Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 30, 2009

CHENEY'S CHEAP CHICANERY.... Former Vice President Dick Cheney, after quite a bit of time in the media spotlight of late, started to fade away, at least a little. He piped up again yesterday, though, complaining to the conservative Washington Times about U.S. policy in Iraq.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday said he is concerned about U.S. forces withdrawing from Iraqi cities within 24 hours.

Mr. Cheney told The Washington Times' "America's Morning News" radio show that he is a strong believer in Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and that the general is doing what needs to be done.

"But what he says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks." [...]

"I hope the Iraqis can deal with it," Mr. Cheney said. "At some point they have to stand on their own, but I would not want to see the U.S. waste all the tremendous sacrifice that has gotten us to this point."

Andrew Sullivan responded, "[H]aving initiated the worst foreign policy decision in recent times, Cheney doesn't want the occupation to end any time soon. More to the point, he is gearing up to blame Obama if the withdrawal leads to bloodshed or chaos."

That's probably true, but I'd go a little further. Cheney argued the Obama administration's policy may produce a new round of violence and squander recent gains. What Cheney neglected to mention is that the Obama administration is simply following through on the SOFA deal negotiated by the Bush/Cheney administration.

As Fred Kaplan explained the other day, "[T]he withdrawal is not the doing of President Barack Obama. Rather, it was negotiated during the Bush administration, at -- more to the point -- the Iraqi government's insistence. The Iraqis are the ones who wanted, and ordered, us out. Even if John McCain had won the 2008 election, we'd still be pulling out of Iraq's cities."

If Cheney doesn't like the Status of Forces Agreement, signed in November 2008, he should take it up with Bush.

For that matter, Cheney is going to have to work a lot harder to convince the public. A new CNN poll found that 73% of Americans "favor the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns." Among Republicans -- the ones who bought into the "cut and run" rhetoric Cheney threw around for years -- 74% favor the withdrawal plan being executed this week.

The national consensus is obvious. It's just not what Cheney would like it to be.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Comments

Remember, Republicans 'make their own reality' and the rest of us 'study it as history'.

lol

Posted by: JWK on June 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

michael jackson and billy mays (both 50) just died of heart failure this week.

how in the HELL does cheney's still work. can't a brother get a short circuit in a pacemaker?

Posted by: ahoy polloi on June 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

michael jackson and billy mays (both 50) just died of heart failure this week.

how in the HELL does cheney's still work? can't a brother get a short circuit in a pacemaker up in this bitch?

Posted by: ahoy polloi on June 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Mr. Cheney. To think that you would stoop to such cheap chicanery.....

Posted by: Apu on June 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, you gotta love the guy - No "cut and run" type such as Shrub who departed DC. Nah, Dick is hold up in Ft Dupont and will fight to his last Hallliburton pay stub. Had only there been more early withdrawals in Wyoming of yore.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 30, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

And even worse, even if Cheney's characterization were true, the pullout would still be the more politically courageous and honest thing to do. Cheney's people are the ones who decided to ride the tiger; it's fundamentally cowardly to insist that their successors must continue to ride it until it turns into a horse. If, after six years, you can't even pull back your forces without the whole country collapsing (not what I believe, but that's what Cheney claims to "fear"), then all the sacrifices have been wasted, and you're just wasting more to avoid admitting it.

But that's the Bush Administration in an nutshell -- expending any amount of other people's lives and treasure, suppressing any information and undermining any function of government, as long as it allowed them to kick the can down the road and avoid ever admitting they were wrong.

Posted by: Redshift on June 30, 2009 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

ahoy polloi -- you seem to under the misapprehension that Cheney has a heart...

Posted by: Redshift on June 30, 2009 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Cheney argued the Obama administration's policy may produce a new round of violence and squander recent gains."

But did he argue that? It must be in the video clip, because it's not in the bit excerpted, nor in the linked Washington Times article. Cheney only makes one mention of Obama, in relation to Iran's protesters.

Cheney could have been expressing his disapproval with the SOFA agreement between Bush and Iraq's government.

The excerpt could have been uttered by anybody, left or right: worried about the handover, hope Iraqi forces are ready, hope rebels aren't just waiting for the withdrawal deadline.

Posted by: flubber on June 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney soiled himself and now is complaining of the smell! He wonders, how did I get shat upon? Who is to blame? Why can't the shit smell any better?

Cheney is one big fecal flake! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on June 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

We're reading way too much into this. Cheney is whining that we should continue to funnel US Treasury dollars into Haliburton, his dividends are getting under a half million dollars per week.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on June 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

You forget that when the withdrawal was negotiated Cheney had no intention of ever honoring it. To paraphrase Cheney from another context; "Honoring one's commitments may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive foreign policy." As we all know Cheney has no personal virtue and is only contemptuous of those who do have some.

Posted by: majun on June 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

dick cheney is a mass-murderer and a traitor to the united states of america.

god damn his shit-filled soul to hell.

Posted by: neill on June 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I could have sworn Cheney's handpuppet Bush very famously once told the American people that if the Iraqi government wanted us to leave, that we would. So what's the problem, Dick?

Posted by: andy on June 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Uhhh Dick er um correct me if I'm wrong , but didn't the Iraquis set the timetable , you know that democractically elected government that now is suppused to be in charge.

Posted by: John R on June 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I liked Dan Savage's turning Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum's name into a word meaning something else, a word I've even used in conversation. How about we do the same with Cheney?

A Cheney - Ever more blatant lies told in defence of a previous blatant lie.

How long til it's in the dictionary?

Posted by: comstock load on June 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Cmon, neill, tell us how you really feel about the guy :)

Posted by: beep52 on June 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

He's flogging a book, which means he's going to be in our faces ad nauseam.

Posted by: Doug Bostrom on June 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqis want the Americans out of Iraq. The Americans want the Americans out of Iraq. The Americans are leaving Iraq. And not even a new round of violence will convince them to stay.

I guess I should cut Cheney some slack, because I don't even understand what he's arguing. Is he saying that we've sacrificed blood and treasure to eliminate violence in Iraq, and if Iraq becomes violent in the future, all that blood and treasure will have been wasted? Because the amount of double-think required to make that argument is truly staggering.

Posted by: Will on June 30, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

ahoy polloi,

It's simple. Cheney will never die because the Devil doesn't want him in hell effing things up.

Posted by: doubtful on June 30, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't the insurgency in its last throes back in 2005?

Those dead-enders sure are hard to corner.

I agree with Doug, this is all about the book. Simon & Schuster is gonna be pimpin' Dick so hard it'll hurt.

They might not be able to make up the $2 mil signing bonus by flogging his nincompoopery exclusively to the party faithful, so they're getting reasonable people interested in buying it just to find out what delusional imaginings he might spout.

Posted by: Jeff Wenker on June 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Screw Cheney. He's history - just doesn't realize it.

Posted by: rbe1 on June 30, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

If Cheney doesn't like the Status of Forces Agreement, signed in November 2008, he should take it up with Bush.

Word.


Posted by: Gregory on June 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I deeply, passionately hope that C'Thulhu has over-invested is his role and will not recognize when the costs outweigh the benefits of his sniping. Best possible scenario: he won't let go, just can't do it, and becomes an increasingly obvious, increasingly irrelevant, sick caricature. So: keep it up, Mr. Benen. Keep this bipedal dungheap in the public eye - let's hear all about his latest spewage. Do NOT allow him a quiet exit. Nothing could be finer than Cheney's extended public dissolution carrying the remnants of American 'conservatism' down with him.

Posted by: Conrads Ghost on June 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

It ain't about bloodshed; bloodshed never worried Dickie any, as long as it wasn't his blood being spilled. It's about *oil*shed -- that it might stop flowing in Haliburton's direction. Obama is effing up Dickie's pet project: Operation Iraq Liberation, OIL for short...

Posted by: exlibra on June 30, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

....waiting for someone in the liberal media to point out that the SOFA was Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on June 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Remember, Republicans 'make their own reality' and the rest of us 'study it as history'."

Interestingly, it seems like Obama is the one actually doing this. Without all the bragadocchio and bombast.

Posted by: anonymiss on June 30, 2009 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney is a tool. Not even a clever one.

He should be keeping his fat trap shut, lest he say that utterance that could land him in the slammer for all of his crimes. He richly deserves to be brought up on charges.
If he wants to escape that, I'd think that he'd shut his big fat trap. Otherwise, he's just giving ammunition to his enemies.

Posted by: Kaffeemeister on July 1, 2009 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

I think we should nationalize the credit card industry.

What would that look like? We have national money now.

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