Tag Archives: Dick Cheney

War and Peace and Chickenhawks

I rarely write about foreign affairs, because it is a complex policy arena in which I have little or no expertise, but the current right-wing hysteria over the (not-yet-fully-fleshed-out) deal with Iran is incredibly troubling for a number of reasons.

Part of the push-back, of course, can be attributed to the Right’s pathological hatred of Obama. But a lot of it goes well beyond that and into the psyches of the GOP’s “Cheney wing”–those saber-rattling lawmakers who enjoyed multiple deferments or otherwise avoided military service themselves, but who sneer at diplomacy and seem bound and determined to send other people’s children into combat.

That “ready, shoot, aim” approach cost us dearly in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention that it decimated and destabilized large portions of an already volatile region. You’d think we might have learned a lesson…

Of course, American Right-wingers aren’t the only paranoids participating in the debate. Netanyahu (Israel’s Dick Cheney) isn’t helping matters. To the contrary, he is inflicting significant damage on the American-Israeli partnership that is critical to Israel’s continued survival.

As Political Animal reports

As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to decry the landmark deal between the U.S. and Iran, more evidence is emerging that Israel’s current leadership is alienating Americans in droves:

The number of Americans who view Israel as an ally of the United States has sharply decreased, according to a new poll published Thursday. Only 54% of Americans polled said that Israel is their country’s ally, a decline from 68% in 2014 and 74% in 2012.

It isn’t just non-Jews who find Netanyahu’s positions counter-productive and ultimately dangerous to the Jewish state. J Street, a Jewish, pro-Israel lobbying group, is alarmed by his rhetoric, as are numerous Israelis in and out of that country’s defense forces. His unseemly and partisan alliance with Congressional Republican hawks is nothing new, nor is his track record of being wrong about pretty much everything.  His narrow re-election  has made rational debate much more difficult.

Early indications are that the deal struck by Kerry is better than most experts had hoped for. That doesn’t mean it should be uncritically endorsed; the details to be worked out are important, and the stakes are too high for an agreement based only upon “trust me.” That said, the current status is promising, and neither Bibi’s longstanding paranoid fantasies nor the wet dreams of American chickenhawks should derail continuing work on a comprehensive agreement.

As they said in the 60s, all we are asking is to give peace a chance.

If Dick Cheney Were Capable of Shame….

Darth Cheney has emerged again from whatever hole he occupies, to proclaim the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bengazi “the worst disaster” he can recall, and to assert that it is evidence of the incompetence of the Obama Administration.

Leaving aside the fact that the Republicans in Congress engineered significant cuts to the budget for embassy security, despite warnings that the cuts would endanger American lives, it is hard to believe the chutzpah of a Bush Administration VP (“vice” in every sense of the word). This was the administration that ignored “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.” and saw the destruction of the Twin Towers.

This was also the administration in power when we sustained fifty plus attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities abroad, thirteen of which were lethal. (And that’s excluding those in Baghdad). Those attacks in which American diplomats lost their lives occurred during Cheney’s “rein,” and before Barack Obama ever stepped into the Oval Office: Jan. 22, 2002, Calcutta, India; June 14, 2002, Karachi, Pakistan; Oct. 12, 2002, Denpasar, Bali; Feb. 28, 2003, Islamabad, Pakistan; May 12, 2003, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,July 30, 2004, Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Dec. 6, 2004, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; March 2, 2006, Karachi, Pakistan; Sept. 12, 2006, Damascus, Syria; Jan. 12, 2007, Athens, Greece; March 18, 2008, Sana’a, Yemen; July 9, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey; Sept. 17, 2008, Sana’a, Yemen.

I don’t recall Democrats conducting endless investigations and calling for impeachments as a result of those attacks.

If there was ever any doubt that Dick Cheney is a small, twisted, evil man, his willingness to use baldfaced lies in the service of partisan politics, and his eagerness to use the deaths of American diplomats to score cheap points would erase it.

But really, was there any doubt?