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Top of the Ticket Political commentary from David Horsey
Opinion Top of the Ticket

If only Iraq's new invaders had a Dick Cheney to give them advice

Was the Iraq war won by 2008? Dick Cheney thinks so
Even Fox News star Megyn Kelly had to tell Cheney how many times he got things wrong in Iraq

President Barack Obama is sending 300 American advisors to Iraq to see if they can help stop an army of Islamic fanatics from undoing everything the United States military accomplished in nearly nine years of warfare. We’ll see how that goes, but it might be even more effective to send just one guy to give advice to the Sunni militants: Dick Cheney.

I’m not suggesting the former vice president would actually wish to advise the vicious horde who call themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – he’s too red, white and true blue for that – but if he could steer them in the same self-destructive direction that he steered the USA, he’d finally be doing his country a favor.

As we well know, Cheney was one of the key architects of the Iraq war, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his assistant Paul Wolfowitz. Those three – backed by a supporting cast of chicken hawks in the media, in the Bush administration and in various right-of-center think tanks -- fulfilled a neo-conservative dream by concocting excuses to invade Iraq, depose Saddam Hussein and thereby kick off a rush toward democracy throughout the Middle East.

The result was a brief blush of tyrant toppling and elections followed by anarchy, chaos, instability, terrorism and sectarian bloodletting, from Libya to Syria. It seems the U.S. spent $2 trillion and wore out an army trying to defy reality by peddling the American Way to people who would rather settle ancient scores and kill each other. 

Having predicted a very different result, Cheney now shows no sign of remorse or humility. In recent days he has led the critics of the Obama administration who insist the current mess in Mesopotamia is the president’s fault. In a Wall Street Journal column, Cheney said of Obama, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

Cheney’s hubris has infuriated a lot of people. Even Fox News interviewer Megyn Kelly was emboldened to confront Cheney about it. After quoting the ex-vice president’s slam against Obama, Kelly said to Cheney, “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong, as well, on Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005. And you said that, after our intervention, extremists would have to rethink their strategy of jihad.... What do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”

In response, Cheney rattled off the same arguments he made to push the war back in 2003 and indicated he believes victory was in America’s grasp when he and George W. Bush left office in 2009.

As Kelly said, history has proven Cheney got it wrong, over and over again, but he sure doesn't seem to know it. He’s the kind of self-blinded prophet we should wish on the latest invaders in Iraq.

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