Former Vice President, and IMHO a great American Patriot, Dick Cheney gave some remarks while accepting Keeper of the Flame award from the Center for Security Policy. He took this opportunity to address some comments Rahm Emanuel made in a CNN interview.
Rahm “Dead Fish” Emanuel’s remarks:
“You have literally got into a situation, is there another way you can do this? And the president is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side, and the strategic side. What is the impact on the region? What can the Afghan government do or not do? Where are we on the police training? Who would be better doing the police training? Could that be something the Europeans do? Should we take the military side? Those are the questions that have not been asked. And before you commit troops, which is — not irreversible, but puts you down a certain path — before you make that decision, there’s a set of questions that have to have answers that have never been asked. And it’s clear after eight years of war, that’s basically starting from the beginning, and those questions never got asked.
And what I find interesting and just intriguing from this debate in Washington, is that a lot of people who all of a sudden say, this is now the epicenter of the war on terror, you must do this now, immediately approve what the general said — where, before, it never even got on the radar screen for them. That — everything was always about Iraq.”
So Emanuel was blaming the Bush administration for Obama’s indecisiveness in Afghanistan. He was implying that Bush was so focused on Iraq that he took his eyes off the ball in Afghanistan; not giving it the thought and planning it deserved. Cheney fully and completely called the Obama administration out on this one. Evidently Bush, Cheney, et al. did a complete study of Afghanistan in the fall of 2008, with complete intel and a comprehensive plan for winning the war. Obama and his transition team asked them to keep this quiet. I wonder why?
Here are some of Cheney’s remarks concerning Afghanistan:
“Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.
In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.
Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.”
Also, Cheney shed light on the Obama decision to pull the missile defense shield in Europe:
“Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country’s word.
So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.
It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that – with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.”
Following my article, I will provide a link to the entirety of Cheney’s remarks. I strongly suggest reading them. His understanding of foreign affairs and the interactions between the United States and her allies, and enemies alike is undeniable. A lot of people disagree with Cheney and the left likes to paint him as a “Neo-Con” and a war monger. Yet he sticks to his principles and he takes the time to speak out. He is in a unique position to represent the opposition to Obama and the far left, since he isn’t running for office. This allows him to speak his mind and be more direct. I understand that G.W. Bush wants to take the high road and avoid criticism of his successor to the Oval Office, but Cheney has no such limitations. With his intimate knowledge of how this country was protected in the aftermath of 9/11, he is the perfect foil to the “blame Bush” mantra that the Obama administration all-too-often falls back on.
I cheer Dick Cheney and applaud his efforts to let the truth be told. He is a great American, a great Patriot and is one of the best, if not THE best Vice Presidents this country has ever had.