Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"I basically don't" want to hear Dick Cheney talk anymore

Since I try to keep from inflaming political tensions around here, and because I don't consider myself a partisan person, and because Madhu's already mad at me about Kashmir, I decided not to title this post "Dick Cheney is a fucktard." (Link here.)

On the eve of the unveiling of the nation’s new Afghanistan policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Barack Obama for projecting “weakness” to adversaries and warned that more workaday Afghans will side with the Taliban if they think the United States is heading for the exits.

In a 90-minute interview at his suburban Washington house, Cheney said the president’s “agonizing” about Afghanistan strategy “has consequences for your forces in the field.”

“I begin to get nervous when I see the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small ‘p’ political reasons, where he’s trying to balance off different competing groups in society,” Cheney said. “Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander in chief really behind what they’ve been asked to do?”

Obama administration officials have complained ever since taking office that they face a series of unpalatable — if not impossible — national security decisions in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of the Bush administration’s unwavering insistence on focusing on Iraq.

But Cheney rejected any suggestion that Obama had to decide on a new strategy for Afghanistan because the one employed by the previous administration failed. Cheney was asked if he thinks the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq. “I basically don’t,” he replied without elaborating.

So there's that, just in case you're interested in what arguably the worst vice president in history is thinking about things. (Of course, you probably already knew, since he gives an interview every couple of weeks to criticize the president.)

11 comments:

  1. Dick Cheney is a fucktard."

    Stay classy, San Diego!

    SNLII

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  2. Stay classy, San Diego!

    You'll notice that I said I decided NOT to title it that way!

    Seriously, dude, the guy said -- and I mean he actually SAID this, he didn't just suggest it -- that the administration is "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" through its decision to try KSM in NYC. I'm quite sure he knows what those words mean.

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  3. I get as annoyed as anyone about politicizing national security. I've even defended the President (on my insignificant blog, for what that's worth) for no other reason other than the fact that he is the CinC. The simple reason is that we do not have all of the information that he has, so we don't know what variables he needs to consider in his decisions. He has been entrusted with the responsibilities of the office, so I think we owe him support in the national security arena when deliberating about an ongoing conflict. However, I think Cheney may be one of the few individuals whose criticism is excusable. In spite of numerous assurances that this administration would be forward-looking and not dwelling on the past, there seems to be a whole lot of reminders (completely unnecessary, imo) that "we inherited this problem" when discussing IZ, A'Stan, the economy, etc. Perhaps some of that is true. But I don't recall Bush ever blaming a poorly prepared military, crappy intel structure, or lack of responses to terrorism on the previous administration. An attack by the President invites a response. I think that is indisputable, regardless of which administration one favors. Unfortunately, political attacks and responses tend to be dumbed down to soundbites that can be consumed by the lowest common denominator. Thus, we have comments like "dithering" and "aid and comfort to the enemy."

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  4. Schmedlap -- I agree with most of what you've said, but the hitting back at criticism explanation is pretty lame. President Bush hasn't done that, and he's none the worse for wear.

    As for "dithering" and "giving aid and comfort to the enemy," I think these are two totally different things. Maybe it's because the latter phrase is the VERBATIM DEFINITION OF TREASON as given in the Constitution. I know Cheney has no problem tossing around this accusation, but I think it's telling how he pauses when he says "encouragement," pauses just to specifically add in "aid and comfort," knowing full well what those words mean, TO ACCUSE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF TREASON, but in such a way that he can back off it and say "oh, come now, that's not really what I meant, it's just a coincidence, I didn't mean those words like that."

    It's pathetic, and it's not befitting his status as a (blessedly) retired American statesman.

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  5. I'm not mad about anything :)

    Must I use emoticons or smiley's for EVERY post? :)

    :) :) :)

    *Kidding!

    **Foreign Policy has an article up, by a masters student I believe, that proposes that the US take up a more active role in mediating the Pakistan-India dispute. The comments section descends into Indo-Pak squabbling and one commenter, "Zathras" I think, says, "so, you want us to be dragged into this?"

    Funny, no? I'll dig up the link later.

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  6. Gulliver,
    Regarding hitting back at criticism and former Prez Bush, he doesn't need to hit back. Cheney is doing it.
    Regarding treason and aid/comfort, I get what you're saying and it probably is relevant if the target audience is a little smarter. But his target audience is not full of doctorate students. It's the lowest common denominator of people who think that Glenn Beck is a serious thinker. With that target audience, I think it's just a popular phrase that sounds familiar and, to them, makes the speaker sound smart.

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  7. Ha Madhu,

    Good to see you have migated over here too.

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  8. "
    Must I use emoticons or smiley's for EVERY post? :)"

    You shouldn't use them in any post, unless you're executing them.

    SNLII

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  9. Madhuji, or Madhu Dudette, whas happening. Why are you upset ;-) Just kidding

    Bless you for this post Gulliver. I like GW Bush personally. But since this January, Cheney has migrated in my estimation south of Ann Coulter, Amy Goodman, Gore Vidal and Michael Moore.

    Why the hell can't Cheney shut up!

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  10. "executing them" ?

    Anand: that's Madhu didi to you! (Actually, back when I was a regular commenter on Sepia Mutiny as "MD", some of the other regulars used to call me didi - EMDeeDee! You'll get it, bhai!)

    Schmedlap: you did a nice post about this, and as I recall, I commented on it re: Cheney and the dithering charge....you corrected me on a few things, but I remain perfectly comfortable with Cheney's behavior. It's the nature of opposition parties and politics and part of a free, rambunctious Republic such as ours. I remember the Right becoming very upset at some of then Senator Obama's statements ("air raiding villages," and what not).

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  11. Madhudi, by I initially wrote Didi but stopped. Thought ji was safer. Didn't want to suggest anyone was born before I was. :LOL:

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