June 18th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
1 month ago

Cheney rips Obama over foreign policy in op-ed

Washington (CNN) –Former Vice President Dick Cheney and daughter Liz Cheney penned a scathing op-ed in which they offered a blistering critique of President Barack Obama’s handling of the escalating violence in Iraq.

"Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," wrote Cheney and his daughter, a conservative pundit and former State Department official in the Bush administration, in an opinion piece  for the Wall Street Journal. "Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory."

That line by the Cheneys spurred many on social media to accuse the former vice president of hypocrisy, because of his role as a major advocate for the Iraq war during the George W. Bush administration.

And Wednesday morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the floor of the chamber to criticize Cheney.

"If there is one thing this country does not need is that we should be taking advice from Dick Cheney on wars. Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history," Reid said.

Latest CNN reporting on fighting in Iraq

The Cheneys join a growing chorus of high profile Republicans who have criticized the Obama administration’s handling of Islamic militants who have cut a bloody swath across northern and central Iraq, regions American troops and Iraqi government forces had previously worked to secure. A number of Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a war veteran and strident critic of Obama’s policy toward Iraq, have blasted the President’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops out of the country at the end of 2011, and say that move left a security vacuum.

McCain, Obama's opponent in the 2008 presidential election, has asserted that some U.S. troops should have remained in Iraq to provide stability.

Republican critics say that void – coupled with the administration’s refusal to commit additional U.S. military support to opposition forces in neighboring Syria's civil war – has been exploited by the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, to attack in Iraq.

Foreign policy helps push Obama to new low

The Cheneys agreed.

"Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change," the Cheneys wrote in the op-ed. "Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America."

The President has indicated that, while violence in Syria has been seeping over into Iraq, he doesn’t want to get pulled into another protracted war on foreign soil after ending the near decade long conflict begun under his predecessor.

The United States "will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq," Obama said on Friday as he read from a statement delivered from the White House South Lawn. The President also said he would be studying a number of alternative options.

The Cheneys feel the President should act with greater haste and force.

"It is time the president and his allies faced some hard truths: America remains at war, and withdrawing troops from the field of battle while our enemies stay in the fight does not "end" wars," the Cheneys wrote in the op-ed. "Weakness and retreat are provocative. U.S. withdrawal from the world is disastrous and puts our own security at risk."

The latest critique from Dick Cheney is especially salient since, as secretary of defense under former President George H.W. Bush, Cheney was deeply involved in the 1991 decision to mount a large-scale U.S. military operation in Iraq following that nation’s invasion of the small oil-rich nation of Kuwait. He would later become vice president in former President George W. Bush’s administration and helped craft the “War on Terror” in response to the September 11th attacks.

Cheney played a key role in urging the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction-a hunt that ultimately proved fruitless. Cheney has remained a supporter of the war in Iraq.

In the op-ed, the Cheneys accused Obama of undoing the hard-fought gains of troops serving under the previous administration.

"When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al Qaeda in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge," the Cheneys wrote. "Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory."

The Democratic National Committee Wednesday blasted an email out to reporters that was critical of the op-ed, saying that the "only rhetoric that needs a dose of reality is Mr. Cheney's."

The op-ed from the former vice president and his daughter Liz came as the two announced the launch of "The Alliance for a Strong America," a non-profit advocacy organization that they say will "advocate for a restoration of American strength and power."

The former vice president will serve as chairman of the new group, with daughter Liz serving as president.

Related: Hoyer: Obama administration 'should be considering' Iraq airstrikes

Former U.S. envoy to Iraq: U.S. needs special forces on ground in Iraq


Filed under: Dick Cheney • Iraq • Liz Cheney • President Obama
soundoff (1,079 Responses)
  1. Geo Bruno

    As if his offspring will ever have sand in their boots

    June 18, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Ashok Bhagat

    Cheney and other officials brought about a war that was not needed, not in US interest, destabilized a country, and caused untold deaths and misery. They used lies and deceptions on many occasions. All senior advisers of Bush Jr. should be brought before a international court of law.

    June 18, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Bubba

    As bad as Obama's foreign policy is, Bush's was worse. No WMD's, Saddam was not linked to Al Qaeda. We went to war in Iraq under false pretense. Cheney belongs in prison. Bush and Cheney wasted trillions of US dollars just to make a few billion for their oil buddies. They should both be tried for treason and executed.

    June 18, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Larry38363

    And all this diatribe by a International Criminal!

    June 18, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Bubba

    As bad as Obama's foreign policy is, Bush's was worse. No WMD's, Saddam was not linked to Al Qaeda. We went to war in Iraq under false pretense. Cheney belongs in prison. Bush and Cheney wasted trillions of US dollars just to make a few billion for their oil buddies. They should both be tried for treason.

    June 18, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Yeager

    Let me be clear, you know, there comes a point when we have to realize we cant blame everything on Bush/Cheney.......That was six years ago folks.

    June 18, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Robert

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,"
    Damn
    I thought he was talking about his former boss there for a minute
    Then again
    It wasn't President Bush that was really in charge of the Iraq planning and invasion anyway

    June 18, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. CyndyP

    Looking at Dick Cheney is like looking in the face of evil! This lying, vile human being got on TV and said this war would cost us nothing, the oil would pay for everything. What about the human lives lost. The war should have never happened.

    The Bush administration negotiated the exit of Iraq and every last military personnel, not President Obama! I'm just disgusted American taxpayers had to pay to replace the heart of this monster!

    June 18, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Geo Bruno

    When does he tell us how to stop the 1,000+ year old religious civil war?

    Or all the good things our meddling for oil in the middle east has caused

    June 18, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. CryBabies

    I'm glad the pacfists on this blog were not around in 1945. A note to Harry Reid: Your in a battle of wits and are an unarmed opponent.........retire .

    June 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Jim

    I'm not the biggest Obama fan but c'mon man we as Americans DEMANDED he get out of Iraq.He won the election partially on the promise that he would.Obama didn't remove the troops as much as the majority of voting Americans did.

    June 18, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. blome Cheney blome

    Cheney has sucked off the teet of the taxpayer long enough, no more organ donations please!

    June 18, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. John/kc

    No one listens to Dick Cheney anyway. Eight years and a trillion dollars with many American lives lost and messed up is enough to throw away for people that don't even want to defend themselves and their homes.

    June 18, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. greasemonkey

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,"

    ......There has never been a more graphic example of the above quote than the administration is which Cheney served.

    June 18, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. David Gottschalk Jr.

    Unbelievable! One of the chief architects that lied, distorted and manipulated facts to get us into this disastrous war, now seeks self-vindication through any media outlet that is willing to encourage his subverted view of history! His are the mistakes we are now still paying for!

    June 18, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. pbot

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many"
    I know right? It's been so long since a President made an expensive deadly mistake involving going to war in Iraq. Like, you know, 2003... oh wait, when were you VP Mr. Cheney?

    June 18, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Robert N. constant

    A few facts. Cheney was indicted by the Government of Nigeria for bribery. Halliburton "settled" with Nigeria. Cheney's office floated the untrue accusation that Saddam Hussein was buying "Yellow cake " uranium from Nigeria for weapons of mass destruction. Valerie Plane was one of the CIA agents working on the story. Cheney's office outed her secret CIA status. Some thought it was in revenge because her husband an ambassador who had knowledge of the Iraq weapons inspectors reports took issue with the Bush claim of "weapons of Mass Destruction."

    June 18, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. lvg

    President Cheney was itching to get American troops to finish off Sadaam when he was put in office by the USSCT in 2000 so he could prove Cloin Powell wrong for ending the Gulf War without going to Baghdad and so that he could hand out oil contracts in Iraq in exchange for favors.

    June 18, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. henry2016

    Obama messed up so bad in foreign politics. First of all, OB isn't good in anything. Worse, he has been appointing cronies to important government posts and the result has proved catastrophic. He has no one to blame (not Bush this time) but himself.

    June 18, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Jeff Williams

    Someone arrest this man.

    June 18, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Richard Right

    I think the President's non decision is excellent . along with releasing the five Gitmo prisoners probably puts him in first place to be President of The UN after he leaves the U.S. Presidency.

    June 18, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Gerry Daley

    Cheney, the war criminal. Why isn't he in jail?

    June 18, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Robert N. constant

    A few facts. Cheney was indicted by the Government of Nigeria for bribery. Halliburton "settled" with Nigeria. Cheney's office floated the untrue accusation that Saddam Hussein was buying "Yellow cake " uranium from Nigeria for weapons of mass destruction. Valerie Plane was one of the CIA agents working on the story. Cheney's office outed her secret CIA status. Some thought it was in revenge because her husband an ambassador who had knowledge of the Iraq weapons inspectors reports took issue with the Bush claim of "weapons of Mass Destruction."
    Cheney's Halliburton made billions in the Iraq war from government contracts. Cheney was one of the architects of sending Americans to fight in that war.

    June 18, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Dex Mandark

    This BS spewed by the blood-gargling ghoul, Dick Cheney, is for the benerit of Liz – she's his mouthpiece and that's all he cares about. He's never apologized for the death of more than 100,000 Iraq citizens, and he has less than zero credibility – what an amoral, ruthless thug.

    June 18, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. david shoup

    Cheney is all "heart" for Cheney

    June 18, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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