Dick Cheney knows exactly where America's Middle East policy went wrong. And it didn't start with him.
Cheney went on Hugh Hewitt's radio show on Thursday and laid into the Obama Administration and its foreign policy, particularly for its performance in the Middle East. In doing so, though, Cheney relied on criticisms that could just as easily have applied to his leadership as Vice President during President Bush' years. "If you’re a friend and ally of the United States in that part of the world tonight, you’d have to say, What’s this guy all about? Can we count on anything he’s told us?" Cheney said. For Cheney, the Middle East no longer trusts the United States because of Obama's "red line" on Syria and follow-up inaction. Cheney is surely right that people lose trust in America when it's leaders don't keep their word. Which is why it's odd Cheney did not mention the Middle East losing trust in America when the previous president, under whom Cheney served, fought a war there over weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. ("Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," Cheney said in August 2002.)
Cheney continued, calling the current administration's Middle East policy "incompetent," especially because of its premature claims of victory after battle. Sound familiar? "What they did ... with bin Laden, such a hurry to go out and announce victory, that I’m convinced that they probably did not get maximum damage out of the intel that they had captured," he said. "Mission Accomplished," it was not, though.
It can't be that the very recent past has slipped Cheney's mind, because even his friends keep reminding him of it. Earlier this month, a roast of Cheney featured water-boarding jokes. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman reportedly "said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.