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Friday, April 20, 2018

As Iraq ruptures into fragments, none other than Dick Cheney has shambled forth to blame Barack Obama.

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong so much at the expense of so many,” the former vice president huffed in a Wall Street Journal column, blind to the irony of his own toxic self-righteousness.

No American political figure in recent history has been dead wrong as consistently as Cheney, or as loath to admit it.

It was he and George W. Bush who set in the motion the catastrophe now unspooling in Iraq. The decision to invade was peddled to Congress and the American people with a campaign of myth making that Cheney still refuses to disown.

Long after Bush was forced to concede that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and long after U.S. intelligence agencies affirmed that Saddam Hussein had no connection to al Qaeda, Cheney continued to promote these discredited scenarios to justify his own hyperbolic cheerleading for the war.

Remember, this is the same arrogant boob who predicted that U.S. troops would be welcomed as “liberators.”

It took nine years and a new administration to finally get our ground forces out of that sad and awful mess. Now Cheney is pathetically trying to elevate his lowly place in history by attacking Obama for letting Iraq go to pieces.

In truth, the collapse began March 19, 2003, the day we started the “shock and awe” bombing.

Hussein was a rotten guy who ruled with an iron first, but he had no tolerance for jihadist terrorists. Eleven years ago, al Qaeda steered clear of Iraq. Today the country is overrun by al Qaeda-inspired insurgents, leaving the United States at a far greater risk than before.

Thank you, George and Dick.

Unlike his retired vice president, Bush has shown the calm decency — and good sense — not to stir foreign-policy debates. Cheney’s whining and jeering only serves to remind Americans of his own disastrously bad judgment and needy ego.

The hero’s legacy that Cheney craves for himself belongs instead to those men and women who were sent by his administration to fight in Iraq.

Cheney himself never served in uniform, having avoided Vietnam by securing numerous draft deferments. His appetite for war arose later in his life, when he was no longer at personal risk, and has followed him into his spiteful old age.

His views on Iraq have provoked mass public eye-rolling. It would be hard to find someone with less credibility, or someone more callous to the sacrifices that have already been made.

Beyond the $2 trillion-and-counting price tag, the cost of the Iraq invasion and occupation has been enormous.

Officially: 4,486 American soldiers died in combat there, and 32,226 were wounded in action. The unofficial toll is much higher — nearly a million veterans of the war have sought medical or psychological treatment at VA hospitals since their return.

The exact number of Iraqi civilians killed during the long conflict is impossible to determine, but estimates start at 115,000 — and still there’s no peace. The country is being split by ancient religious feuds that were barely held to a simmer during the U.S. occupation.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has resisted U.S. pressure for him to include Sunnis in the government, and now he’s paying the price. His hold is so weak that many Iraqi troops (the ones we spent billions to train) dropped their guns and surrendered immediately to the insurgents.

Cheney’s op-ed column, written with his daughter Liz, dishonestly blasts Obama for abandoning Iraq. Actually it was Bush, Cheney’s own boss, who signed the agreement requiring all U.S. troops to be gone by 2011.

And it was still too long.

Obama won the White House campaigning on a promise to end the war, which he did. No one who’s been paying attention to the Mideast seriously expected peace and harmony to ensue. Only the Iraqis can fix Iraq.

Surprisingly, the two opining Cheneys didn’t call for a brand-new invasion. Liz probably talked the old man out of it. Brushed the crumbs off his bathrobe. Sent him upstairs for a nap.

Note to future presidents: Whatever advice Dick Cheney offers, do exactly the opposite and you’ll never go wrong.

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL, 33132.)

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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45 Responses to Anyone Here Miss Dick Cheney? Neither Do I

  1. Only those who enjoy seeing the credibility of our country compromised, our values destroyed, our interests threatened, and our children sacrificed to benefit the privileged few, would miss a man like Dick Cheney.
    In any case, instead of constantly playing defense, and wasting our time talking about morons like this man, why don’t we use the GOP talking points to attack them? Take for example their outrage over the negotiations that resulted in the release of an American prisoner of war. Why are we defending something that has been an American tradition since at least WWI? The GOP position on this issue should be an integral part of our 2014 and 2016 campaign strategy as it highlights the lack of patriotism of a party that claims to be “conservative” while engaging in acts that border on high treason.

    • I agree the GOP uses lies and out of context information the way bullies use their fists. Like all bullies, if we push back they will run away.

  2. If someone was to ask me what I would prefer,a conversation with old Dick or a a case of gonorrhea,I would take the gonorrhea,hands down!

  3. Richard Cheney is blessed with the belief that he is the only person in the world who was ever right about anything. If there were justice in the world, his third draft deferment would have been denied, and he would have been put on point just so the rest of his unit could be rid of him.

  4. Cheney wrote a WSJ column on what to do in Iraq. What’s next? An article on safe hunting for the American Sportsman?

  5. Missing Cheney! for what? Even my little puppy doesn’t miss him either. Forget about IRS, Benghanzi, etc. In Iraq debacle, we are talking about deaths and treasure. Cheney who overpowered “W” was handed intact economy, no war, and people enjoyed their way of living. Their administration dismantled all these and yet one could raise his voice and say we miss Cheney! I get difficulties to understand how people can be so outrageous to stick on things which were may be out of normal procedures like (IRS, Fast & Furious), and forget to hold accountable those who caused loss of lives and treasure unnecessarily. We should all think deeply on this issue folks.,With problems of IRS or VA these can be rectified & fixed. What about those lives which were lost in Iraq war . Can we get them back?

    • Especially when the only thing the IRS can be accused of is the fact that a field manager exchanged e-mails with his superiors before denying right wing organizations that had submitted requests for tax exempt status on the basis that their applications included false information. The real scandal, in that case, is not the fact that a manager checked with his superiors, which is Standard Operating Procedure for managers in business and the government when faced with a delicate situation or something that he/she is unsure of, the real CRIME was the falsification of documents by right wing organizations, which the GOP-TP have successfully managed to hide by distracting us with where are the e-mails or why didn’t we go after left wing organizations that did not lie in their applications.

      • Understood and taken. The IRS & Benghazi investigations are all about the postmortem why GOP lost the 2012 election. Nothing more. Something which I find funny or rather those who are undertaking investigations are not thinking is: Something is already vanished (lost election in 2012), can they revive everything and win that particular election again? Is it possible? Even if they will punish those whom they alleged did something wrong, what will they gain then? I hope nothing!

  6. In the good old days of the Empire, the sort Cheney hankers for, someone who had screwed up as badly as he did, cost as many lives, would have been left alone in a room with a bottle of brandy and a revolver…..

  7. I don’t know why I’m stunned that this pig gets so much attention in the news media. I think all the available words os bile and hatred and disgust have been used up my Thesaurus. So I’ll say once more time, I eagerly await the time he’s dead so I can piss on his grave…early and often.

      • I have a collection of used urinals – one I’m saving for Rumsfeld, another for Douglas Feith (with luck he and his wife will be in the same grave) and yes – I have one for Cheney.

        I want to install them carefully – but I am worried that they are male orientated. Women should get a chance too – maybe I have to just buy some used crappers

  8. Cheney was the national ghoul when a VP, reminding people in his dour voice of mushroom clouds over the USA. He Bush, and Condi Rice dreamed up a fairy tale to tell the American people. Colin Powell was uncomfortable in his role as chief story teller to the UN. He knew there was no exit strategy and was uneasy about going to war. The Cheney crowd of Neo-cons kept beating the drum of war. The ugly truth is they all were former oil people including Rice. The war had nothing to do with WMD’s or threats here, but more to do with installing a friendly government that would grant oil leases to ours, and Britain’s energy companies. There are documents to prove this point, and people are now starting to tell the truth. It worked in Iran with the overthrow of an elected government and a replacement of the Shah to keep oil flowing so why not here.
    Cheney played his part by giving his former company, Halliburton, which he was CEO of, a 6 billion no bid contract for Iraq. He should have been impeached for collusion and conflict of interest, but The Senate and house were too meek to do it since we were in the middle of a war and didn’t want to look unpatriotic. He is a common criminal. and should be in Jail as we speak. He is lucky that Obama didn’t want to stir up an war at home and chose to overlook this act.
    What the Neo-cons overlooked was that Iraq would be closer to Yugoslavia than anywhere else, and the removal of a strong dictator would unleash religious war, just like it did in the Balkans. It was only the Neo-con arrogance that over ruled a sensible policy and only greed that placed oil leases above nation building. Cheney belongs with that other fool McCain. 2 old hawks in search of prey.

    • The man could have worked in Hitler’s inner circIe. I still say a fitting tribute for Dick Cheney and his neocon friends(Rumsfeld, Fieth, Wolfowitz, et al.) is to put them in a car at the American embassy in Iraq, and tell them a plane is waiting for them at the Iraq airport. They wont have any armed escorts and we will let the Iraqi know when they are leaving. That way all the “liberators” who never had a chance to greet them can show up to give them a fitting send off.

  9. Not only is Dick Cheney a liar of staggering proportions, he is a man without a conscience. He is a man who willingly sent the children of the working class off to fight, die, and be maimed for the sake of his pathetic machismo, while having secured five deferments to avoid military service himself.

    • Machismo? Don’t forget all those highly profitable no-bid contracts for his buddies back at Halliburton (and his own stock portfolio.)

  10. I miss Dirty Dick Cheney about as much as I would miss a migraine headache.
    He is a liar a cheat, and a major embarrassment tou our nation.

  11. Personally I am out of words that comfort me about the Dick Cheney’s of the world. I have come to accept that no matter how long humans rules this small blue planet there will be bad guys. What I still find hard to live with is how easily they can collect followers, but I try to keep remembering that historically the bad guys always end up falling when people they harm have had enough. I must say it comforts me to know Dick Cheney will not be bothering us for much longer – that heart he took from someone else will not be able to live long in his rotten flesh.

    • Unfortunately, Billy Joel had it right: Only the Good Die Young, and by that standard, Dick is likely to live to a very overripe old age.

      • Cheney’s been dead from the neck up, for a very long time.
        He is actually the real life zombie, the fictional ones can only
        dream of becoming. A whirring state of the art, mechanical
        heart, supporting a body carrying atop it’s shoulders the rotting corpse of a head. Sporting the apropos cowboy hat,
        of course!

      • Not Dicky, he has had so many procedures on his heart that his new heart will not last long. Physically the man is a walking time bomb. Most transplant patients do not live much more then a decade or slightly more – between rejection events and the baskets of body damaging pills they need to take to fight rejection – their quality of life is not as great as you would think. His money will help him get the most out his transplant – but in the end biology and not money will win. Trust me he is not as healthy as the makeup he wears makes him look.

  12. The only way to shut this old buzzard up is to not give him a forum to speak. But, the media seems to think he has something to say. I use the word buzzard because, buzzards are prediters. And that’s what he is.

  13. From Europe to the Middle East, we have seen how disaster follows U.S. retreat and disengagement from the world. But the one area where President Obama seemed to be leaning forward was drone strikes. He personally approved terrorist “kill lists” and has taken out many hundreds of terrorists with drones in Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa.

    So why, when Iraqi officials began pleading with him one year ago to strike Islamic State terrorists with drones, did Obama repeatedly refuse — standing by while terrorists overran the country?

    Obama will do the same here in Afghanistan…he does not want to win either because he admittedly opposed both along with his base…that would not be a good thing to win either. Complete politics on the blood of our military…

  14. I recently rewatched Bill Moyers’ Journal Buying the War from April 2007. Watching how the whole thing unfolded as it became “un-American” to criticize the neo-cons in their push towards going to war in Iraq with no real proof was just like I remember it. Now Cheney blames others? The media was a big part of this as they went right along with the small group of war-mongering pundits whose only agenda was to make war. People were afraid of being labeled “Un-American”. What a mess he and his “buddies” made.

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