Most people have had the unenviable task of cleaning up another person’s mess, and to exacerbate the situation is either blamed for the mess or criticized for putting things in order. President Obama spent the past four years cleaning up after Bush tanked the economy, left millions of Americans jobless and the nation embroiled in two unnecessary and costly wars. From the earliest days of the President’s first term, Republicans laid blame for the plethora of problems they and Bush left, and complained about the President’s approach to fixing the economy, staunching massive job losses, as well as his approach to foreign policy. In fact, the President is facing criticism for his use of unmanned drone attacks on the growing number of terrorists throughout the Middle East, and on Saturday, convicted war criminal Dick Cheney blamed the President for Bush Administration foreign policy that assisted al-Qaeda recruit and expand terrorism across the region.
Cheney was speaking to a group of Republicans in Wyoming and took time to lambaste President Obama for his recent choices for national security positions he labeled as “dismal.” Cheney said, “The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal, he has appointed second-rate people.” The war monger went on to say the positions of Secretary of State, CIA director, and Secretary of Defense should be held by “good folks” because they were vital to the nation’s national security, and that the President’s choices undermined America’s foreign policy and “put the nation at risk of an attack.” Then Cheney told the audience the security situation in the Middle East and North Africa was worse than when the President took office, but failed to note the rise of Islamic extremist terrorism is the result of America’s war mongering in Iraq and Afghanistan that helped extremists recruit new terrorists and spread throughout the Middle East.
Interestingly, while blaming the President for the making the Middle East security situation worse, he also said “That part of the world is as dangerous now as it has ever been” leaving semi-intelligent Americans to wonder if the Middle East is worse, or the same as when the President took office. Cheney sought to clarify his position by accusing the President of responding to regional tensions by pulling back American military presence leading to increased mistrust of the United States from allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. Obviously, Cheney’s problem with the President is that he is not perpetuating the Bush Doctrine that destabilized and spread terrorism throughout the region, and has necessitated drone strikes to stop attacks against America. Cheney claims the President’s national security team choices put the nation at risk because they do not support Bush-Cheney policies that did increase the risks to America; his logic defies reason.
Cheney said the President is attempting to “cripple the Defense Department” with massive cuts to “diminish American global military presence to undermine U.S. foreign policy.” Cheney’s comment is telling that one, he does not accept that President Obama sets American foreign policy, and two, America’s foreign policy is not the purview of neo-cons like him who were instrumental in advancing the spread of terrorism. The Bush policy of pre-emptive military invasion and regime change, enhanced interrogation techniques (torture), and wanton mass killing of innocent Muslims were instrumental in helping al-Qaeda’s recruitment efforts and spreading terror cells throughout the Middle East.
Cheney’s main criticism, though, is the President’s choices to lead the national security team because they do not comport the neo-con unrestrained military spending, pre-emptive war, and incompetence at the highest level model of the Bush administration. Despite the inordinate amount of money this nation spends on defense, Cheney’s characterization of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense as “second rate” is based on Hagel’s past comments about the need to rein in defense spending that contradicts Cheney’s mindset that “deficits don’t matter” as long as they fund perpetual wars. Cheney claims President Obama chose Hagel because he “wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense,” and according to Cheney, it is diminishing America’s global military presence “for years to come” that defines Cheney’s wont of America at war on multiple fronts in perpetuity.
It has taken President Obama nearly four years, and counting, to clean up Bush-Cheney’s unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those wars’ atrocities that incited terrorists to increase their numbers and multiply their attempts to launch attacks on the United States. There were terrorists prior to the Bush administration’s war mongering, but the neo-con’s Muslim war fetish increased outrage against America that has made the controversial drone attacks against terrorists a controversial, but necessary, tactic to protect Americans.
To men like Cheney, the thought of America at peace is simply unacceptable, and in his mind America’s foreign policy is still preemptive war, use of torture, and unrestrained defense spending to fund new wars against Middle East nations that defy neo-con tendencies of global imperialism and domination. Americans are sick and tired of war and welcome the President’s security team that prefers dialogue to conflict, and defense spending for defense; not preemptive war that crippled this nation’s economy. It is unfortunate that to clean up the effects of Bush-Cheney war mongering, America resorts to targeting terrorists to keep this country safe, and an outrage one of the men most responsible for spreading global terrorism blames the President for increased terrorist activity. It is also unfair that Cheney criticizes President Obama of putting the nation at risk when his own people criticize him for keeping Americans safe, and all because he is cleaning up Bush and Cheney’s spread of terrorism.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.