In Salon today, I’ve joined the chorus of people objecting to PapaDick Cheney and his spawn Liz BabyDick’s op-ed claiming of Obama that, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
In addition to reviewing some of the so wrong things Cheney said 12 years ago to get us into Iraq, I look closely at two things few others have, both suggesting certain things about whose interests Cheney claims to represent.
First, while claiming to speak for America’s interests in Iraq, he actually cites the leaders of Middle Eastern countries.
Clearly, his temper tantrum serves, in part, to distract from his own culpability.
But note who else’s views Cheney cites? He claims he heard “a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel,” complaining about Obama’s actions. He describes a senior official in an Arab capital laying out ISIS’ aspirations on a map. He portrays those same figures in the Middle East demanding, “Why is he abandoning your friends?” “Why is he doing deals with your enemies?”
And he does so even while he mocks the notion of actually doing something about climate change, a threat that (in the form of extreme weather events) more immediately threatens Americans today.
Even while Cheney parrots the interests of Middle Eastern leaders and conflates their interests with America’s, he scoffs at Obama’s (belated) efforts to address a far more immediate risk for America, climate change. “Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change,” Cheney complains.
ISIS may be overrunning Iraqi cities, but extreme weather events are endangering cities in the United States and across the world. Much of the American West is struggling with extreme drought. Cheney, however, would have the president ignore this threat and instead prioritize the concerns he heard from his friends in the Middle East.
ISIS’ actions in Iraq are troubling — though it’s not clear that the US can do anything to fix it, certainly not now.
But the US has real problems here at home that threaten American lives and well-being. We really need to spend time working on our own governance before we decide to re-govern another country on the other side of the world.