Dick Cheney appeared on Fox and Friends Monday bellyaching about the deal the U.S. and five other nations have made with Iran over its nuclear program. Asked if he believed the United States is "in retreat everywhere," Cheney implied that the deal, hammered out in talks between the United States, Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, can't be trusted. Brian Kilmeade asks, "What is the overall...what is the main difference in tenor from the administration you left and the one now?" Cheney replies:
I don't think that Barack Obama believes in the U.S. as an exceptional nation. And the whole concept that the world's a safer place, a more peaceful place when the U.S. is powerful, able to, in fact, to project its will at various places around the world. We're withdrawing from the Middle East. We're cutting the Defense Department and the defense budget to the bone, doing enormous damage there. People no longer—our adversaries—no longer fear us. Our friends no longer trust us. And the bottom line is nobody cares much in the Middle East anymore what the U.S. thinks because we don't keep our commitments, we don't follow through. In Iran, we've got a very, very serious problem going forward. A deal has now been cut, the same people that brought us you can keep your insurance if you want are telling us they’ve got a great deal in Iran with respect to their nuclear program. I don’t believe it.Whatever differences we as Democrats have regarding President Obama's foreign policy choices, the one thing we can all agree on is that we're sick of hearing arsonists hanging around the fire they started. Certain media, however, eagerly add kerosene to the flames by endlessly quoting them.
Thus, Monday, we've got torturer-in chief Richard Bruce Cheney—who lied us into war and further enriched himself and his wealthy cronies in the process—explaining once again how the Iran deal is bad, the implication being that by not bombing the place, by choosing the diplomacy that the Cheney-Bush administration thumbed its nose at, the president is projecting "weakness."
Read more on Cheney below the fold.
That deal, it should be remembered, is only for six months during which the more difficult work of producing a longer-term arrangement can be drafted. It requires Iran to dilute its 20 percent enriched uranium, run only half of its enrichment centrifuges and gives the United Nations a green light for more intrusive inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, including the heavy-water operation one at Arak that inspectors arrived at Saturday. Getting to a permanent arrangement will be no easy matter given that Iranians are, like every other nation on the planet, jealous of their sovereignty.
But the six-month deal provides at least a start at ratcheting down tensions that have had the world on the edge of its seat for the past decade wondering when the U.S. or Israel would decide to try to take out Iran's nuclear infrastructure and cause who knows how many deaths and how much post-attack havoc.
It takes no special effort or reading between the lines to see the main theme behind Cheney's remarks: Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Nothing any Democratic president can do will ever stop the flow of "weak-on-defense" canards that began 60-odd years ago with shrieks of "Who Lost China?" President Obama could announce tonight that he plans to increase U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, invade Pakistan's border regions where the Taliban remains strong, bomb Iran's nuclear facilities (and take out a few of its cities just for good measure), summarily execute all the prisoners at Guantánamo, and declare martial law at home. Wouldn't matter. Cheney and the rest of the guys who weakened our national security by turning friends into enemies, hollowed out our armed forces with stop-loss orders, and enhanced the role of mercenaries in their objective of privatizing everything would still be complaining about weakness.
In the old days, the media avoided reporting serial killer Ted Bundy's views of the police analysis of his activities.
There's a legitimate forum for Cheney and the rest of the guys who failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, then expended $3 trillion and the lives of perhaps a million Iraqis, Americans, and other human beings in a war of aggression that had zero justification. That forum is a war crimes court.
Until, however, that exceedingly unlikely day when they can tell their lies under oath, they have nothing to say worth hearing.