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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Once upon a time, I believed that if a mature adult made an obvious mistake, he would own up to it, apologize and take responsibility. I believed that if he were a leading political figure who had willfully led the public into disaster, he’d work tirelessly in an attempt to make amends, preferably in some low-key role in which he avoided attention and applause. I believed that if he had made a catastrophic mistake — one that cost tens of thousands of people their lives — he’d spend the rest of his life in quiet reflection, seeking to atone for his sins.

I’ve long recognized my naivete, but Dick Cheney has recently reminded me just how wrong I was.

Nearly 4,500 U.S. troops and more than 100,000 Iraqis lost their lives during a misguided occupation that Cheney helped to mastermind. Now, that country is disintegrating, torn apart by bloody sectarian warfare that was a foreseeable consequence of the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Yet, Cheney and his neocon allies have come out blasting Obama for Iraq’s woes.

Last week, Cheney and his chip-off-the-old-block daughter Liz published an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal that bears witness to their alternative reality universe.

“When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al-Qaida in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge. Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory,” they wrote.

That is breathtaking — stunning — in its deceit, its gall, its malevolence. Before George W. Bush invaded Iraq, al-Qaida in Iraq was just a jihadist fantasy. Deposing Saddam Hussein — a sadistic tyrant, but the glue that held together that fractious country — allowed terrorists to bloom.

Cheney’s ahistorical analysis reminds me of the old Soviet Union, where apparatchiks routinely erased previous party leaders out of photographs in an effort to persuade observers that they never existed. But evidence of the former vice president’s attempts to rewrite the past abounds. For example, a 2002 speech he delivered to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in which he was wrong about, well, everything:

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. … Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. … Extremists … would have to rethink their strategy of jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced,” he said.

The Cheneys are not the only neocons on the rebound. They are joined by several discredited names from the past, including Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. Indeed, Dick and Liz have launched a new fundraising group, The Alliance for a Strong America, to propel armchair hawks into political office.

No worries. The public is war-weary and wants nothing to do with further military interventions abroad. They are unlikely to win many converts.

But the damage the neocons did, not only abroad but also at home, lives on. The United States is left with a huge budget deficit, a result of Bush’s two wars with tax cuts, and thousands of veterans who still suffer severe physical injuries, significant emotional trauma or both. No one should be surprised that the Veterans Administration has had trouble keeping up with its caseload.

But that may not be the worst of it. Polls show that Americans’ trust in their government has fallen through the floor; in a recent survey, only 19 percent of people told Gallup they trust the “government in Washington” to do the right thing most of the time.

It’s probably no coincidence that the last time many Americans trusted their government was during the Bush/Cheney “war on terror.” They left us with a dangerous cynicism toward our democratic institutions.

(Cynthia Tucker, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a visiting professor at the University of Georgia. She can be reached at [email protected])

Screenshot: The Alliance for a Strong America/YouTube

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  • Ann-Marie Poli

    I was stunned by how low a human being could sink when Daddy Warbuck’s got his Buffalo Bill garb out to record a commercial taking advantage of the situation in Iraq. No matter what he said, I didn’t hear much past, “Send money. Lots of it. Liz needs a job.”

  • Nick Rudolph

    Dick Cheney got five deferrals so he wouldn’t have to serve in the military. So not only is he a warmonger, he is a coward. Why anyone even gives him facetime is ridiculous. He should be turned over to the Internationl Court on the Hague to stand trial for war crimes. He would definitely end up serving, not in the military, but in prison where he belongs.

    • Midway54

      “He should be turned over to the International Court on the Hague to stand trial for war crimes.”

      He would have to be taken into formal custody in an appropriate foreign jurisdiction first. Long ago he learned not to leave the United States’ jurisdiction. Moreover, the plutocrats refused to allow their political flunkies to ratify the treaty and become a party nation subject to the criminal jurisdiction of the International Court.

      • JSquercia

        Makes you think

      • bhaggen

        War crimes? For what? I hope you realize that if Big Dick stood trial for “war crimes” President Obama would probably be up there with him. If, as Obama stated, Iraq is a stupid war, why has he sent 500 “advisors”? Advisors wear boots too.

        • Midway54

          That first paragraph was quoting from Nick Rudolph’s post, but I agree with the war crimes phrase, as do millions across the Country as exhibited by the extensive printed and vocal commentary concerning the needless invasion of Iraq. It is astounding that you responded with “for what?” You must have missed it all. While Obama has followed Bush’s policies in several ways in terms of secretive national security activity and a stricter Patriot Act, he is not even close to being a Bush clone. Moreover, Obama has a very long way to go even to come close to becoming the mendacious, deceitful, unspeakable scoundrel that is Cheney, who is unquestionably bound to go down as one of the worst ever in the history of this Country. Why Obama has decided to send the advisors is likely because it is the choice of the plutocracy. (By the way, it was my understanding that Obama is sending 300 advisors.)

          • bhaggen

            It may be astounding to you that I responded with “for what?”, but it is not too astounding to me that you wouldn’t, or couldn’t, answer it. Maybe I missed it all. What are the charges?……. “Your honor, Mr Cheney is a “Mendacious, deceitful, unspeakable scoundrel”. Hell, they’ll laugh you right out of court! That describes most of D.C.! Sure Cheney had his shortcomings. You left out Dick Vader. We know he’s got Freon running through his veins. So let me put it another way. What evidence do you have that Cheney willfully led the public into disaster and how do you plan to prove your case in a court of law? That brings us to Obama. Being interviewed by Frost, Nixon said “If only I had burned those tapes”. As you well know, the IRS hard drives crashed and were sent to a recycler. WOW! Obama has become the president, Nixon only dreamed of becoming. We are on a very slippery slope.

          • Edward50

            “Sure Cheney had his shortcomings.” That has got to be the understatement of the century!

          • bhaggen

            It’s called sarcasm, Google it…..Duh!

          • Independent1

            You have to be pretty clueless to ask “for what”. Only someone completely out of touch with reality would ask such a nonsensical question.

            Below is a link that outlines the lie by lie that Bush and Cheney used to get America into a war that was totally unnecessary and cost the lives of more than 4,400 Americans and countless Iraqi’s. A war that was fabricated from the gitgo even before Bush and Cheney took office. A war that was plotted (by General Frank) within weeks of them taking office in 2001, months before 9/11 even happened.

            And Bush and Cheney should both be in jail for dereliction of duty for having deliberately ignored at least 7 specific warnings from the CIA that 9/11 was going to happen – such that although it can’t be proved that the CIA and FBI could have fully prevented 9/11, the fact that they refused to let them even try, is in the minds of many Americans not only dereliction of their duty, but borders on being treasonous.

            Before you question “for what” again, maybe you should get your head out of your rear end and look through this lie by lie timeline published by Mother Jones:

            Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq


          • bhaggen

            Call me clueless if you must, that’s Mr Clueless to you, but it’s NOT a nonsensical question. I’m bringing up a legitimate point. If it’s a slam dunk as you claim, why hasn’t the USDJ put him on trial? Holder might very well be as “clueless” as I. On what charges? Give me some penal codes, not some rhetoric from “Mother Jones”. As Tony said, “Is that all you got?” That’s weak. I’ll see your Mother Jones and raise you these facts & direct quotes:

          • Independent1

            Sorry, I’m not buying what Bill Clinton may have or may not have said about being an excuse for starting an unnecessary war based on lies and distortions of the truth. Nor for ignoring 7 specific warnings that al Qaeda was planning an imminent attack because you thought a terrorist attack would give you just one more excuse for starting a war on your lies!! I’m sure Bush and Cheney never thought the al Qaeda attack would be to the magnitude that it was, but the only reason they could have continually denied the CIA’s requests to focus on stopping it, is because they thought they could use an attack to their advantage on going forward with a war on Iraq.

            What Clinton may have said or blathered about, or what Obama may have said in passing, DOES NOT give two outright corrupt individuals the right to use whatever someone else may have said the right to exploit the nation.

            And as to why they weren’t prosecuted, it’s my feeling that it’s because of the state of the nation at the time that Obama took office, America could simply not afford at that time to be torn apart politically by the Obama administration trying to bring these two outright devious individuals to justice. The infighting that would have taken place within the parties was too much for nation to have waded through at a time when it was struggling to stay out of a full fledged world-wide depression. And given the animosity and political division withing the country, I don’t think even know that Obama and Holder think that America could withstand a trial of these two even though it would justified.

          • bhaggen

            The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, signed into law by President Clinton, states:
            “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”
            The complete text is available to the public, Google it!

          • Independent1

            Absolutely nothing in the law says anything about authorizing the removal of Saddam via lies and distortions of the truth while sacrificing the lives of thousands of America soldiers.

            If the law suggested any such thing, why didn’t Clinton just follow through and start a war since he signed the law?? Because the law did in no way suggested that America should get involved in a war as a means of removing Saddam from power; only
            a group of devious power/money hungry Republicans would even think of such as thing!!!!

          • bhaggen

            May I have the next dance? Absolutely nothing in the law takes anything off the table. “This act provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined”. A major four-day bombing campaign is not an act of war? Yea, I know, a blow job isn’t sex either (I dare you to try that on your wife) But OK, fair enough, how would YOU proceed in removing a regime in a country your allies created and then forcing democracy on a people who wouldn’t share their donkey let alone power.

          • dpaano

            Unbeknownst to you, President Obama had NOTHING to do with the missing IRS tapes…..Nixon’s tapes were in his office and were made by him….his secretary erased them! Keep drinking that kool-aid that they are feeding you!!! Obviously, you can’t think for yourself or you would have researched this before opening your mouth!

          • bhaggen

            As if you would be privy to such information. Without those e-mails which they at first refused to release and by now have been “recycled” we may never know now may we? Obviously no tapes exist in 2014 and of course President Obama has nothing to do with the IRS. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Keep drinking that hemlock 😉

        • Dominick Vila

          I oppose President Obama’s decision to send advisers to Iraq, but I think it is important to remember that letting the apparatus put in place by former President Bush fall, would be a tacit admission that our crusade was a failure, that it did not enjoy popular support, that it was inconsistent with the values, traditions, and aspirations of the Iraqi people, and that 4,500 young Americans were sacrificed, and tens of thousands maimed, for no good reason.
          The sad reality is that there are no good options for us. In addition to being unjustified and totally unnecessary, the invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent removal of Sunnis from power, changed the balance of power in the region and handed control of the Persian Gulf to Iran, when we handed power to Shiites aligned spiritually to Iran.

          • bhaggen
          • Dominick Vila

            The assumption that Saddam Hussein still had some of the WMDs given to him by the Reagan administration was influenced, in part, by lack of official feedback from our intelligence agencies. The problem, for the Bush administration, is that when the drums of war began to be heard and the plans to invade Iraq became public, IAEA inspectors confirmed that Iraq’s WMDs had been destroyed, and the CIA tried to get references to WMDs and nuclear weapons out of one of Bush’s State of the Union Addresses to no avail. We didn’t invade Iraq because previous administrations thought that some of the WMDs that we had given to Saddam were still available for use, we did it to improve the image of the man who, apparently, needed to bring his on-the-job experience to full term to at least understand the need to attend the daily national security briefings and alert our national security agencies and law enforcement of the distinct probability of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. I don’t blame Bush for 9/11, if nothing else because nobody knew where, how, or when the attack was going to take place, but I would have felt a lot better if he had not delegate responsibility for one of his most important duties (dereliction of duty) and had been more proactive against a threat that was not a secret. OBL was not too bashful advertising his Fatwa.

          • Independent1

            I’m sorry Dominick, but I agree with all you said but the last part – Bush and Cheney deliberately ignored the CIA’s warnings. In one account I read, several of those involved with the briefings given directly to Bush and Cheney were so frustrated after a briefing in early July 2001 that they asked about being transferred out of being responsible for the briefing sessions. And as best I understand some of what was published about the briefing given to Bush on 8/6/2001, it was so explicit that I don’t think it was just by happenstance that Bush left for his ranch in Texas the next day, and didn’t return for 30 days, tying Nixon for the longest continuous vacation taken away from Washington by any modern president. It was only after the 8/6 briefing that Bush made the security briefings, Deputies Only.

            And I’m also not sure that it was by accident, that Bush was down in Florida when the attack occurred, 3-4 days after just returning from 30 days away from the office. I’m sorry, but Bush and Cheney knew full well that an attack was coming. They probably didn’t imagine it would be to the magnitude that it was and cost so many lives, but I’m convinced they were willing to let an attack happen, thinking that an attack by al Qaeda could be used as one more excuse to attack Iraq, which is exactly what they ended up doing – accusing Saddam of being involved in the 9/11 attack.

          • Dominick Vila

            I would not put it past Cheney to let a minor terrorist attack take place to use it as an excuse to carry out his plans, but I doubt Bush understood the magnitude or likelihood of a major attack on U.S. soil.
            Yes, there were many security warnings issued by our intelligence agencies, Bush was briefed by Clinton when he took over, and OBL’s Fatwa left very little doubt about what was about to happen, but none of those warnings or briefings explicitly cited the use of planes as weapons, the day an attack was going to take place, or where.
            As you know, I don’t have too much respect for Bush, but I would not go as far as accusing him of deliberately contributing to 9/11. He is responsible for what happened in the aftermath of 9/11, and as President he is responsible for what his VP did. Ultimately, those who voted for him – with a little help from hanging chads – are as responsible for what happened during his tenure as he is. They voted for an idiot that could be easily manipulated, and they got what they voted for.

          • Independent1

            The CIA pleaded 7 times in a little over 3 months to just get Bush and Cheney’s authorization to allow them to focus on some credible leads they had gotten (the agencies budgets were tight and they needed Bush and Cheney’s approval to not only spend the time but the money on trying to stop an attack). And yes, they didn’t know the specifics of the attack, but that could be because Bush and Cheney wouldn’t let them follow up on leads they had that may have given them that information.

            In retrospect, there were telltale signs that were brought out after the attack which had been overlooked, about foreigners involved in pilot training activities in Florida, Arizona and Minnesota, I believe, which weren’t pursued because Bush and Cheney had the CIA and FBI too busy focusing on finding them proof of wrong doing by Saddam (which wasn’t there) to give them enough excuse to start a war. They already had directed General Frank to begin setting up at a war plan for attacking Iraq.

            And whether or not you believe it was intentional; to deliberately refuse to allow two intelligence agencies to focus on credible evidence they had of an imminent attack on our nation (not just one piece of credible evidence by several), refusing to allow these agencies to at least focus on trying an attack they knew was coming, is clearly dereliction of duty to the maximum degree.

            And to me, what’s especially telling, is that after the most pressing briefing on 8/6, Bush and Cheney to both deliberately rushed out of Washington, and then even scheduled other events out of Washington (e.g., an educational tour) within a day or two of returning to the oval office after being away for 30 days, so that they were intentionally away from Washington on the day of the attack – is just too suspicious in my mind. They had to be convinced in their minds that an attack was coming, even though they were refusing to allow the CIA and FBI to work at trying to stop it.

          • Independent1

            Sorry I kind of got long winded earlier, I’ve been on the busy side and misread you’re opening sentence to your post from 3 hours ago.

            I also don’t believe that Bush and Cheney in any way envisioned how catastrophic the 9/11 al Qaeda attack would be; but for two guys who were willing to lie and distort the truth for over two years to achieve their objective of starting a war in Iraq that they had to know would cost at least a few hundred American soldiers their lives; I’m convinced that them not allowing the CIA and FBI to stop an impending attack was deliberate – because they thought an attack on the homeland would make it easier for them to convince Congress to let them go ahead with attacking Iraq; while never envisioning in their minds just how devastating the 9/11 attack would be.

        • booker25

          You need to repost the truth and change that to President Bush, Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq not President Obama.

          • bhaggen

            What is untrue in my post?

        • Thepoorman

          300!OK? And why he does so? Cause he knows The States got the responsibility to help cause they are the reason for what is happening in Iraq today…
          Obama at least feels humanity and something called:Remorse!…for something he isn`t responsible for…He has to clean up the mess the Cheneys and Bush left behind. And there are millions of Cheneys and Bushs in the States…

          • bhaggen

            Oh stop it! Modern Iraq’s woes are a cluster f##k and you know it. Several administrations are to blame; Democrat & Republican alike, but most of the blame goes to the Brits & the French. The U.S. is not the reason for what is happening in Iraq today. Iraq has been a festering sore since 1920 when Churchill created the artificial monarchy of Iraq after WW1, forcing together unfriendly peoples—Sunnis, Kurds, Arabs, and Shiites—under a single ruler, Hashemite leader Feisel who was Syrian. He was overthrown and yada, yada, yada, until the ultimate nightmare of Ba’athist party rule under Saddam Hussein. The French & the British created all those countries when they divvied up the Ottoman empire. Vietnam was another French gig. Humanity & remorse my ass, the only lesson learned from lessons learned is that no one learns from lessons learned!

    • ORAXX

      Cheney is a big brave guy…..when he’s surrounded by secret service agents, hiding in his secure location, or sending the children of the working class off to bolster his sense of manhood.

  • We need a new amendment. To re-institute the draft, and those first to call will be all the children of members of Congress, children of all the governors of each state, and children of the members of each state legislature. This crap would all stop.

    • FT66

      Good idea BUT it will never happen. Amendments have to be voted in Congress in order to pass. Do nothing Congress won’t vote for their children to be drafted. Haven’t you realised how selfish they are? A good example look at the Health Care they have themselves.

    • Billie

      Absolutely true i

    • ORAXX

      I’d start with the college republicans.

  • jmprint

    Dick Cheney reminds me of Hitler. He wears his name very well a true DICK! President Obama should assign the CIA to investigate this asshole. He is the reason this country nearly went into depression. Any person with common sense knows that the hatred thats been brewing in the middle east since the granddaddy Bush would NOT make the extremists rethink their strategy of jihad, would NOT make moderates throughout the region take heart. And would NOT make our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process enhanced,” This man does live in fantasy, and just like his daughter is a dumb bitch, so is her daddy boy.

  • Independent1

    For those who may still doubt that “Tricky Dick” is a truly devious person (could there be anyone on the planet who doesn’t believe that?), and any NM posters who may want to relive what led up to the Iraq war, below is the link to an article from Mother Jones which gives a Lie by Lie timeline that led up to the war.

    First a few selected early-on excerpts on Cheney’s role in the lies/deception:

    8/14/92 – Defense Secretary Dick Cheney declares President Bush Sr. wise not to invade Baghdad and “get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”

    1/26/98 – Project for a New American Century (PNAC)—founded by Cheney, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, and other top neocons—demands President Clinton undertake the “removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

    6/23/98 – “The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States.”—Halliburton CEO Cheney

    8/27/00 – America must not act as “an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments.”—VP candidate Cheney

    2/14/01 – Dick Cheney’s energy task force begins secret meetings with oil company executives. [Date the public knew: 4/16/01]

    And the lies and deceptions continue. Here’s the link:

  • Mark

    The armchair warriors will never be satisfied until the earth is nothing but a vast nuclear wasteland. Should it ever happen, I sincerely hope Dick and Liz are the last survivors. They’ll be good company for each other.

    • FredAppell

      True, but if they are as good a Christians as they claim they are than it would be up to those two to repopulate the earth. That could make family reunions a little awkward. 😀

      • Mark

        Good point, but can two Christians spawn the AntiChrist?

        • BuzzLOL

          . Religics want to blow the earth up into a nuclear wasteland via their beloved “Armagheddon”…

        • FredAppell

          I don’t know what the Cheney’s are but they’re certainly capable of spawning just about anything.

          • Mark Forsyth

            What is really astounding is Cheney’s about face twenty years after he claimed that a U.S. invasion of Baghdad would be disastrous.In spite of his knowledge of the dynamics at play in that country,it not only failed to prevent his promotion of an invasion but also led to the full destruction of the country’s infrastructure.From my perspective,that only goes to prove Cheney’s total disregard for the well being of the Iraqi people and their country almost to the point that one could argue that the removal of Saddam Hussien was an afterthought in “HIS MIND”.

          • FredAppell

            Yep! He did do an about face and not only that, Bush,Cheney and Rumsfeld didn’t even have an exit strategy. Hmm, I wonder why that would be? One word Mark, Halliburton. I believe they wanted to procure those oil contracts so badly but they first knew they had to overthrow Saddam but they blatantly disregarded the danger and oversimplified the after invasion part of their plan. I have no doubt that they probably believed we would be greeted as liberators which would have allowed us to stay in Iraq indefinitely. Some of the Iraqi people saw things differently which put us smack dab in the middle of a civil war.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Yes,and to give added insurance to their goals,they brought in their own armed contractors.I won’t say that the ingredients for a civil war didn’t exist beforehand but I lay the blame for ALL the civil strife at the feet of the Cheney crew regardless who it is that is carrying out the violence.Sadly,there were those of us who knew exactly what would happen over there but we were ignored.Insurgents and anarchists thrive on disorder and that is what was delivered when the infrastructure was destroyed and there was no replacement government in place to take over.Even if it were temporary while free elections were drawn up.There never were insurgents in Iraq when Hussien was around.

          • FredAppell

            The underlying strife has been there for a very long time. Much of it existed for thousands of years but the Western powers including America decided it was in their own best interest to start rewriting National borders in the Mid East much as they did in Europe after WW1. The reasons were very different.

            America and it’s allies saw an opportunity for oil after the defeat and subsequent break up of the Ottoman empire. Iraq was the end result of that meddling. People with different languages, cultures and religious beliefs who had hated one another for ages suddenly found themselves living side by side as one nation. The Ottoman Empire had to use strong arm tactics to keep the civil discourse down as well but we thought we could do better. We set about setting up puppet governments friendly to the U.S. to control the masses using the same methods as the Ottomans. That led to Saddam Hussein, another tyrant, that we thought we could control and the cycle keeps repeating itself. As long as there is greed, ambition and the desire for dominance we will be doomed to repeat this cycle until we finally understand. In many ways
            America is much like Iraq, we have the same multicultural elements which has worked relatively well but it’s also beginning to show cracks because some people refuse to accept it.

          • Mark Forsyth

            It may be oversimplified to put it like this but basically there are those people in our country,and I have known some,who think that it is perfectly proper for America to go anywhere and take whatever they want from anybody.But they would be the first to bitch if they were on the receiving end of that behavior.

          • FredAppell

            Sad but true. I used to be best friends with someone who thought the very same way. My former friend also believed in Fascism. I don’t know if he still thinks that way, I haven’t talked to or seen him in 14 years. Believe it or not, he had a great deal of influence over me because I was young and ignorant. The person you know me as now was not who I was in my late teens to mid twenties. If I had the means to pull a Hitler, I probably would have. In 1999 I moved to New Mexico with him and I had an awakening of sorts. I was outgrowing him and his destructive ideology and so I moved back to Connecticut right after the new millenium and that’s when I started to morphing into the person I am now. But I was one of those chest thumping, chauvinistic, race hating scums that we’re always railing about. Do you remember when I told you that I have the diplomatic skills to talk to anybody? Now you why. I used to be like them, I don’t agree with them anymore but I can talk to them without them feeling defensive or threatened. I guess that makes me a chameleon in a way but I’m always sincere.

          • Mark Forsyth

            I guess we both have had a Nazi in our lives.In my twenties I shared an apartment with another guy.He was a journeyman machinist at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth,Va. . I worked as a welder at Newport News Shipyard.When I first met this guy he had a very large circle of friends made up of some very decent people.Slowly this guy adopted the idea that intimidation and control of others and mind games was the proper way to live.You should have seen those friends of his melt away.He was constantly dispensing criticisms of a sort and method that most people found offensive and inappropriate.One morning he took exception to my asking his girlfriend to cease making tea in my coffee pot.He accused me of being depressed and trying to take it out on other people.He would not back off and we came to blows and thus ended that association.Just so happens that he was a dedicated Republican and had been a member of the Young Republicans in highschool.
            Another guy I knew more than thirty years later tried to tell me that because we are America and the greatest country in the world,and because we need oil,that we have the right to go anywhere and take what we want and make war on those who refuse us.I said to him,”Alright Tom,I know where you live and I know that you own some things that I would like to have for myself.I’m coming over to your place to take what I want and I am bringing my shotgun.If you give me any trouble I’m going to blow your head off.” He began to scream at me shouting that was downright robbery and murder and called me an un-American communist. Imagine that!
            I commend you Fred for your diplomatic abilities.I have gotten moderately better my self over the years.However,I still believe that it is impossible to talk,much less reason with an idiot,and have learned the hard way that often when dealing with one,if you are to survive a confrontation,you must bludgeon them unmercilessly and make sure you do not let them know you are going to do it.

          • FredAppell

            My former friend was also Republican, I thought I was
            too. There was one major exception between him and the current GOP, he abhorred all religion and was a proponent of science. That’s the only part that I retained but I’ve always been that way so it really has nothing to do with him. Hell, I wasn’t even baptized, my parents wanted to leave that decision up to me. My parents also forbade proselytizing in our home, they believed faith was a personal thing and I am eternally grateful to the both of them for that.

            Your former associates certainly sounded loony but it seems you never bought into their b/s. Apparently you’ve always known who you are and I admire you for that. Me on the other hand, I didn’t figure that out until many years later and I’m still learning more about myself. It’s been a long journey and it isn’t over yet. I definitely know what I am not. I am not conservative though change for it’s own sake is not always good, it requires thoughtfulness and wisdom to make the proper changes. I’m not a capitalist, I’m a Socialist but our taxes are out of control and so is our government.
            I believe in a smaller but strong, reasonable and accountable Federal Government with term limits for all politicians and Justices. I believe we need a strong military for defense only so I support a smaller DOD budget and favor one that takes good care of it’s veterans for a change. I favor Universal
            Healthcare for all and better spending for reinvestment back into our own country. I could go on and on but you get the point. Unfortunately, too many Americans are opposed to such things.

          • Mark Forsyth

            I favor much the same things Fred.Many who oppose such things proudly proclaim themselves as Libertarians ala Koch.By the way,my own self knowledge was largely an evolution but I was blessed with an Irish Grandmother who instilled many self affirming beliefs in me at an early age.

          • Mark Forsyth

            There also are those,(and we know who they are) that exploit those cracks and promote the divisions.

          • FredAppell

            If you mean the conservatives than yeah, I would agree with you. It isn’t only them though, I think most everyone at the top including the media is complicit. On the other hand, I believe they all have someone they have to answer to and that someone isn’t us. It sounds like I’m describing something right out of an Orwellian novel and to some degree I am. I draw the line with the notion of the chip or bar code tattoo to turn us all into mindless automatons but all they have to do is cause enough misery to make us comply. We already see that happening for those of us that are employed. We’re forced to accept wages that are too low for the rise in the cost of living and made to feel grateful simply to have any job at all.

          • Mark Forsyth

            I may no longer be in the job market Fred, but I think your overall view of things is skewed by your chronic negativity.I’m only exposed to it on occasion,but even that can be a bit over the top.Not wishing to be overly critical of you,just an observation.

          • FredAppell

            The only reason I am negative is because I’m living it everyday with no end in sight. Things are still pretty good for professionals but those of us with no specialties are being squeezed out. There was a time
            when laborers made a decent living but not so much anymore. What I see is too many people becoming expendable and it drives my thinking as a result. In spite of that, I don’t walk around all day long in a bad mood but when I get on the NM something stirs inside of me (mostly frustration) and I attack the character and intent of our leaders. Truthfully Mark, if you and I ran into each other in public, you would never get the same impression of the person I am on the NM. Ironically, I’m always telling people I know to stop falling for conspiracies such as the Orwellian thing but clearly, something is going on. I still believe we can turn things around before it is too late but I think we’ll have to rely on each other instead of our elected officials.

          • Mark Forsyth

            After I shut down my commercial fishing operation,I moved north to New York State.I remember well when in the late 80’s corporate America once again broke faith with the American worker.Wishing to avoid the federal mandate to provide health insurance to full time workers,not only was it impossible to find a forty hour a week job but they cut the hourly wage as well.
            One of the last trucking positions I ever applied for was at a Syracuse company called Boston to Buffalo.At this point I had more than thirty years experience and had been a specialty hauler commanding rates of more than $1500 per load and sometimes as high as $5000 depending on the commodity and the distance to drive.This operation wanted me to drive two round trip runs to Buffalo from Syracuse each night for $8 per hour.Naturally,I told them to stuff it up their ass.
            That is just an example of some of the shit that was going on and is still going on as I’m sure you are experiencing it.I began to think my move to N.Y. was a massive mistake but quickly learned that these circumstances existed everywhere. I have always been a scrapper and a hustler when it comes to making money when I need to. So I eventually went to work in a grocery store meat room as an assistant meat cutter.Before I became permanently disabled, I would hold positions as a night time hydro-electric plant operator,become an assistant lock operator on the Oswego canal for the New York State Canal Corp and would return to professional driving, bringing brand new Blue Bird school buses to New York State,first on a daily basis from Brantford Ontario,then twice a week from two different locations in Georgia.
            One never knows what will develop but you must focus on what is in front of you one day at a time.Do not waste your time on those negative things we both know are lousy.They are not things that you yourself can change for your immediate benefit.Rather keep your mind on those things you want,not on those things you don’t want.We manifest those things in our lives that we think most about,so you have a choice in regard to what you think about.Look for things to be grateful for Fred and then put that gratitude into action.You will find yourself with more blessings to be grateful for and it can be never ending as long as you are grateful and express it in your life.If you find that your time on the Memo causes you to think too much about negative things,then perhaps you should consider not reading it for a while until you can develop some positivity that will ground you.Not suggesting that I don’t enjoy your input here,nor do I intend to preach at you .I’m just attempting to share those things that I have experienced and that have worked for me.Though things in our country and government look dire,they are not nearly as dark as they may seem.A little bit of faith in the fact that you have not been brought this far for the purpose of being dropped is a good thing to remember.Also we people depending on each other will always be a good thing regardless of circumstances.Don’t be reluctant to ask for help no matter what you need.Don’t forget that people need to be needed.You just might be saving someone’s life by asking them for help.
            Best Wishes My Friend!

      • Sand_Cat

        Is there anyone besides themselves who believes they deserve the label “Christian” at all? But then, does Dick make that claim?

        • FredAppell

          Excellent point. And as far as Dick is concerned, I’ve never heard him make that claim, although it hasn’t stopped him from using the so-called conservative Christians for his own sick agenda.

          • Matthew Ford

            Same thing with Rush Limbaugh. Even though he caters to and is loved by the extremist “Christians”, I’ve never once, in the 20 years he’s been on radio, heard of him claiming religious beliefs of any sort.

          • FredAppell

            And you never will. Religious people are very open about their faith for both good and bad reasons. Rush is either secular or an atheist but he knows what buttons to push in order to appeal to conservative Christians. Ayn Rand has had the same influence with the current Christian right even though she was an Atheist. It’s her economic and political philosophies that they gravitate to.

  • nana4gj

    You neglected to add the 3000 lives lost on 9/11, and more, because the “experts on terrorism” ignored the intelligence given to them months before and did nothing to intercept or prevent it. Everyone in politics and in office knew terrorism was on the rise and that we were a target at home, as we had been abroad. It’s time we assign the negligence and incompetence that played a role in that tragedy, the worst attack on US soil.

    He should not be given a forum to declare that “never has a President caused so much harm to so many….” and his daughter, who looks and acts as if she has undergone some “enhanced interrogation” to say that she actually believes the President is intent on harming the country and that he is unsafe and evil, should check herself in for treatment somewhere.

    If we cut to the chase, we will admit that Bush/Cheney/Condi Rice/ and all the rest of them did absolutely nothing to keep us safe, either because of incompetence, negligence, or intentional to feather their own financial nests or for political gain and winning elections. No bid contracts to Haliburton and photo ops orchestrated by Rove seem to support that claim. Everything they did made us less safe, including economically safe, waging their foolish and misguided wars on credit.

    The President who came into office and had these wars, their deficit, a crashing economy, and the mistrust of the nation, as well as diminished credibility internationally, and the continuing threat of terrorism, has been blamed for all of their mistakes: for the surplus that we had when Bush/Cheney took office and the deficit they left us; for the failing economy that he stabilized; for wars to end that never should have been startetd on failed missions and false missions.

    Yet, this President has addressed each challenge, successfully, as best he could, in the face of unprecedented and deliberate obstruction and abdication of duty by Congress and the most vile personal attacks and defamation of his policies by the very ones who were a Disaster.

    I simply do not understand how the ordinary American who lived through all of this, witnessed it, can echo the same sick narrative of those in the public forum, who seem motivated by the same drive that caused them to make the big blunders in the first place: political, personal hubris and gain, at the expense of all of us and others. One does not have to “like” this President, or even vote for him, but one should be able to see the facts before them and come to their own conclusions, if they are not consumed, themselves, with something that clouds good sense and judgement.

    This is not a game. Although I did not vote for “W”/Cheney, I consoled myself at their electoral “victory” with the belief that, while “W” was ill-equipped and ill-prepared to be President, Dick Cheney would be a competent advisor. I was horribly wrong. He was the single, most destructive element in Bush II’s failed Presidency and everyone else, hand picked by Cheney, ie, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Condi Rice, et al, were unfit to serve. The only one picked by Bush, Colin Powell, was run over roughshod, as if he had nothing worthwhile to offer and finally allowed himself to be used or to be shunned, even though he offered the best advise. And this is the only one from that Administration who is not inserting himself in this pathetic circus of fools, because he is probably the only one with a conscience and struggling to live with the role he played.

    Psychiatrists could write a complete textbook on all of the pathos of this bunch. That’s what they do. The rest of us don’t have time. But everytime they open their mouths, be it former Administration “officials”, pundits, journalists, etc., I am going to tell them of how they missed 9/11, and how responsible they are for hurting so many for so long and almost deliberately trying to destroy this country, stupidly fulfilling the prophesy of bin Laden who predicted exactly what they ended up doing.

  • progressiveandproud

    I swear to God! These two are match made in Heaven. He is an egotistical megalomaniac, and she is narcissistic, pathetic woman who can’t stand to be out of the limelight.

    Isn’t she married or something? It appears to me that she needs someone or something to take her mind off of herself.

    • BuzzLOL

      . Married? I thought she was a fag…

      • JSquercia

        That’s the other daughter Mary

      • progressiveandproud

        Mary is a lesbian, Liz is just a bitch.

  • elw

    I really despise people who put their own self-interest and money before the good of the people around them and the Country. The Cheneys are a perfect example of that. Dick is deeply invested in the military industrial complex therefore profits from war, so yes like any unethical sales person he jumps at any chance to make more sales regardless of how many lies he has to tell and who might suffer just so his bank accounts will grow. He shows no shame and is nothing more real than the pretend, makeup wearing cowboy he is dressed as in his video. Shame on you Mr. Cheney, shame on you.

  • Actually, your original belief was correct. A MATURE adult would admit mistakes and apologize for it. Cheney, in contrast, is a greedy narcissistic manchild.

  • jeffromac23

    I think there should be an investigation into how much Cheney made off of Haliburton and his other investments in defense contractors but that will never happen in my lifetime.

    • Mark Forsyth

      But one would think that at the very least it would reveal a conflict of interest if indeed not a dereliction of duty to protect and defend the people,which he was sworn to do.

  • charles king

    These are the People Who? has made the word “Democracy” a worderment because of people like Bush and Cheney. I have always believed in Democracy and now with some (Critical Thinking) there is not anything that the American People can’t solve. These Greedy Capitalistic Pigs, Plutocracts, Do-Nothingiers Republicans, and Democracts representives, Ecs. will meet their Water-loo and the Country will prevail. I like the way Obama and his people has tried to put the country back together again disregaded the mess that Bush left so let us all help put the country back on track and get on with making the country whole again and We All Can make America work for us all Not some but for us All. Thank You are the magic words with me. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

  • BuzzLOL

    . Please, never put those two in our faces again…

  • Jrigney

    Why are we still paying any attention to anything that this openly-corrupt ass-clown has to say? Everything he has ever had to say about Iraq has been tainted with misinformation. It’s not that he’s wrong…he has never been right.
    He pushed for the invasion of Iraq to pay back political favors to oil billionaires, and to position Halliburton (the company he used to run—and probably still does) for BILLIONS of dollars in no-bid contracts.
    When are we going to stop pretending that…(they don’t call him) Dick (for nothing) Cheney…has a valid viewpoint to offer.
    Dear American Media; Look how well Dick’s “guidance” has served us. Now…will you please take your heads out of your asses and start ignoring his rantings? I don’t wanna hear it anymore.

  • tiredofitall

    It is time the national media calls out these CHICKENHAWKS who falsely lead us into war and committed war crimes in our name. I can only hope Bush or Cheney travels abroad. They need to be in jail for their crimes

  • Peter Brown

    Old hawks never die especially if there is a profit to be made out of it. On the other hand Dick and George should first be taken to Guantanamo, then The Hague. The first to clean them out with water the second to re-educate them. If all else fails, maybe just line them up and shoot them. They have done enough damage, the countries deserve a break.

  • ps0rjl

    I think the perfect thing for Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol, and the rest of the neocons/chickenhawks is they should be put in a car at the American embassy in Iraq and told that a plane is waiting for them at the airport. Oh and we don’t give them any armed escort. Then we let it be known when they are going to leave the embassy. I am sure they will be greeted as liberators along the way.


    There was never a possibility the invasion of Iraq would have a happy ending for anyone but the defense contractors. Halliburton’s more than eighty million dollar investment in Cheney, paid off handsomely for them.

    • Independent1

      Yeah! You can make lots of money defrauding the taxpayers when you’re caught doing things like charging $100/gal for gas to fill up jeeps.

  • ski3938

    Talk is cheap and easy. Just wonder how these situations would be
    handled if we had Universal Service and every qualified person had to
    serve in the armed forces and be at RISK. Every government official
    would have family members ,friends and acquaintances at the risk of
    being killed. This together with automatic tax increases whenever we go
    to war , would represent real will ,rather than talk

  • 788eddie

    What amazes me is that, after all of our recent history, there is any reliable news network that will give the Cheneys any more than a cursory glance, let alone airtime to express any of their seditious views.

  • booker25

    Compounding the problem is the MSM who lets these people come on the air and repeat their lies!!!

  • CPAinNewYork

    From what I’ve read of the Cheneys’ Wall Street Journal diatribe, it’s inaccurate to say they were wrong on every issue. They lied on every issue.

  • Dick Cheney lied and people died.