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. AJ

    so says Mr. Dementia himself. Mr. War Criminal so proud and steadfast on his policy fails to remember that we are STILL LOOKING FOR THOSE WMDs. Oh wait they never existed. And his boss Mr. Doofus aka Mr. IQ of 5 is painting on a ranch somewhere. How about you two intellectuals propose some ideas on how to solve this problem other than keep US troops there for another 100 years! Forgive give is Americans for wanting our children to come home.

    June 18, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Jay

    Nobody talks about how the Rich and Powerful, don't ever sacrifice more than just talk. Not one of those politicians who voted for and are now asking to go back in(with the exception of Joe Bidens Son) ever served a minute of military service for any of the conflicts they created. Think about that for a second!!!

    June 18, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Good Grief

    Are you kidding me?! The Cheneys have the nerve to criticize ANYBODY about Iraq?! Because of Dick Cheney, we went into Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11 or the terrorists responsible for it. They also had no weapons of mass destruction and were not an area for terrorist training at that time. He was wrong about EVERYTHING.

    June 18, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Our President is black

    Cheney is a political hack beholden to the military industrial complex. Nothing more, nothing less.

    June 18, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. zipzimba

    This guy should be in prison. Why would anyone listen to him and the disgraced administration of GW Bush?

    June 18, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Poopsie

    Cheney complaining about Obama playing golf rather than leading this country is a truly disgusting statement. What were he and the other bushies doing when they were handed information about a terrorst attack on the U.S.? Not everyone has the time to shoot a friend in the face. The repubs have lowered discourse in this country to a new low.

    June 18, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    We don't need stupid advice from Reid either.

    June 18, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Cheney Is Delusional

    Is this the same guy who was illegally profiting in Libya while they were sanctions in place? Is this the same guy who muttered some insanity about history calling his war in Iraq "brilliant?"

    This guy should stick to shooting his lawyers friends in the face because that's the only thing he didn't fail at.

    June 18, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Name Uche Agonsi

    I thought this Dick Cheney guy been a very sick man. He seems to wake up each time with the sound of a war gong. By the way, how manyof his sons, daughters, or blood relations were drafted fot the Iraq war.

    June 18, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    No Cheney the next you and Liz can fight for us and let our young men and women alone

    June 18, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. WhoCaresWhatTheyThink

    Has anyone ever cared about what the Cheney's think about anything? They should step aside and let the professionals take care of things.

    June 18, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Garry

    Let the Republicans and Democrats who believe the Iraqi war was justified please speak up. Let the Republicans and Democrats who believe we should defend the current Iraqi government with arms and/or more troops - please speak up. Give them plenty of air time. Let them make their case. My answer is "NO!" After trillions of dollars in all these Gulf wars and the loss of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians, thousands of American troops killed–and thousands more soldiers debilitated, i do not want us to go back in fighting. It is time for the Iraqis to find a way to peace. We had to fight a bloody civil war that cost us dearly before we decided to live and work in peace. So, who are we to tell them they cannot do the same? It is there country–if they want to destroy themselves–after all they have suffered–then how can we stop them? We did not want France or Britain to interfere in our Civil War.

    June 18, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Courtney44

    Dick Cheney is arrogant and incompetent, seeking only to destroy, tear down, obfuscate, dissemble, antagonize and bloviate for his own advantage. He is a liar of the first order. Like most of the current Republican Party and all of the Tea Party, he is not interested in serving his country or its interests. He is interested only in making the President less effective, all the while protecting his legacy of lies, his book rights, his financial interests, and those of his right wing friends. When critics savaged him and the Bush Administration for lies about Iraq and missteps in Afghanistan, did he not say that they were emboldening the enemy? Is he not doing that now? He always wants to “have it both ways.” Dick Cheney and his daughter are the opposite of Patriots. They are part of the disloyal opposition, pledging their loyalty to monetary interests, and a disintegrating, obstructionist party. Cheney presided over the worst mistake in the last 100 years of American history that cost the lives of 4,477 American men and women whom he rarely mourns. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 happened on his watch while he was colluding with the oil industry to make more money through energy policy. He is the very last person to whom we should listen on any topic, but especially war and foreign policy.

    June 18, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. cheney's past follies don't make obama right

    it's so frustrating to see everything turn into a partisan debate. Was cheney wrong about a lot of things? yes, most definitely. Is the situation in Iraq a result of cheney policy? yes. Does it matter who's fault it is? Not when we're discussing what to do now.

    Like it or not, Obama has inherited this problem regardless of fault. And he should be held accountable to how he deals and has dealt with said problem Pointing fingers and finding fault with past administrations takes focus away from what is needed now: a solution. The solution should come from the president. And today, Obama is the president. The onus is on him to fix the problem. We all know that left blames the right and vice versa.

    June 18, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Rosemary

    They would not be so brazen as to criticize Obama for a war Cheney and his cronies started for no good reason (or reasons only known to then) if they had been made to take responsibility for their lies to the American people and for invading a country that posed no threat to us. A lot of us expected the Obama administration to investigate the circumstances leading up to the war and to hold the everyone accountable who had a role in the deception and totally unwise and unjustified attack on Iraq, All the military we lost and all the young people having to live with horrific injuries the rest of their lives are a result of the reckless actions of Cheney and crew. He and they walked away unscathed and now come back to criticize and rewrite history. I say they all belong in jail. Nothing less.

    June 18, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. lvg

    Every time this character opens his mouth he displays utter hatred and contempt for the Black man in the White House. If Obama were to go to war tomorrow with the rebels in Iraq do you think this piece of human garbage would support the president?

    June 18, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. CFW

    President Cheney strikes again, I hope my family keeps a close guard on me if I ever start lying like that man. By the way it was little boy George that made the deal to withdraw the troops not Obama.

    June 18, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. iceload

    Liz had to pull out of her primary. I guess they figure this will get some press and they are right. Luckily, we can all ignore the Cheney's.

    June 18, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Rip

    The guy who talked Bush into the war; who OK'd the lies that got us into the war; the one who made millions in his blind trust fund from Halliburton, lecturing ANYONE on Iraq is out of his league. Of course, if you read what Cheney wants, he wants ANOTHER WAR!! He doesn't think U.S. policy is good unless we're attacking someone, or making an enemy out of someone.

    No cred, does this evil man have, and yet there's enough losers in the world who will tag along behind him and his daugther who never finishes anything she starts.

    June 18, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. rsvp

    How can Dick Cheney be such a hypocrite? He started the war. Now he's blaming President Obama for the mess he left.

    June 18, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. g

    Taking troops out of Iraq too early is going to cost thousands of lives down the road. Nice job Obama. Oh and nice job negotiating with terrorists for a coward. Both these decisions will cost us many lives and Billions of $$$ to go back in and straighten it out but expect attacks on us before that happens . Pathetic president.

    June 18, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. lvg

    Cheney makes Joe Biden look like a saint!

    June 18, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Mike

    To borrow from Jeff Foxworthy.

    If you take foreign policy advice from Dick Cheney, you might be a redneck and not much else.

    June 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. gahh

    Mr. No bid Halliburton contracts in Iraq, Pot calling the kettle black!
    Mr.5 deferments, during Vietnam war.

    June 18, 2014 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. John B.

    This is the very man (Cheney) who is very instrumental in bringing the USA into the Iraq conflict.

    Most (if not all) Foreign Policy Scholars confirmed that it was a wrong decision (inclusive of Brent Scrowcoff – National Security adviser of HW Bush).

    And yet Cheney is still insisting that he did the right thing.
    Considering that it was proven (Based on the TV Journalistic presentation of 60 Minutes) that the company of Cheney (BURTON ) received the initial $13 Billion USD contract of the war effort.

    He (Cheney) is still trying to justify that it is the right thing to do , he really wants a place in history. I guess that making the money is not enough....

    June 18, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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