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. Marie MD

    The heartless one rips Obama on foreign policy?
    The same disgusting human being who had the blood of thousands of Americans and Iraqisn his hands and the thousands who have been maimed for life?
    The same heartless thing who said that we would be welcomed as liberators? The same heartless whatever who sent our men and women to a war Sioux the proper equipment?
    If this Mephistopheles ever needs a new heart I Hope there is NOT enough $$$$ to buy him another one, leg it go to somebody worthy!

    June 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Jeb Jebson

    Cheney helped lie us into war with Iraq.

    The Iraq War was the single biggest, most costly, most disastrous foreign policy mistake the U.S. has ever made.

    Many people, including Bush 1, predicted that if Sadam was toppled, the country would descend into civil war and that's exactly what is happening. Sadam's iron fist was the only thing holding Iraq together.

    Cheney is responsible for hundreds of thousands of senseless deaths and trillions of dollars wasted. He himself has made millions off of the Iraq war. He should be in prison.

    June 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. George Washington

    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."

    We are watching everything he said come true right before our very eyes! This is not about party politics, this is about the current "cut & run" policy that is betraying all those we liberated, and is forfeiting all the blood, treasure and sacrifice! Beyond shameful!!!

    June 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. greenaxe

    Evil rears it's ugly head yet again. Go away Mr.Cheney, your input on anything holds no moral value!

    June 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. David

    WOW! The delusional BS of this man is almost laughable. Almost, because it was him and Bush who invaded Iraq without just cause at the expense of the Afghan war and that move allowed Al-Qaida to reinsert itself in Afghanistan. What is Obamas options here; reinvasion of Iraq, diplomacy, support Iraqi troops with arms, air strike.

    Anything this president does is going to draw criticism from Republicans. What I would like to see is the media stop giving this corrupted party legitimacy by reporting this hatful dribble Republicans keep spouting.

    June 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Lac

    Cheney.....you doth protest too much......what is it you are trying to hide, cover up and forget about?

    June 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    A war crimes criminal like Dick Cheney has no moral authority to criticize President Obama.

    June 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Marie MD

    That should read has blood and without not Sioux.
    This guy is the worst of the worst of human beings. He makes me sooooo mad!!!!

    June 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. You Got It

    While I don't care for Cheney or his daughter much, they are right about one thing: the Obama administration has been a complete and utter failure dealing with Foreign Policy issues: Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, NSA spying on foreign govt leaders, Benghazi, Bergdahl trade – it's devolved into a huge mess.
    And where's the government transparency we were promised? The White House continues to block Freedom of Info requests, and just yesterday put a message out to LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT across the U.S. to NOT disclose any information about "StingRay" – the cell phone data capture tool they're using now. This is because it violates the 4th Amendment.

    June 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Jeb Jebson

    Cheney helped lie us into Iraq.

    He also made millions off of that war.

    He should be in prison.

    Instead, he's on FoxNews as an "Iraq Expert".

    June 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Slainte2

    Current disaster in Iraq is due to presidential failure ... President Maliki's. He was handed a historical opportunity to create a all-inclusive democracy, and he chose cronyism, corruption, and loyalty to sect over national good. Of course, the excluded Sunnis would not accept being "ruled over" by historical foes without participation, and were ripe for conversion when the ISIS terrorist came calling. On our side, forget Bush's invasion (right or wrong is irrelevant now) or Obama's pullout (had to go) ... the equal failure of both of those guys was somehow letting Maliki set up a broken doomed version of democracy, excluding good part of country.

    June 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Ronnie59

    When we are told the Last "Excuse" was "Liberating Iraq”. And after all the Training of their forces and also being Asked to leave their country. Not to keep mentioning we shouldn't have been there to start with. Dick Cheney cares nothing of the Lives We lost it wasn't His Kids. And there is still War Money for Dick Cheney's Company to make...Why on Earth does Anyone Listen to This Guy....... Really

    June 18, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sniffit says:
    June 18, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am
    100% completely unsurprising that Faux Lite has no even mentioned the reports that the guy they captured made statements about being motivated by “the video.”

    Really?? Well let me head over to a real news outlet BBC. Thanks for the heads up.

    Next GOP headline... The Obama administration made the terrorist say it was because of a video....

    June 18, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Dallas

    Cheney is a "chicken hawk" with no credibility what so ever

    June 18, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Mike

    Dear Mr. Cheney:

    Please, go away. Please.

    June 18, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Gary Sutphin

    Thank you Dick. Now crawl back into your little hole in the ground and SHUT UP! And be GLAD you're in a hole in the ground rather than a prison cell.

    I suppose we'll be hearing from Bush now pretty soon. These shameless fools are incredible.

    June 18, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Andrew Thorby

    Just what we need. Advice on Iraq from a war criminal who helped start the war in the first place. Under pressure from Iran the Shiite government of Al Maliki refused to sign a status of forces agreement without which our troops had no right to remain in Iraq. They effectively asked us to leave and we did so. The central issue isn't the lack of US troops in Iraq, it is the lack of an inclusive government which then resulted in an entirely predictable Sunni revolt.

    June 18, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Mark

    That's pretty ironic.

    June 18, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Cheney...LOL

    Shut up Dick, you're lucky you're not rotting in prison for treason. Iraq was the biggest foreign policy disaster in the history of this great nation. You should be ashamed of yourself, and history will not be kind to your legacy, rest assured.

    June 18, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Rogue351

    Anything coming from this war criminal is not relevant. He and Bush started this mess, they both should have went to jail for it. Instead they became rich with private security and the best health insurance money can buy. Cheney has no right to say anything about anyone with all that blood on his hands.

    June 18, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Thatguy371

    This guy who should be in prison, who made stacks of moolah from Haliburton the no-bid contract winner, somehow thinks his 'expertise' is needed ANYWHERE? Geez, this is like him giving hunting advice to the open carry TX goofballs.

    June 18, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Anonymous

    We all know who was the real president during the iraq war and ill give u a hint it wasnt bush

    June 18, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. LR

    Everything about Cheney is pure evil-including his daughter and how he jumped to the front of the line to get his donor heart. Bush, Cheney & Co. should be on trial, at The Hague, for crimes against humanity.

    June 18, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Cheney is the devil. War profiteer destroyed the credibility of our nation. This is a very sad state of affairs. The tax cuts the wars the decisive rhetoric have weakened the USA. I was a Republican now I say damn the GOP.

    June 18, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. rrrandy

    To quote some song lyrics by Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: "how can we miss you when you won't go away?"

    June 18, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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