Presidential administrations have a tendency to try to blame the previous administration for their trouble. The Obama administration has been no exception, blaming George W. Bush for its troubles in Afghanistan. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has responded.
At a speech before the Center for Security Policy, Dick Cheney, with the air of a slightly exasperated school master admonishing a group of slow, misbehaving children, delivered a point by point smack down of the Obama foreign and national security policy so far.
On the decision to cancel the missile defense treaty with Poland and the Czech Republic, Cheney said, “In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.”
It should be noted that it appears that the Obama administration has realized the gravity of their mistake and has dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to Poland to smooth ruffled feathers and to negotiate a new missile defense agreement.
Dick Cheney went on to Iran: “The administration clearly missed an opportunity to stand with Iran’s democrats, whose popular protests represent the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979. Instead, the President has been largely silent about the violent crackdown on Iran’s protestors, and has moved blindly forward to engage Iran’s authoritarian regime.”
It should be noted that the Bush administration was not very public about supporting the Iranian democracy movement either, though to be fair the Bush White House was not at all eager to appease the mullahs as the Obama administration is now.
On Afghanistan, “Now suddenly – and despite our success in Iraq – we’re hearing a drumbeat of defeatism over Afghanistan.” Here Dick Cheney made a little bit of news. While the Obama administration has been complaining that the Bush administration left them a “mess” in Afghanistan, what the Bush people left Obama instead was a strategic review that pointed the way to turning things around using a counter insurgency strategy. President Obama seemed to embrace the Bush strategy of counter insurgency in March, but is now dithering now that his hand-picked General is asking for 40,000 more troops to finish the job.
Dick Cheney also admonished Obama for being too eager to leave Iraq. Iraq represents a significant victory in the War on Terror, as well as the establishment of the first true democracy in the Arab world. Cheney was warning Obama not to mess things up, while reminding the world the Bush, despite the critics, was successful in Iraq. “The Obama Administration has an obligation to protect this young democracy and build on the strategic success we have achieved in Iraq.”
Dick Cheney concluded his address with a favorite topic of his, what he calls “tough interrogations” and what the far left calls “torture.” Dick Cheney pointed out that the Bush policy worked to such an extent that there were no further attacks on American soil after 9/11. Here he wagged his finger at the Obama administration. “But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.”
There is an image that has been floating around the Internet that illustrates the perfect reaction to this speech. It’s of a smiling George W. Bush, waving, walking briskly, with the caption, “Miss me yet?”
Considering the folly and missteps the current administration has committed, with the lives of Americans at hazard, the answer has to be, “Yes, Mr. President. And you too, Mr. Vice President.”
Dick Cheney Speech Before Center for Security Policy, Weekly Standard, October 21st, 2009
‘Miss Me Yet?’ Bumper Stickers, Zazzle