"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Dick Cheney continued to insist that the things are going great guns in Iraq. In a rapidly changing world, it's comforting to see that some things stay the same, huh?
From Peter Baker of the Washington Post:
Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the administration has achieved "enormous successes" in Iraq but complained that critics and the media "are so eager to write off this effort or declare it a failure" that they are undermining U.S. troops in a war zone…
…The pressure is from some quarters to get out of Iraq," he told CNN. "If we were to do that, we would simply validate the terrorists' strategy that says the Americans will not stay to complete the task, that we don't have the stomach for the fight."
…Cheney said the administration would disregard the nonbinding resolution opposing the troop increase and suggested it undermines soldiers in a war zone. "It won't stop us," he said. "And it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops."
Only Dick Cheney could claim, with a straighter face than he managed to keep during Mr. Bush's recent State of the Union address, that we have achieved "enormous successes" in Iraq. Maybe he was talking about the enormous gains in his stock options in his old company Halliburton.
Only Dick Cheney, who had "other priorities in the 60s" than fight in the Vietnam conflict, and who avoided serving in a time of war by securing five draft deferments, would accuse his fellow Americans of not having the "stomach" to fight.
But Cheney's not alone in his cynical use of Orwellian rhetoric that blames critics and the media for failures of strategies and policies that he himself helped formulate, execute and support. And he's hardly the only member of the neoconservative echo choir who claims that checks, oversight or criticism of his neoconservative initiatives will be "detrimental" to the troops or "validate the terrorists' strategy."
The Cheney Republic
Not only does Cheney say that Congress "won't stop us" from escalating the war in Iraq. He appears to be creating a situation in which Congress can't stop his military/industrial gravy train from rolling into Iran.
Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane of Raw Story tell us in a recent article how Cheney's office has been manipulating America toward a war with Iran since before the Bush administration even took power.
According to Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker and others, Cheney was the U.S. official who gave the "green light" to Israel for its recent incursion into Lebanon. Once Cheney gave the thumbs-up to the operation, according to one of Hersh's sources, “…persuading Bush was never a problem, and Condi Rice was on board."
The War Drum Beat Goes On
Cheney also appears to be a key player behind our recent in air strikes in Somalia, supposedly aimed at al-Qaeda leaders but which, by best accounts, failed to kill the al-Qaeda leaders they were targeting. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said that he was not aware of any White House consultation with Congress prior to the air strikes. I have not heard of anyone in Congress asking what the hell is going on in Somalia?
Our once mighty country is under the control of a man who is part Rasputin, part Svengali and part Machiavelli.
I can't wait to see what he tells Mr. Bush to decide next.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.