It is a fairly easy task to point out the preponderance of negative traits that characterize Republicans and their various conservative brethren, and one in particular is that if nothing else, they are consistent. Obviously, acting, behaving, or reacting the same way can be an admirable character trait worth cultivating, but it can also be detrimental if a person or group consistently acts in a manner that repeats prior mistakes. In that regard, Republicans are without peer and epitomize what Albert Einstein said was the definition of insanity; “repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different outcome.” No American can say with a straight face that Republicans do not dependably promote repeating their failed policies regardless of the damage to the nation whether it is pushing the failed trickle down economic theory, giving corporations a means of avoiding paying taxes, or finding a reason to go to war.
It was hardly surprising, then, that just hours prior to President Obama’s meeting with the four top congressional leaders to brief them on the Administration’s strategy to confront the growing threat from the Islamic State (IS), House Republicans met with war criminal Dick Cheney for counsel on dealing with IS, and likely to promote a new Iraq war.
The President briefed Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the “strategy for degrading and ultimately destroying” the terrorist group. By all accounts, the President’s meeting with congressional leadership was productive; likely because, as White House spokesman Josh Earnst said, the President believed “in robust congressional consultation” when it comes to military action. He noted that rank-and-file lawmakers will have access to more information this week during a series of closed briefings planned on Capitol Hill, and that the President “understands that Congress has and should have a role as these important decisions are being made. And the president would certainly welcome support from members of Congress, however they choose to show it, for the steps that we’re taking.”
According to an aide to Boehner, “the speaker would support the president if he chose to deploy the military to help train and play an advisory role and assist with lethal targeting of Islamic State leadership.” However, it is likely that Boehner will have to clear it with Cheney before he fully commits to supporting the President because Cheney wasted little time criticizing the President for creating and expanding the Islamic State. In a closed-door meeting with the House majority, Cheney said the President’s “failed policies in the Middle East facilitated the Islamic State’s expansion” as well as fueled every other crisis in the region and around the world. Cheney openly expressed doubt the President would lay out the “right” strategy that was capable of defeating the Islamic State and other enemies around the world when he addresses the nation tonight.
Cheney was supposed to advise House Republicans on politics, but he decided the Islamic State situation warranted his attention because he still wants America’s military heavily involved in Iraq and warned Republicans to abandon any idea of isolationism. After the meeting with the Iraq debacle mastermind, Republicans said Cheney’s message was that a lighter American military footprint around the globe is what created the Islamic State, and demanded that Republicans “re-affirm the support for strong military, intelligence gathering, and an internationalist approach to foreign affairs.” Translation; military intervention any and every place or as Cheney implied, a heavy American footprint around the world.
One Republican from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger, praised Cheney and gushed that he “reiterated for us the importance of the Republican Party standing strong for a strong national defense. It was a great message, something we needed to hear. Hopefully it sticks with a lot of my colleagues who have kind of had this creep toward isolationism in the Congress lately.” Cheney’s counsel apparently put Republicans in a sober mood after informing them that The Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood are a major threat to America because “our allies in the region don’t trust the President.” Although sources claimed Cheney did not recommend specific military action, “he did kind of lay out the dangers we have and that we need to meet them. Cheney also said “how unprepared the U.S. military is for any kind of large-scale engagement against ISIS because the administration is cutting the military so much.”
There are cuts in military spending that Chuck Hagel announced in February affecting forces and weapons programs, but they are a direct result of Republican’s harsh budget pressure. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in February that “As we end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition the Defense Department is making after 13 years of war.” It is noteworthy that a primary reason there are budgetary issues stemming from the national debt is because Cheney and Bush engaged America in a needless and unfunded trillions-of-dollars war of aggression in Iraq. A war, by the way, that created the Islamic State. There was no Islamic State until America invaded Iraq and allowed a Shia-led government to chase disenfranchised Sunnis into Syria where they joined forces with Islamic extremists and destabilized Syria and began their march to reclaim Iraq as the dreaded Islamic State.
President Obama should not allow Republicans to have any say in dealing with a crisis their hero Cheney was crucial in creating; particularly after he met with House GOP members to promote more American military involvement in the region and around the world that will produce another recruitment tool for groups supporting the Islamic State. It was, after all, Republicans who railed on the President for not arming and aiding the Islamic State in the drive to overthrow Syrian President Assad.
Perpetual warmonger, Senator John McCain even made a secret trip to meet with Islamic State leaders that Republicans had referred to as freedom fighters just last year. Or, as John Fugelsgang noted, “a year ago some Republican pols were comparing ISIS to the found fathers” in their push to promote American military aid in the civil war to oust Assad. Now the warmongers want to wage war on the “Islamic founding fathers,” not so much for the threat they pose, but because it is important for, as Cheney counsels, America to have a “heavy footprint” in Iraq.
To an outsider it may seem shocking that Republicans would meet with, much less give their rapt attention to, one of the main architects of the unnecessary and disastrous Iraq war that sent the national debt into the stratosphere and created the need for budget reductions across the board; including defense cuts. However, to Americans with an ounce of awareness it was inevitable that they would take advice and counsel from the man who played a major role in the creation of the Islamic State in the first place. There is an aphorism in the Christian bible’s book of Proverbs that states “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly,” and by meeting with Cheney for a pep talk to re-engage the military in Iraq, Republicans appear ready to repeating Cheney’s folly and return America back to Bush and Cheney’s vomit that created the threat President Obama now has to confront.
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.