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. Dallas

    Where does this war criminal get off criticizing President Obama? If there was justice, he would be rotting in a jail somewhere for war crimes. He is completely irrelevant and needs to thank God he's not in prison and go back to Wyoming and shut up!

    June 18, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Cyg

    Shouldn't McCain still be in North Korea? I mean, since he's against prisoner swaps now...

    June 18, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. justanotheridiot

    cheney and his family and the intellectual neo-cons like frum, crystal and wolfowizt NEVER SERVED ONE DAY IN THE MILIARY love to send the rest of us to war to prove their intellectual points on regime change, etc. if and when one of these Harvard intellectuals encourages their sons/daughters and grandchildren to join the military, then i'll listen.

    June 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. bico bielich

    What is amazing to me is that there is people (and seems like a lot) that actually believe this guy and all the other hawks that have never served a day in their lives (except for McCain and he lost us a plane) and are eager to send more people to die and have no regard for the truth or anything that is good in the world – all they want is money, oil, power ....

    June 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Raven

    Cheney was one of the people who got us into this unjustified war in the first place. He should be in prison.

    June 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Anonymous

    I see we have the usual comments from idiots who imagine that Geore W. Bushes murders and blunders must now be considered to have been committed by Barack Obama. Good luck with that. There is nothing – N-O-T-H-I-N-G – that Barack Obama or anyone else can do to reverse the dissolution of Iraq that became inevitable the day our troops arrived there in 2003. There never was any victory; there never will be any victory; there was never anything to be won, except perhaps the votes of dolts.

    June 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. William

    Message to Mr. Cheney. I want to hear somebody asking him why? He can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are, as he has always done, but he's not the one to have to fight or to die!

    June 18, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    That's all the hardcore right and the gang will do, unfortunately. They are only about their team (dems and repubs) and scoring political points. It's just that simple.
    I guess that it needs to be pointed to you once again that you are practicing what you are preaching.

    June 18, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. MacNCheese

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

    Really? Hmmmmmm.... I'm sure you can think of someone that fits this description Cheney Ol' boy!!!


    G W BUSH!

    June 18, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. TM

    Rarely has a Vice President LIED and been so wrong. Shall we count all the things Dick got wrong about Iraq, and then LIED about? As for his daughter, the only reason she even HAD a job at the state Department was because Daddy made one for her. As soon as he was out of office, she left, rather than be fired for rank incompetence.

    June 18, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. sly

    Like all old horses, best taken out back and put out of his senile misery.

    But it is pretty cool that he paraded his lesbian daughter up there to offer herself to the Iraqi's.

    Yes Cheney, it was awful that 9/11 and the Iraq Oil Genocides of the 90's were started by President Obama during his 1996 Presidential term.

    Old age is sad when it does this to Cheney's brain.

    June 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. John

    But Cheney said that by the middle of January 2009, it will be clear that “we have in fact achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that’s capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that will be a positive force in influencing the world around it in the future.” All of that by 2009? “Yes, sir,” he replied

    June 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Lizzie

    Judging by all those posts, you do care what he says.

    June 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. manomundo

    Cheney is shameless. He feels nothing for the 7,000 Americans killed, 40,000 wounded, and $2 trillion dollars spent. All to eliminate weapons of mass destruction which were never there. What he does care about are the no-bid contracts awarded to Halliburton. He's a war criminal.

    June 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Rick

    Cheney is so much smarter than Obama. Obama cannot even LEAVE a country without screwing it up!

    June 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. justanotheridiot

    he's why I had to reconsider the organ donor program -- fear someone like him who is okay with other people dying gets a heart to spout his lack of humanity.

    June 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    If Cheney feels so strongly, I vote to give him a gun and send him over to fight! On second thought, the NRA should be able to arm him quite well without using tax payer money.

    June 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. John

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many..."

    BOY, those are ironic words coming from THIS source.

    June 18, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney ,

    When you see your good friend Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi " Curveball " , could you please ask him for a refund .

    What do Ahmed Chalabi and Bernie" Madoff have in common ?

    They both love money , power, and coning the rich and arrogant .

    June 18, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. John

    William: I love your quoting Jackson Browne. 🙂

    June 18, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Dee

    The last ones we need advice from are the Cheney's and yes the media is playing right into their hands. This President can never do anything right. He has gotten no credit for anything he has done for this country and I don't agree with polls because no one asked me anything and that goes for a lot of Americans. The poll were wrong when he won a second term so these are just talking points for the media.

    I think it is a disgrace to criticize this President in a time of crisis McCain and all the other war mongers need to step back and wait for the President and the National Security team to weigh this situation and take all the time they need.

    He caught the terrorist involved with Benghazi and they are still critical of him I will always believe this is personal from the other side.

    June 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. ThinkAboutIt

    I not listening to a pasty faced chickenhawk with 5 – count them – 5 deferments – including 2 for his wife's pregnancies who hasn't spent a minute in combat boots and has probably never visited a VA hospital. Plenty of our soldiers fight with pregnant wives and have missed the births of their kids.

    This man lied to us over and over about Saddam, helped direct billions of dollars to Halliburton, KBR, and other shadowy companies who set up entities overseas to avoid taxes and liability for their contractors. We ran up debt that will never be paid based on this man's ego and it makes me sick to watch him and his daughter both do their head-tilt, and talk nice and slow in their condescending way about why we should be attacking Iran and Syria or Libya or staying in Afghanistan - any place where no Cheney son, daughter, or grandchild will ever serve the US flag, but where their companies will reap a profit. They are deluded and self-serving and the Fox machine treats them like an oracle when they wrap their crap sandwich in the US flag.

    June 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. calamity jane

    You would think this monster would have the sense to stay out of the public eye after what he did to this country. The effects of his lies will be felt for generations. Instead, he bombastically appears spouting opinions and advocates for war, war, war. Does the guy have any dignity at all??

    June 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    The heart transplant doesn't seem to have been much help. Tell me again why this inveterate liar, war criminal and oil profiteer isn't in jail?

    June 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. v1cious

    Dick Cheney. Nuff said.

    June 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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