The anticipated release of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s memoir “In My time” is generating a great deal of interest among both the media and the Washington elite. Once again we are exposed to heated debates about Cheney’s place in history.
Cheney’s supporters say he is a patriot who saw the horrors of 9/11 and vowed to do everything in his power to see that they never happened again. His detractors view him as a war criminal who violated the terms of the Geneva Convention and lied us into a war costing trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of precious lives. He has been referred to as “the most powerful Vice President in history” by some and the “the most dangerous person to ever hold high office” by others. One thing is certain…Cheney is without question one of the most polarizing figures in our history.
While the debate over Cheney’s place in history rages on we are struck by the lack of media coverage of the Obama administration's continuation and expansion of many of the Bush/Cheney policies.
Obama has continued Bush’s withdrawal plans in Iraq but he has tripled the troops in Afghanistan. Guantanamo is still open and intelligence officers still tap the emails and phone calls of Americans without obtaining warrants. We no longer kick down doors, grab high valued targets and drag them off to foreign countries to torture them. Now we kick down the door and shoot them on sight. Or we use predator drones to drop bombs on them from 30,000 feet killing scores of innocents in the process.
Bush/Cheney has been vilified by the left for attacking Iraq, a country that never attacked us. But Obama increased the drone attacks tenfold, ordering bombings in Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. We have not declared war on any of these countries and to the best of our knowledge not one of them has declared war on us.
Obama's base is furious; but the media seemingly gives him a pass.
We are not defending Dick Cheney. On the contrary, count us among those that believe Cheney should be hauled off to The Hague. But we wonder how history will view Obama given his continuation and even expansion of many of the Bush/Cheney policies. Historians will no doubt have varying opinions.
One thing is certain; these policies do not work. The current course has weakened our country economically, militarily and perhaps most important of all psychologically. The swagger and can do attitude that made us the most prosperous and powerful country in the world is gone. America is struggling to take care of itself. Nation building and regime change lead us down a dangerous and costly path that we can ill afford to navigate.
Obama's policies are not sustainable…and they are ruinous for the country. The question is, are they that much different than Cheney's?