Friday, October 23, 2009

Sticking It to Dick

As previously noted, former Vice President Dick Cheney said President Obama was “dithering” about how to move forward on Afghanistan and basically labeled the president a coward for not going all in on the war. As Joan Walsh at Salon points out, this is especially ironic from a man who got five deferments from the draft during Vietnam because he had “other priorities,” who spent most of his time in office during the Bush administration in undisclosed locations, and had Google Earth pixelate the location of the vice presidential residence. Mr. Cheney and his administration basically ignored Afghanistan — and let Osama bin Laden and his cave-dwellers avoid capture — once they found another new shiny thing in Iraq. But don’t just take the word of a columnist or a blogger; here’s what Gen. Paul Eaton (ret.) had to say:

The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.

“The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy ‘experts’ have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. […]

“No human endeavor can be as profound as sending a nation’s youth to war. I am very happy to see serious men and women working hard to get it right.

And, for the record, last March Mr. Obama implemented a request for a troop increase proposal in Afghanistan that had been ignored by the Bush/Cheney administration for eight months before they left office.

Mr. Cheney’s own history shows that his idea of cowardice vs. prudent and responsible judgment is, to say the least, somewhat warped.