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. Jimmy

    I gotta give Cheney credit this guy has big balls to actually make any comment on whats going on over there. His administration turned everything they touched into a shitball. And now he's back at it banging the war gong. Wonder why?
    Maybe because the stocks and interests he has in munitions companies take quite a nice uptick when the bullets start flying.
    Its all about the money with these pricks. They would stab there grand kids in the eye for $2. Cheny should be in prison.
    And the war gong banging that Fox News does is incredibly destabilizing to america.
    No more wars. We cant afford the blood and cant afford the bullets. Look what the last boondoggle war did to our economy. Almost took the country out.
    In order to prove my point it was hilarious that none of these characters including Mr DB hisself George W were not even invited to the RNC. Thats how bad this crew fucked up. No politician running for new office wanted to be seen with them. Good job Brownie!

    June 18, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Vinni

    Wow!! Cheney has guts to say this? America is cleaning the mess he created. I am sure his investment is taking a hit so he wants US to spend on ammos so he can make some moola.

    June 18, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. newworldbs

    he forgot to shoot somebody while hunting after drinking at lunch again. oh yeah draft dodger.

    June 18, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Overt

    Stay out of Iraq, get out of Afganistan. Iraq can't control it's own country, will they be able to if we go back in for another 10 years? I doubt it. War mongers like Cheney and McCain never get that Shia and Sunni have been fighting since Mohamed died. Palistinians and Jews have been fighting just as long. Nothing this 240 year old country, for all it's good intentions, will end the conflicts in the Middle East that have been going on 1300 years. Hate has been bred into this area, very few really want peace, only the destruction of their opponents.

    June 18, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Jannis

    OMG! The Cheneys are spewing their obnoxious rhetoric again – thinking people will believe every word of their fallacies. The Bush and Cheney Show concocted this evil of axis war, and now they have the gall to blame Obama for not nuturing a war that never should have been.

    How arrogant can you be?? These people do not represent the majority of Americans!

    June 18, 2014 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Michael E. Brady

    Cheney: a corrupt deceitful meglomaniac whose Haliburton companies made tremendous profits from the "no-bid" contracts (hand-outs/graft) in the Iraq War, is apparently now again arguing that more troops should die and more profitable contracts awardedso that more forces be sent back into Iraq-I understand that there may be oil industry assets of his and his buddies that may need protecting at the expense of more US tax dollars and more USA citizens' lives.

    June 18, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Cheney was horrid agreed. But even more sad after reading these posts is no one can accept that Obama is even worse. Russia-Syria- etc, this guy just hides and comes out and feeds us BS. I'll give it to him for winning an election but he failed to be a president. I voted for him too. We need to find a real leader in this country.

    June 18, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. James Coughlin

    WE WONDER HOW LONG CHICKEN HAWK CHENEY HAS BEEN PONDERING ON HOW TO ADDRESS OBAMA'S HANDLING OF THE ROTTEN LEFT OVERS. When in the US NAVY, my father told me, they provided all the food a man can want. But, there was one condition, which was TAKE ALL YOU WANT, BUT FINISH ALL YOU TAKE. In the sloppy Bush-Cheney administration, we wondered what type of vice president he was, and concluded, one that would never finish what he started. Cheney is a shame to the US of America, and continues to be, why doesn't he just shut up !!!

    June 18, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. Mary1972

    Does anyone pay attention to this war criminal?

    June 18, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Beni

    Words of wisdom from the clowns that got us in this mess to begin with.

    June 18, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. PhiilS

    Nobody except the rich and privileged gives a good crap about Mr. Cheny and his opinion. Do yourself a favor, enjoy your retirement in peace and quiet. Especially quiet. If you need something to occupy your time and return some of the $$$ you and your company made from the war in Iraq, travel and visit all of the graves of the THOUSANDS of men and women who made it possible for the trillions of dollars earned by your favorite 1%. And when you finish with that group visit and apologize to the other thousands who still carry the scars and handicaps of the injuries they suffered while doing your dirty work.

    June 18, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. Michael E. Brady

    Cheney: a political power-player with a dirty mouth, if you remember what he said in the Capitol Building about people not caring about deficit spending--yes, he and his buddies gave the deficit the big "giddee-up"!, whose Haliburton companies made tremendous profits from the "no-bid" contracts (hand-outs/graft) in the Iraq War, is apparently now again arguing that more troops should die and more profitable contracts awarded so that more forces be sent back into Iraq–I understand that there may be profits and oil industry assets of his and his buddies that may need protecting at the expense of more US tax dollars and more USA citizens' lives.

    June 18, 2014 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. J

    Anything from Cheney on Iraq other than an apology is just ridiculous. Hilarious, really.

    June 18, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Jeff6187

    Some daughters will say ANYthing to get Daddy's approval

    June 18, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Cheney needs to zip his lip.

    June 18, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. pat

    Cheney had his chance. He made a mess of the US and his comments are not valued nor needed. Get back in your rocker!

    June 18, 2014 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Superb01

    Dick Cheney became a billionaire off the wars and conflicts in the middle east. It does not surprise me in the least that he wants us to commit military troops there so he and his daughter can make some more millions off the "support" role their corporations profit from during military conflict. Not to mention all the business contracts they can also have a hand in when our military provides security. The Cheneys have made enough money off the blood and sweat of our soldiers.

    June 18, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. Patrick

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

    June 18, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Amequohi

    Haliburton... not black water... black water was the contractor that was sued for multiple rape charges against female coworkers. We went to "save Iraqiis but we broke massive laws against US citizens rights and behaved like Gods there because contractors did not have to abide by international law and nor did US Soldiers. This is why Bush then threatened the Hague and bullied allied forces if anyone decided to bring up charges against US citizens stationed there... this is also why he refused to sign on to the ICC.

    June 18, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. NYC4LIFE

    Obama pulled US Forces from Iraq because the Malikii government would not grant immunity for US Soldiers from Iraqi Courts. Sounds like the president was trying to protect our troops to me....

    June 18, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    He should be in prison. Why would anyone listen to him and the disgraced administration of GW Bush, all war criminals .

    June 18, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. Joe Dickson

    He should be in prison.!!! Why would anyone listen to him .The disgraced administration of GW Bush? Unpunished war criminals !!!

    June 18, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  23. No Dicks

    When the Dicks talk about war, they have one thing and only one thing in their minds – more business for their companies. Dick Cheney is a war criminal. In addition, he and his other war criminal friends (Bush and Rumsfeld) should have been tried not only for war crimes they committed but also for treason for American soldiers killed in Iraq. They cooked the documents to justify war which were found to be nothing but lies.

    June 18, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Joe

    He should be in a prison. !!!!
    Why would anyone listen to a war criminal ! The disgraced administration of GW Bush. This bold war criminal proves without any delusion "there is NO Justice " these 911 tricksters are more then war criminals.

    June 18, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  25. Abby

    Mr. Dementia himself. War Criminal so proud and steadfast on his policy cant remember that WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THOSE WMDs. LIAR unpunished WAR CRIMINAL at large and living large

    June 18, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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