If there’s one person who has absolutely zero business criticizing anyone for how they’re running the country, it’s Dick Cheney. This should be obvious to pretty everyone by now, but apparently the Wall Street Journal didn’t get the message. Today, the paper published an editorial by Cheney and his daughter Liz in which the former Vice President blasts the “collapsing Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.”
Taking the rapid advance of ISIS radicals through northern Iraq as his cue, Cheney accuses President Obama of “emboldening” America’s enemies. He writes:
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...America's enemies are not ‘decimated.’ They are emboldened and on the march.
According to Cheney, the “failures” of the Obama presidency - which I guess are to not get the country involved in any more decade-long wars - are proof that our first African-American president is actively trying to take down America. He writes:
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.
Forget for a second that President Obama has continued many of the policies of the Bush administration - the drone wars and NSA spying both started under Cheney’s watch - and just consider the fact that Dick Cheney of all people actually has the gall to call someone else out for “taking America down a notch” and “being so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
You don’t need a political science degree to know how ridiculous this is. The Iraq War was the single biggest foreign policy disaster in recent - or maybe even all - of American history. It cost the country around $4 trillion dollars, killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of innocent civilians, left 4,500 Americans dead, and turned what was once one of the more developed countries in the Arab World into a slaughterhouse.
Make no mistake about it, Iraq would not be the violent place it is today if the Bush administration hadn’t lied its way into a costly, unnecessary, and destructive war. Ironically, things have played out exactly as Cheney said they would when he was asked back in the 1990s about why the first Bush administration didn’t march all the way to Baghdad during the First Gulf War.
Really, there’s no one who’s done more to damage America’s reputation around the world and embolden our enemies than our former Vice President. The Iraq War was the best Al Qaeda propaganda video ever, and whatever Cheney might say about the surge and how successful it was, the truth is that there were no terrorists in Iraq before we invaded.
But Cheney’s hypocrisy on Iraq is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the reasons why he’s probably the worst person ever to listen to for advice on, well, everything. Remember, Cheney was the guy who almost bankrupted Halliburton by exposing it to asbestos liabilities and then used his position as Vice President of the United States to bail the company out with no-bid contracts during the Iraq War, all while owning millions in Halliburton stock options.
Remember, Cheney was the guy who played a key role in the Bush administration’s illegal torture program. You know - the illegal torture program that was based on tactics invented by Maoist China and turned our country into a pariah state. And remember, Cheney was the guy who was supposed be on the lookout for terrorist attacks in the summer of 2001, but was too busy plotting out ways to attack Iraq to listen to warning after warning about how Al Qaeda was about to kill thousands of Americans.
Cheney let 9/11 happen on his watch.
American history has had its share of villains - J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, and Richard Nixon come to mind as some of the worst - but there is no one in recent history who has disgraced our country quite like Dick Cheney has. He lied his way into an illegal war, profited off that war, and shredded the Constitution. He’s a war criminal and has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on his hands.
Dick Cheney should be rotting in a prison cell at The Hague, not writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal.