Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, have an op-ed published in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal torching President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and his handling of the crisis in Iraq.
In the scathing op-ed, Dick Cheney — perhaps the most controversial of former Bush administration officials for his role as an architect of the Iraq war — and his daughter blast Obama for being “so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
From the op-ed:
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is “ending” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America’s enemies are not “decimated.” They are emboldened and on the march.
The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama’s actions — before and after ISIS’s recent advances in Iraq — have the effect of increasing that threat.
The Cheneys assert the Obama administration had a simple task in Iraq upon entering office in 2009, largely mirroring criticism from Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona). They write he simply had to leave behind a residual force. Instead, they said, he “abandoned” Iraq and left the insurgents making major gains across the country over the past week to fester and grow stronger.
Iraq, they write, is only part of the story, however. And they assert Obama is “wilfully blind to the impact of his policies,” since he has declared similar intentions in winding down the Afghan war.
“Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch,” the pair writes. “Indeed, the speed of the terrorists’ takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.”
Obama on Monday announced he would send up to 275 military personnel to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He has not decided if he will pursue more aggressive military action, including airstrikes. Obama is set to meet with congressional leadership on Iraq on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
Given Cheney’s role in the Iraq war, his op-ed on Wednesday has inspired intense reactions. In an email, the Democratic National Committee blasted Cheney for his pronouncement that Obama has been “so wrong on so much,” given he “justified sending thousands of service members into harm’s way in Iraq by claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when he actually had none?”
Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, tweeted, “Hopefully we can all at least agree that we shouldn’t be taking advice on Iraq from Cheney.
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