Sunday, February 25, 2007

You Don't Know Dick, part II

It's fascinating. We have Darth Cheney half a world away, saying that Nancy Pelosi's plan would embolden the terrorists, and when Pelosi gets a little miffed, saying that Cheney is questioning her patriotism, he refuses to back down from his statement, saying that "I didn't question her patriotism. I questioned her judgment."

Well, gee. That makes it all better, doesn't it?

It also showed that he wasn't listening to what she said.
"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.
By the way, the President wasn't willing to talk to her. She only managed to talk to Josh Bolton, Bush's chief of staff.

And Frank Rich raised some interesting points about the "War on Terra."
Who is losing the war on terrorism?

The record so far suggests that this White House has done so twice. The first defeat, of course, began in early December 2001, when we lost Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora. The public would not learn about that failure until April 2002 (when it was uncovered by The Washington Post), but it's revealing that the administration started its bait-and-switch trick to relocate the enemy in Iraq just as bin Laden slipped away. It was on Dec. 9, 2001, that Dick Cheney first floated the idea on "Meet the Press" that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. It was "pretty well confirmed," he said (though it was not), that bin Laden's operative Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague months before Atta flew a hijacked plane into the World Trade Center...

The president now says his government never hyped any 9/11-Iraq links. "Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq," he said last August after finally conceding that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact everyone in the administration insinuated it constantly, including him. Mr. Bush told of "high-level" Iraq-Qaeda contacts "that go back a decade" in the same notorious October 2002 speech that gave us Saddam's imminent mushroom clouds. So effective was this propaganda that by 2003 some 44 percent of Americans believed (incorrectly) that the 9/11 hijackers had been Iraqis; only 3 percent had seen an Iraq link right after 9/11.

Though the nonexistent connection was even more specious than the nonexistent nuclear W.M.D., Mr. Bush still leans on it today even while denying that he does so. He has to. His litanies that we are "on the offense" by pursuing the war in Iraq and "fighting terrorists over there, so that we don't have to fight them here" depend on the premise that we went into that country in the first place to vanquish Al Qaeda and that it is still the "central front" in the war on terror. In January's State of the Union address hawking the so-called surge, Mr. Bush did it again, warning that to leave Iraq "would be to ignore the lessons of September the 11th and invite tragedy."

But now more than ever, the opposite is true. It is precisely by pouring still more of our finite military and intelligence resources down the drain in Iraq that we are tragically ignoring the lessons of 9/11. Instead of showing resolve, as Mr. Bush supposes, his botch of the Iraq war has revealed American weakness. Our catastrophic occupation spawned terrorists in a country where they didn't used to be, and to pretend that Iraq is now their central front only adds to the disaster. As Mr. Scheuer, the former C.I.A. official, reiterated last week: "Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to address the threat to America, that's where it is." It's typical of Mr. Bush's self-righteousness, however, that he would rather punt on that threat than own up to a mistake.

That mistake - dropping the ball on Al Qaeda - was compounded last fall when Mr. Bush committed his second major blunder in the war on terror. The occasion was the September revelation that our supposed ally, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, had negotiated a "truce" with the Taliban in North Waziristan, a tribal region in his country at the Afghanistan border. This truce was actually a retreat by Pakistan, which even released Qaeda prisoners in its custody. Yet the Bush White House denied any of this was happening. "This deal is not at all with the Taliban," the president said, claiming that "this is against the Taliban, actually."
(OK, if you want to read the source article and really don't want to deal with TimesSelect and their "14-day free trial," read most of the column here, here or here.)

(In the course of his flip-flopping on Osama, Bush swung to both extremes: from completely ignoring him one moment, to telling the late Ariel Sharon, prime minister of Israel, that if he ever caught bin Laden, "I will screw him in the ass!" Isn't that a lovely visual? Our boy Bush is always such a cultured, well-spoken representative of the United States, isn't he?)

During his interview in Australia, Cheney also said something kind of startling.
In the interview, Cheney also said Britain's plans to withdraw about 1,600 troops from Iraq — while the United States adds more troops — was a positive step. "I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well," the vice president said.
As Jay Leno put it, "The British announced they were pulling their troops out of the Iraq. Dick Cheney immediately called it good news. He said, 'It's a sign that we're winning.' How come when our allies pick up and leave, that's a victory for us? But when we leave, it's a victory for al Qaeda? How does that work?"

So let me just come right out and say it. I don't believe that George Bush, the inarticulate C-student, would be as destructive as he has been, if he didn't have Cheney leading him around on a leash. Dick Cheney has consistently lied to the American people about Iraq, about the Al Qaeda, and now about Iran. While he was second-in-command in America, Halliburton was enriched to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, which consequently made Dick Cheney massive amounts of money. American actions in the Middle East under his watch have destroyed the international respect for our country, beggared our treasury, and has spawned a massive groundswell of terrorists in the Middle East who did not exist before.

More American citizens have now died in Iraq than were killed in the World Trade Center. Who, then, is the bigger threat to America? Al Qaeda, or Dick Cheney?

I definitely question Dick Cheney's judgement. And I also question his patriotism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheney is about as evil as they come, the lying scumbag. Also check out Firedoglake tonight on Cheney's Family Values (2/26) -- Christy Hardin Smith has some devasting comments herself.