Thursday, October 22, 2009
Cheney Calls Out Obama On National Security
Cheney exposed Obama's rank dishonesty with the damning disclosure that Obama, Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod lied about having to develop an Afghanistan policy from scratch after being left nothing by the Bush administration, revealing that in truth, Bush and Cheney went to great lengths to prepare a full assessment with recommendations that included General McChrystal's COIN strategy adopted by Obama in March 2009 (emphasis mine):
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.But Cheney did not just expose Obama's lies to the American people. He also scorched Obama for purposely betraying longtime allies with the sure knowledge that it would damage America's credibility as a security partner for at least the remainder of his term in office.
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 repeatedly went into the country, 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.
Cheney hit that nail on the head with this damning passage:
No former American Vice President has so pointedly criticized his boss' successor, because no President has done so much wilful damage to America's security. In the years I have been watching American politics since Watergate, there has never been a worse president, worse even than Jimmy f'n Carter. No president in my lifetime has been more dishonest with the American people than Barack Obama, not even Richard Nixon. And there certainly has never been a president more hell-bent on destroying America as it is presently constituted.
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.
You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire – and thought they had – a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.
What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous “Reset” button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.
Big events turn on the credibility of the United States – doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran.
It matters little how the White House responds to Cheney's charges. The point of the exercise is that Cheney has called Obama out (a tactic Obama himself holds in high regard) on every facet of his administration's carefully orchestrated attacks on national security and America's allies, forcing a response that must acknowledge those charges. My bet is that it will just involve more waffling and finger-pointing at the Bush administration, further bolstering Cheney's case.
Whatever ensues, the Cheneys have successfully focused national attention on Obama's war on the national security community and therefore on national security itself.
And despite the overwhelming power he abuses against his own country every day, Obama is completely unable to stop them.
Per K-Lo, If you miss adult leadership, watch here: