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. Rene5911

    and look at the polls. 3 out 4 Americans do not want to get involved again. try it again and it will be the Syrian debacle of the ruling class all over again

    June 18, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. telabama

    Doug Lyon you are spot on. It is going to take another 9/11 or two before the American people realize that war has been declared upon us by people who feel that time and history are on their side. The only way to prevent their version of "civilization" from becoming reality is constant pressure, constantly making their lives so anxiety filled and hazardous that they can't plot major strikes against the US. But Obama and the liberals will have none of that. They want to be popular around the world and think that wars are short and we can come home and all will be ok. We don't live in that kind of world anymore. Their wishful thinking is going to get thousands, perhaps millions of innocent Americans killed in future.

    June 18, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Bridge

    Can't believe even the WSJ would still give print space to that craven, venal, disgustingly self-serving traitor, his misguided daughter, and their fairy tales.

    June 18, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Kimo

    Cheney has no credibility. He should stay home and paint dog pictures like his boss.

    June 18, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. bob waggoner

    Cheney said the al Queda was under control when the previous administration left office, True, but before the previous administration invaded Iraq, there was no el Quada in Iraq

    June 18, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. rodvmunchiii

    You mean the "Community Organizer" wasn't really learned on the job as quickly as he should have. Geez, no one saw that coming. Too bad Sarah Palin wasn't in there, at least she had some so expertise as dealing with large issues as a governor, as opposed to Obama whose main skill is just running for office.

    June 18, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. fareed247

    Draft Dodger.

    June 18, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. fareed247

    Draft Dodger who has lived off government assistance ever since his parents kicked him out of the house.

    June 18, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Cheney is a monster. The mans a war profiteer and hypocrite.

    June 18, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. cobra

    Cheney has more intelligence than all you left wing maggots put together, your brain cells are dead or dying.

    June 18, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    No question, we need Dick Cheney in Iraq-today. He needs to be "volunteered" to deal with the crisis. After all, who wouldn't listen to him?

    June 18, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. jb

    What's next, Liz trashing her sister. Oh, sorry, did that already.

    So Dick and Dubya accomplished what exactly in Iraq that made us better off?

    June 18, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. stanton fieldmen

    NO, the world was not better with Saddam Husein in power. YES, he did have weapons of mass destruction – ask the kurds who survived being gassed. Alot of ignorance on this site.

    June 18, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. DerBaron

    That's why we have the Freedom of Speech, reminding Americans why the neocons should not be trusted to even execute the office of dog-catcher (sewage monitor - maybe).

    June 18, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Hogan's Goat

    They lied us into a war instead of just bombing them flat and moving on, the way every other president did it. If Cheney had been Reagan's keeper like he was Dubya's, we'd still be in Granada. Why does anyone on his side still pay attention to him? He put the GOP car into the swimming pool, and you guys are still trying to pull it out even though it will never run again. The real loser here, of course, is the patient who didn't get a heart because Cheney took it. What good has it done him? He's still a heartless POS.

    June 18, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Soup

    Amazing isn't it? A nation of 317 million and what has been our ELECTED leadership over the past 2 decades? I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on our citizens should look in the mirror for the cause of the results of what incompetance delivers. One side blaming the other while the consequence is death and an increasing risk to an attack on our soil. Well into his second term as leader of the free world and what is he doing? Mostly conducting one PR campaign after another...... Sickening... I only hope we wise up and demand a pool of candidates who are actually qualified to lead.... A pipe dream while the lemmings continue to rely on John Stewart and George Clooney as guiding sources to form their opinions.

    June 18, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. el

    cannot wait for his battery pack to die.....

    June 18, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Zil Zerimar

    I thought he is dead already....is he a ZOMBIE?

    June 18, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Liz Cheney / Ahmed Chalabi 2016

    All the way to the Bank Baby !

    June 18, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Gretchen

    The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and the Republic of Iraq on the withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

    Hello.... Cheney, anyone home?? Your boss signed this agreement. Duh. Is your memory going, buckeroo? Don't blame Obama for this mess happening in Iraq right now. This agreement was a done deal when Bush was president. And doncha think the same thing will happen in Afghanistan when the US pulls out of there & the next day the insurgents take over? You going to write another asinine article about how YOU would handle this? Why don't you be the snake you are and go hide under the rock you came from.

    June 18, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. jdinblankets

    Cheney should be in jail for his crimes against this country- from the disastrous energy policy to the fiasco in Iraq. He has no sense of history, nor of right and wrong. He only understands power and we should have exercised our collective to rid our country of him by locking him up in one of our nice federal prisons.

    June 18, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. sbeerzy

    yeah dick cheney is such a tough guy who never served in the military but seems to have no trouble sending other young men and women off to be killed. pretty interesting that this guy used to be the CEO of haliburton – a company that has made hundreds of millions of dollars from the wars in the middle east. iraq wouldnt be in this mess if it wasnt for the warmongering cheney-rumsfeld administration that started two non-strategic ten+ year (and counting) land wars in the middle east. i hope you not so geopolitically astute red staters think twice – okay at least think once – about putting the bush family and ronald regans old staff of dinosaurs back in office. Your grandchildren will be living with the rats nest of terrorists the bush administration created. so yeah – not so sure dick cheney is living on the same planet as the rest of us but nice job disrespecting the office of the presidency once again. hey cheney do us all a favor and ride your brontosaurous off into the sunset – and take roger aisles with you

    June 18, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. True Patriot

    Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history - that is so true.

    June 18, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Sputnik

    This is what happens when you elect Obama, who isn't qualified to be anything more than a local dog catcher. I love the way he blames all his failures on anyone and everything except himself. Biggest loser the country has ever had or ever will.

    June 18, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    If there was any justice in this world, the bloated corpse of Dick Cheney would be rounding Cape Horn right now in the belly of a hammerhead shark.

    June 18, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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