While I was writing this piece, V.P. Cheney’s second in command, Scooter Libby, a man who left a golden life in law to reach the much higher altitude of the most powerful government in the world, was convicted on four counts of lying and obstruction of justice. Turns out the jurors reacted like many of us, believing Scooter was the fall guy for the rest of the gang, especially Cheney, the man who orchestrated the vendetta against Joe Wilson with a vengeance to prevent the unraveling of all his deceptions in the run up to Iraq, the man who stood by without a word and watched his friend plunge like Icarus from the heights of power.
So much for Bush’s promise in 2000 to bring honor and dignity to his office.
Okay, the last time I saw Vice President Cheney on television, his remarks stirred me from a prolonged period of quiet to write the following rant. The most generous view of Cheney is to believe that he has had one foot in a make-believe universe, considering he recently told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “We’ve had enormous successes.” No doubt Wolf was near to choking from trying to restrain himself from crying “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” When asked by Wolf about a possible anti-surge resolution, snarly Cheney replied: “It won’t stop us,” a response so typical of a man whose arrogance has known no boundaries. He also told Wolf he was worried that Americans might “not have the stomach to fight,” conveniently forgetting WWII, when Americans had the stomach and the will for that legitimate cause. And may I mention post 9/11 when we and much of the world were one?
So, with remarkable timing, our sterling Cheney, who likes to tell us we are not supporting our troops, escaped some of the unpleasantness of the trial of his second-in-command, by traveling round the world; but then to his misfortune found himself a mere mile from the carnage of a suicide bomb at the gate of the main American base in Afghanistan; all of which highlighted with some embarrassment the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the ugly, vicious, and persistent gangs, in case you don’t recall, that our military had beaten to a pulp after 9/11. Remember that moral victory?
Of course, that success was just after Bush was elected based on his good-‘ol-boy compassion and family values bull, and V. P. Darth Vader accompanied him to the White House. That was when we still had a unified America with the will to fight, to take revenge with the support of our allies, when the snooty French, of all people, told the world: “We are all Americans.” Remember that? Before we were scammed about Saddam and WMDs, and backed away from capturing our primary target, Osama bin Laden, at Tora Bora, by giving up on Afghanistan through the withholding of the thousands of troops needed to cement our victory, and plunging these same thousands of young men and women into the debacle of Iraq. Remember?
I do. Do you recall this baiting and switching achieved by morphing with arrogance and ignorance into the phony democratization of Iraq, which in reality was an invasion for oil and bucks, because Saddam made a major mistake when he let the U.S. know, in September 2000, that his country would no longer accept dollars for oil, but would move to the Euro as Iraq’s oil export currency, which threatened the U.S. dollar’s supremacy? And this invasion would then be the U.S.’s stepping stone into Iran to establish a regime change in that oil rich country?
Should we now expect the same for Iran? William Clark wrote in the Energy Bulletin:
The invasion of Iraq may well be remembered as the first oil currency war. Far from being a response to 9-11 terrorism or Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, Petrodollar Warfare argues that the invasion was precipitated by two converging phenomena: the imminent peak in global oil production, and the ascendance of the euro currency.
Do you remember how this administration succeeded in intimidating the wimpish House, Senate and media into silence by flat out suggesting that the right to dissent was traitorous? Do you remember how they ignored Sen. Carl Levin’s idea of diplomacy and multilateralism, and not the black and white go-it-alone Bush strategy? Remember that? Then Bush/Cheney, having achieved the muffling of the opposition, proceeded to whack away at the amendments to our Constitution while trashing our nation’s reputation and alienating everyone beyond our borders; remember?
Do you ever wonder: if so many administration failures and scandals hadn’t ensued like a thousand cuts, and the voiceless media and left-of-center hadn’t smelled the blood and woke to the notion that it might now be safe to issue an objection to what bordered on the criminal; that if this hadn’t happened, how many more of our inalienable rights would be challenged and even removed? Remember when leadership required courage to do the right thing? Remember what silence achieves, in the extreme, in response to dictators? Recall how the founding fathers risked hanging by their necks ‘til death when they challenged imperial Britain, an aggressive country in possession of the world’s most powerful army and navy? And isn’t it sickening and shameful when one compares their courage, and the courage and dedication of today’s American troops, to Cheney and Bush who never hesitate to risk everybody’s blood but their own?
Today, as in the past, there is often extraordinary heroism, making you wonder: where do we get such fine young men and women? Yet there is never glory in carnage, never “a good war;” but wouldn’t it seem so much less senseless and tragic if this invasion of Iraq, which has produced so many limbless and brain-damaged young people, hadn’t been so cynical and greed driven; but instead had been a war that was solely in defense of our cherished freedoms?
And how is it that these administration thugs who are the most obstinate and the least patriotic — not to mention the heads-in-the-clouds Democrats– have allowed the unforgivable indifference toward our terribly wounded vets at Walter Reed’s building 18, then followed this neglect by trying to pass the buck to lower ranked caregivers? And finally, adding to this insulting disrespect of our troops, they punished the wounded patients by waking them at 6 a.m., for speaking to the media. These are the same thugs who have frequently and without conscience accused those who wanted our military out of harm’s way, of “not supporting our troops.” These are the same people who will now send under-equipped and under-trained young soldiers to fill the ranks of those who have been returned again and again to Iraq — much to the agony of their loved ones.
What have the Bush/Cheney crowd ever supported beyond their own unconscionable interests? Certainly not our troops!
Cheney still refuses to admit that he and Bush have permanently uncorked Sunni/Shiite divisions which hark back more than a thousand years to the death of the Prophet Muhammed, divisions which today are efficiently exploited by die-hard Baathists, Al Qaeda, Shiite militias, and outside political opportunists; while Bush in aw-shucks mode suggests that maybe after all, and after much consideration, that yeah, maybe Saddam was not linked to Al Qaeda; while still insisting that the war in Iraq was, and is, the central battle against the war on global terrorism, AKA Jihad.
Jihad, according to who is doing the interpreting, can be viewed as violent and non-violent; these days most cruelly and aggressively violent; and Cheney will never acknowledge that his and Bush’s foreign policy disaster has been responsible for providing the extremists an additional rationale to kill Americans, strengthening Jihad’s much harsher version with its merciless treatment of those it deems to be in opposition, Islamic or infidel, innocent or otherwise, and it may be that the worst is yet to come with the spawning of a plague of suicidal teenagers.
Have you ever considered that if our military had had sufficient support and been allowed to capture or kill bin Laden, that this symbolic completion of a job well done, would have made Bush/Cheney’s pretext for their invasion of Iraq–so much less compelling to Americans? No? Well I have. And if Afghanistan had had the major oil fields, would we be in Iraq today? Huh?