June 18th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
5 months 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. Michael Golden

    Cheneys!!! Hahahahaha.

    June 18, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. Abby

    Your a CRIMINAL and a WAR CRIMINAL that none has the balls to punish because there is no real justice

    June 18, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Jacob Goldberg

    This is one of the guys who planned 9-11, paid off or killed people involved, then in addition to already bringing tons of cocaine here opened up the heroin trade from Afghanistan. We do not want to eradicate the opium crops we are thereto protect it for the bankers. It is always the same how bad people get richer, they start another war. Bush's family are all criminals.

    June 18, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Reason

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

    Ummm, YOURE TALKING ABOUT THE LAST PRESIDENT, MR. CHENEY!

    June 18, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Joe

    ?! Because of Dick Cheney, we went into Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11 or the terrorists responsible for it. It was all lies. every word. YOU ARE A WAR CRIMINAL killed 1.5 million worse then Hitler ever was just better PR

    June 18, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Erie side

    I think everyone who has commented covered what I would have said.

    June 18, 2014 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Jim

    This guy should be in prison. Why would anyone listen to

    June 18, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  8. DigDug

    Cheney's should be the last ones complaining with all that Haliburton money they make. That's why they are one of the first one's complaining, trying to disgui$e their real feeling$ about U.S. in war.

    June 18, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. kendallpeak

    I would write a lot of criticism about Cheney, except that he's right.

    June 18, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. YK

    A good President needs to have the courage to stand up for American values and be prepared to kill our enemies. Even if he ends up being totally wrong, killing thousands of innocent people, sending a country into chaos and wasting a couple trillion dollars. You can't know these things beforehand.

    June 18, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Dick in Jail

    Shouldn't Dick Cheney be in Jail for war crimes, wait he is a human robot

    June 18, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. T Gonzales

    I see it like a tag team wrestling match. Regardless if 2003 was right or wrong, we had this won, then tagged in Obama who blew it. Maybe due to incompetence or maybe just to spite the right half of America.

    June 18, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. skeptic1

    So, dick, do you believe your own drivel enough to raise US taxes to support your heartless, chicken-hawk stance? Please explain your position.

    June 18, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. William Jackson

    It is rich that a war criminal would blame the Obama administration for the failures of the Bush Cheney years. As has been said it is as if a firebug criticized the fire department for being slow to respond. Republicans of today have no desire to tell truth when a lie will do. Sad the GOP was once a proud useful counterpoint to the errors that Democrats are wont to fall into as were Democrats in reference to Republicans. We need to return to the days when the parties worked to better our country, this can not happen so long as people like the Cheney's are typical of politicians out for number one first last and always. God save us all.

    June 18, 2014 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  15. Ian Williams

    There is nothing worse than an old man in power who sends men and women to war after having hid from war as a young man. Dick Cheney's dodging/deferment (no difference) of the draft at the time of the Vietnam War demonstrates loudly and clearly that he would have avoided a draft had one been instituted to fight the Iraq War and had he somehow been young enough to qualify for it. This attitude makes him nothing less than a BLOOD COWARD who lacks the courage of his convictions and lacks all credibility on questions of when to use military force. A leader should never send men to risk death for something he himself would not risk his life and it is great tragedy that John Kerry never made that point in 2004. While it is true that President Obama has fallen short in many regards, President Obama has done a far better job than President Bush and Cheney and to his credit President Bush marginalized Cheney during his second term. There is simply no reason to pay any attention to draft-dodging Dick

    June 18, 2014 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Major Tom

    My response to Cheney and the entire Bush administration – two words: "Mission Accomplished".

    June 18, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  17. haze

    How long were we supposed to stay as unwelcome occupiers in iraq? 12 years wasn't long enough? Didn't cost enough?

    June 18, 2014 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Jodo

    Whooeee... the obama trained haters are out in force today.

    I guess that when your hero turns out to be profoundly dysfunctional, then all that have left is hate. But point it in the right direction – you voted for this train wreck; hate yourselves

    June 18, 2014 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  19. lvg

    Joe Biden is on the phone with Maliki trying solve the unfolding crisis – what a contrast to this worthless piece of garbage. Watching Cheney and his puppet /daughter reminds me of watching Nixon as Watergate progressed. You could tell that he was lying.

    June 18, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  20. Jennifer Doll

    Dick Cheney is a war criminal who needs his pacemaker unplugged. He has brought enough misery into this world for everyone on planet earth. No better than the self righteous Nazi's and we know how that one ended up....

    June 18, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  21. Bruce

    If Cheney had left Saddam alone, Iraq would still be under Saddam's control and not the control of terrorists. Additionally, Saddam kept Iran in check. I am certainly NOT condoning Saddam's brutality against his own people (and murderer of countless Kurds), but he certainly did not give terrorists safe haven in Iraq. Taking him down under the guise (lies) of WMDs was a strategic mistake for the US,

    June 18, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. tara grewal

    send the former envoy along with war mongers Dick and bush with their families to iraq.

    June 18, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. djanson

    You little children of the progressive order would not know terror, truth, or those committed to their own lying agendas if it hit you in the face.

    This administration could not lead a cub scout troop out of a closet but what is really astounding the lemming followers of an utopian land of make believe administration that has given credence to violence and murderers . Your name calling, hate, and blame is as little children responsible for nothing but unto themselves.

    Bye the way your tactics and simple mindedness is very predictable to those with reasonable minds.

    June 18, 2014 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Mav

    Sincere thanks to the Cheneys for speaking truth to the entrenched power of left wing incompetence.

    June 19, 2014 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. Max Bear

    This coming from a man who received multiple deferments not to serve in Vietnam. Told us there were WMD's in Iraq. Deficits don't matter when questioned about the cost of the Iraq war. Explained to us that the insurgency is in it "last throes". What a BS peddler you righties he belongs to you.

    June 19, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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