should not be taking advice on Iraq from Dick Cheney. To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.
To the architects of the Iraq War who are now so eager to offer their expert analysis, I say: “Thanks, but no thanks.” Unfortunately, we already tried it your way and it was the biggest foreign policy blunder in United States history. President Obama and his military advisors are considering their options to address ISIS – but putting combat troops back into Iraq is not and should not be one of them.
The only thing I want to hear from Iraq war architects is an apology. pic.twitter.com/vPeGmOyP2W
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 18, 2014