June 18th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
9 years 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."

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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. Greg

    Why do you keep giving coverage to a known coward, draft dodger, liar, and crook?

    June 18, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. 68driver57

    Big surpise! The person who personally profitted more off of the Iraq war than anyone else is upset because we're not taking Halliburton back in to manage those fields and make more money for him. The person that most influenced our "helping Iraq" and then facilitated the movement of his company headquarters overseas so they could not be tried in a US court of law. The avarice and arrogance is unbelievable. The saddest part of all is that he believes the American public to be too stupid to understand that he is a thief in a government suit.

    June 18, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. copernicus222

    I guess he's mad Haliburton won't be in on it this time.......

    June 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. hcainman

    The way I see it, Dick Cheney and his neocon accomplices are responsible for more unwarranted deaths of Americans and Iraqis than anyone currently on the planet. Boy talk about turning a new heart into stone.

    June 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. PJ

    Cheney should be tried by the World Court for Crimes Against Humanity. The man is pure evil.

    June 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Nic_Driver

    Doesn't Mr. Cheney remember when his boss signed the Status of Forces agreement with the Iraqi government in 2008? Wasn't it Mr.Cheney that claimed we were planting the seeds of democracy when the lie of WMD's was debunked? Wasn't he getting paid from Haliburton after he claimed he had no ties with the company? Just how much did he make from invading the wrong country, Iraq, anyway?

    What about Iraq did Cheney actually get correct? And now he thinks that someone should take him seriously?

    June 18, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. roci1

    Who cares and why is anyone listening (or interviewing, for that matter) to the Cheney's or any of his sordid band of Neocons?? They are the ones who got us into the unnecessary war in Iraq in the first place, based on nonsense and proven lies. The reason he's so outspoken is because he failed to grab control of Iraq's oil, which, when burned, helps to kill the planet's atmosphere at a quicker rate than it already is! No problem for Cheney & Co. though – they're perfectly fine that the US kill off its sons and daughters and spend trillions of taxpayer dollars in blood for oil "sport", helping to create the Great Recession that ripped and continue to rip what will end up being at least 15 years of productivity gains out of the lives of the 99%. Why are we listening to any one of the drones – they're dumb and dumber, part duh! Back to your dungeon, Cheney, and take all of your Neocons back with you.

    June 18, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. cobra

    Cheney has more brains and smarts than any left wing maggot or for that matter the half azz thing in the white house.

    June 18, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. goo6er

    It's sad – the Wall Street Journal has become nothing but a mouthpiece for Fox News. It used to be a great paper.

    June 18, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. 5giggy5

    He does not deserve the young man heart that beats within his rib cage.

    June 18, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Be Sane

    So let me get this straight...Cheney, who was instrumental in getting us into the Iraq mess, is criticizing Obama for not cleaning it up to his satisfaction. Pure arrogance!

    Same on the economy, Obama hasn't cleaned up their mess with it fast enough either. They are sickening. Should be in jail, the whole bunch, but especially Cheney and Rummy. We know Bush was just a puppet.

    June 18, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. ME

    I'm surprised Dick stopped eating live babies long enough to speak.

    June 18, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Richard L Smith

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," Plagiarizing Winston Churchill, are we?

    June 18, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Dawn

    What hypocrites. He could careless about the suffering of those people. He is more interested in bashing President Obama, therefore he is using this tragedy to do so.
    They really have no shame.

    June 18, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    I think it is refreshing that an article on cheney is running about 99.7% posts against him with the majority of those recognizing his status as a war criminal. I do not see the regulars like tommy g, chris et, tom i, donna, and rick mcdaniel on here defending their guy (wise move on their part; tom I would see that 'the gang' had became a mob and his little victim game would not play well among this crowd- thank gawd for the momentary reprieve from that whiner!).
    Obama's foreign policy sure stands out as 'not so bad' when you consider what it would be like if this insane clown (or his doting brainwashed daughter) or another neo con warmongering chicken hawk was in charge.
    Seems like Americans have NOT forgotten one iota how cheney and the previous administration's policies led to the creation of all of these problems Obama is now working dilligently to solve (while the peanut gallery spits and throws rocks at him).
    Anybody want to go back to this guy?

    June 18, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. TomNPitt

    Dick Chaney should be speaking from his jail cell. His daughter, the failed political candidate in a state she tried to Carpet Bag, should just stay at home and clean up the mess Dicl left around the house in his diaper and leave the world to the new Republican generation. The one's that are half as crazy and twice as smart as Dick and Dicker.

    June 18, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Citizen_123

    Give Dick and Liz some assault rifles, body armor and ship them over to Iraq to defend Baghdad! Right out in front leading the charge!

    June 18, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. mike

    dick cheney and his daughter are right. hate to break it to you libs. your social experiment in the white house is a failure.

    June 18, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Geo Bruno

    Said the great patriot with how many deferments?

    I guess Haliburton needs to fatter their coffers

    June 18, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Steve

    Isn't this lousy excuse for a human dead yet? There are none so blind than those that choose not to see and this POS is as blind as a bat.
    He made s–t up, lied over and over again about the need to invade Iraq while it was at peace rather we liked the leader or not and turned it into the hell hole that it has become.
    And for those that want to blame our current President, nice try but that's not going to stick either.
    Cheney should be in prison if not in the ground.

    June 18, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. YoonYoungJo

    You can't be completely negative about Obama's foreign policy. I do agree Obama's position when countries mislead him or do not keep their end of agreements has been too passive, his overall philosophy is sound. Make friends of your enemies whenever possible. Much like Julius Caesar's philosophy. The only error Caesar made was he was too trusting which ultimately lead to his downfall. Loyalty is a admirable trait but it can quickly become a fault as well. Inclusion is a great ideology but it must be done carefully. Or else it will be seen as an invitation for abuse of that loyalty, compassion and kind heartedness. Does not mean, because out of fear one shouldn't attempt inclusion first, but to continue the same philosophy when those you would include are discovered to have abused or used deception while being included, it must be met harshly or it will always be a sign of weakness and always invite further attacks. Take Russia for example and Crimea. With that said, Obama has done pretty darn good with the Iran nuclear deal. So inclusion does work.

    June 18, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. fedupwithla

    Go, Dick! Bombs away! The h*ll with corporate profits. Bomb them anyway!

    June 18, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Jim Rome

    The "long haul" in any war is determined by those defense companies like Dick Cheney's Halliburton that are making $35 billion in profits every year on the conflict. Do you get it? The long haul in Iraq and Afghanistan was clearly drawn out exponentially by American defense companies that profit handsomely if the war continues, and make nothing when the war is over. Basic common sense.

    June 18, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. guitarken

    Poetic justice would be if this ringleader of the WMD fiasco, who directly and ILLEGALLY caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and casualties, got so excited criticizing Obama that he dropped dead of a heart attack.

    June 18, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Donnie the Lion

    Cheney did not make any money directly off of the Iraq invasion. That does not mean, however, his miilitary contractor friends (who made billions) didn't set up an anonymous little fund somewhere as a thank you. Dick Cheney needs to shut the hell up.

    June 18, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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