Friday, June 29, 2007

Blaming Cheney

An editorial in today’s Quad-City Times makes the case that Vice President Dick Cheney poses the biggest threat to our democracy and is responsible for the disaster that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has become.
Within days after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney was engineering a drastic revision of U.S. law that caught then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security advisor Condoleeza Rice by surprise. Cheney convinced the president to sign an executive order that would treat prisoners in the war on terror in ways our soldiers, our justice system and our Constitution never fathomed. The order authored by Cheney allowed prisoners to be held indefinitely without charges, without due process and not even the most fundamental American right of habeus corpus: A formal presentation of the accused to some court, any court, before she or he is locked away.

Now it becomes clear that our nation’s poor results in this war aren’t in spite of Cheney’s behind-the-scenes manipulation. It is because of them. By short-circuiting Powell, Rice and the entire process of advising the president, Cheney pursued reckless, unsustainable strategies that faced no internal scrutiny by generals, diplomats and intelligence officers who might have helped.

Of course, these policies also faced little external scrutiny by media such as the Quad-City Times until, belatedly, now. Obviously not just the Quad-City Times but most Americans are complicit in these crimes, if only by their silence. If a scapegoat is required on which complicit Americans can project their own blame so that they can now oppose these policies and actions, start correcting these mistakes and reclaim our country and its good name I can think of no one more deserving for this role than Dick Cheney.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dick Cheney for doing the tough job of doing what is necessary to protect the US from another attack!

I knew that the QCT was way-left, but they definately confirmed it on this one...

Anonymous said...

these policies promote terrorism not stifle it.

Dick Cheney is an idiot who is endangering our country.

Terrorists hate America because of shit like this, not because we like American Idol.

Terrorists hate pieces of shit like you 'anonymous' that have no functioning brain.

Dave Barrett said...

anonymous 7:22AM
"doing what is necessary to protect the US from another attack!"
But the QCT's editorial gave reasons why they think that what Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration is doing is making another attack more likely, not less. You just assert the opposite without argument or proof!
We are left to conclude that you have no reasons for your beliefs other than your "feeling" that the more the people charged with keeping us safe act like mobsters the safer we will be. But there are reasons to believe that "gut" reaction of yours is mistaken. The resurrgence of Al Quada in Iraq and Afghanistan is just one of those reasons.

you people are insane... said...

Come on guys - "these policies promote terrorism"

What are you smoking?

9-11-01...we are nearing -6- years WITH NO ATTACKS ON U.S. SOIL!!!!

How stupid are you?

The left is just posturing so should there be another attack, they can say, 'well see, if it were not for Cheney and Bush, this would have never happened!'

Maybe we need to be thankful that they are doing what is needed, while the Dem's are fighting every attempt to make us more secure.

6-years and no attacks and you think that theyare making it worse. Let's be honest, if Gore were elected in 2000, do you rerally think that there would not have been another attack?

Dave Barrett said...

you people are insane,
The fact that there has not been a terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11/01 does not prove that there would have been more attacks if different policies had been pursued. The fact that you believe that only the ruthless policies of Cheney and the Bush Administration have kept us safe does not make it true.

The Quad-City Times editorial presented evidence and proof of their position. You just state your beliefs as though they were self-evidently true. They are not true and more and more people are coming to see that.

you people are insane... said...

Anything is pure speculation - on either front.

However, the fact is that there has not been an attack in nearly 6-tears, consequently 'reason' would dictate that suggesting that those in power are doing something to make us less safe is, well...rather foolish.

Dave Barrett said...

you people are insane,
Terrorist attacks on US soil are rather rare compared to the situation facing, say, Britian. Among these advantage is that is much more expensive and difficult for terrorist from the Middle East to get to the US than to Europe.

It would be the height of foolishness to conclude that just because there has not been a terrorist attack on US soil in the last 6 years that therefore the Bush Administration's policies are the perfect response to the situation and are keeping us safer than anyone else or any other approach would have.

There are many reasons to believe that the approach the Bush Administration is taking is counter-productive and making us less safe rather than more. Your only evidence, the lack of a terrorist attack on US soil for 6 years, is no proof at all. It is just a reflection of the natural advantage the US has always had compared to Europe -- which has had a number of recemt terrorist attacks.

you people ARE insane... said...

Dave, can't you read?
Re-read the last post...


I did not state that the Administration policies are great, wonderful and perfect. What I did state is that it is pure foolishness, given the fact that there has not been an attack in almost 6-years, to say that we are less safe...

Especially given the fact that, on September 12, 2001, we all KNEW and EXPECTED another attack.

Do YOU agree with everything that has been done - of course not.

Can you argue with the results?
Apparently so (and THAT is foolishness).

My take on it said...

I would like to take a somewhat different take to this debate. In fact, since 9/11, more than 3,500 good Americans have been killed -- in Iraq. And I would assert that their deaths have nothing to do with the fact that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since then. Iraq had no connection to 9/11 and was not a haven for terrorists until we made it one. So now terrorists are killing plenty of Americans -- in Iraq. What need have they to come here? They're doing a lot of damage to the U.S., to U.S. interests and reputation, over there. Meanwhile, as a result of the U.S. invasion and aftermath, many more Iraqis have been killed than Saddam killed. That also plays into the terrorists hands, as it does wonders for recruiting.
I do believe, by the way, that the invasion of Afghanistan was justified. But then we left them twisting in the wind when we diverted resources to Iraq. We were on the way to helping Afghans build a peaceful country. Now that's a mess too -- with Americans and others dying.

Dave Barrett said...

you people are crazy,
I do not agree with more than 3500 Americans needlessly killed in Iraq. I do not agree hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed. I do not agree with the suspension of habeas corpus, torture being done in my name, people detained without charges for years.

I do not think that there is any reason to believe that any of the above was necessary to keep Americans safe. I think all the above is making Americans less safe.

Jim Mowen said...

I have got to jump in...

Afghanastan was a good thing. I do not believe that anyone really disagrees with this.

Iraq...well getting rid of Sadam was definately a good thing. Unfortunately, the Iraqi people have not stepped up and the issue becomes very murky from this point.

One would have to be blind to not agree that Al-Queda is fighting in Iraq. Syrian, Pakastan and other Middle East Islamic fundamentalists (as well as a big Iranian presence) are behind the 'civil war' in Iraq.

I do not even want to debate the merits of the War On Terrorism - presently being fought in Iraq (as it is clearly not a black & White issue), however,

To think that the terrorists are not being tied up in Iraq, well seems to be quite nieve (and totally against every credible news source (who all agree that Islamic-fundamentalists from across the Middle East are there).

Again, I do not want to debate the Iraq situation, but to think that we leave Iraq without (possible, likely) ramifications due to terorists that now have more time on their hands, well, again...nieve.

Dave Barrett said...

Jim Mowen,
"tying up Al Queda in Iraq..", "if we leave Iraq...terorists that now have more time on their hands"
Jim. why don't you spell out what you are implying there and say that we are fighting them in Iraq so that we don't have to fight them here and that if we leave Iraq they will follow us home?

My guess is because those are obvious Dick Cheney talking points and if you stated them rather than implying them it would be obvious that you have simply bought what he has been selling.

Although there is some Al Queda in Iraq it mostly is, by all accounts, a home-grown variety created and motivated by our invasion and occupation of that country. We are creating enemies who want to kill us by what we are doing in Iraq and the longer we stay the more we will create.

That is why we are saying that what the Bush Administration has been doing is making us less safe rather than more. We should get out of Iraq because when you find yourself in a hole the first thing you should do is to stop digging.

Jim Mowen said...


How silly. Do you even pay attention to history. Al-Queda bombed the Towers in 1998, they then bomber the Marine baracks and other targets - long before Cheney did anything.

We have been on their radar screen in both the Reagan and Clinton Administrations.

You take on the simplistic notion that 'we' caused 9-11 and anything that happens to us is our own fault.

You need to understand the Islamic-fundamentalist issues and appreciate that they have hated Jews and the west - just by our very existance.

Again, I do not even know what is right with respect to staying or leaving Iraq. As I had stated, it appears that we lose no matter which direction we go.

You on the left are so happy to throw around the consequences of remaining there - yet you seem unwilling to acknowledge that indeed there are consequences to leaving.

Is Al-Queda in Iraq? Certainly!
Will they have less occupying their time if we pull out? Certainly!

Will they go home and watch soccer matches? Certainly not.

All I am saying is that there are consequences to leaving Iraq, the same way that there are consequences to staying.

Dave Barrett said...

How silly. I said Al Queda in Iraq is a home-grown variety. I was NOT talking there about the Al Queda that attacked our embassies in Africa and attacked New York and Washington on 9/11/01.

In order to respond appropriately to the threats that face us we need to understand the ways in which our foreign policy and military actions around the world influence others to either support, oppose or attack us. For people like you to claim that any discussion of this is "blaming America" or saying that it is all "our fault" is undermining our ability to figure out a foreign and military policy that will increase our security and safety. It is making us less safe.

By all accounts there were few if any Iraqis in Al Queda before we invaded Iraq and there a few foreign fighters in Iraq now. The people we are fighting in Iraq only started fighting us after we invaded and because we invaded. Why would these people leave Iraq to continue fighting us if we left Iraq?

Jim Mowen said...

Dave -

I guess you are entrenched in your beliefs - I cannot change a mnd that is set.

However, I will choose to accept the logic that states Islamic-fundamentalist terrorism has been a part of U.S. history since 1978 is not fueled by anything more than their Islamic-fundamentalist hatred.

You go ahead and believe that it is us that is causing the problem -

Maybe we can just apologize and give them more aid...I am sure that everything will be better then.

Maybe we bring Bush and Cheney up on charges of being mean to them - and then they'll leave us alone?

My take again said...

Jim Mowen, your sense of history goes back to 1978? Cute. How about 1953, the year the CIA and British counterparts overthrew democratically elected prime minister Mossadegh in Iran and installed the Shah? Over oil. Look it up. Islamic fundamentalist hatred of the West such as you cite in 1978 didn't come out of nowhere, simply saying, "the West exists over there -- let's hate it." No, it was a reaction to Western intervention and exploitation. And it's a highly deplorable reaction that doesn't serve anyone well.

Jim Mowen said...

And your point is what?

The United States has had to choose sides many times in its history - for its own betterment.

Hindsight is always 20/20 is it not?

Yes, the US even backed rebels in Afghanastan against Russia, and one of those (unknown at that time) rebels was Bin Laden. Again, hindsight.

We make the best decisions that we can when the decisions need to be made.

Are you suggesting that we become isolationists and never deal with international affairs?

My take again said...

Jim, because I criticize the U.S. role in overthrowing a democratically elected leader in Iran, you think I'm suggesting that we "become isolationist"? There's a middle ground between isolationism and overthrowing foreign democracies!

The reason I brought up Mossadegh was that I detected from your earlier post an implication that the Islamic fundamentalists hate us just to hate us. I wanted to give an example of a context for the hatred -- people over there know the history (and the present) even if many of us don't.
And let me stress that I'm not excusing terrorism. We must fight it and secure ourselves. While also assessing what we've done and are doing in that part of the world that may be creating more terrorism.
Hindsight ... like, "gosh, I wish I hadn't overthrown that democracy and installed a dictatorship." Don't you see what an atrocity that is, the worst form of terrorism? Democracy is what we say we want for Iraq. The 1953 coup had and has huge ramifications, and to look at all that is hardly just "hindsight."

So we have to look at and learn from our mistakes. You mention bin Laden and Afghanistan ... I believe we made a mistake in not helping build a civil society in Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out. Not by giving them a fish but teaching them how to fish, and creating some goodwill that in turn would help our interests and security. Instead, there was chaos and the Taliban exploited it. And the Taliban made 9/11 possible by sheltering bin Laden and training terrorists. Just connecting the dots a little there.

So you see, I'm hardly an isolationist. I believe in an active U.S. leadership role in the world, as we've had to the good many, many times (such as the Marshall Plan). The reason I'm harping on a U.S. failure is that it's coming back to haunt us.

Jim Mowen said...

Dave, I understand and appreciate what you are saying,

"those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it..."

Of couse it is important to review and learn from our past. However, I do not understand what that has to do with the present situation (2007, not the decision 3 or 4 years ago to enter Iraq, but today) in Iraq.

The problem that I see is that those opposed to Iraq are focused on 1858, or 1974, or 1982 - anything but 2007 and the ramifications of either path of pulling out, or doing what it takes to win (and if that is possible).

So again, I ask...what is your point - what does 1958 have to do with 2007 and the difficult choices that are before the United States TODAY?

My take again said...

That's a good question, how specifically should mistakes of the past influence our current choices in Iraq and the Middle East. (BTW, this isn't Dave, though I do happen to be his brother in law. We may well have points of disagreement in this debate as we have in others.)

But I do believe an awareness of those past mistakes is important, because that awareness is HUGE in their minds and their assessment of our motives. Again, the 1953 coup was over oil. And in overthrowing a democracy and installing a brutal dictatorship, and other "mistakes," we've done much worse to people in that part of the world than they've ever done to us. They're aware of that, too.

It's hard for me to say we should just leave Iraq immediately after botching things so badly and leaving it a mess. But I don't believe that by leaving we'll be any less safe here. I don't believe that by fighting there we're "keeping it an away game," as some neocons like to say, as if al-queda were a football team pinned on its own 10-yard line. They're more diffuse than that. Why hasn't there been an attack here in recent years? I don't know, perhaps because the Sunni al-Qaedas are more preoccupied with their hatred of Shias for the time being. But they haven't forgotten us. To be truly safe in the long term we need to defuse the hatred a bit.
Al-qaedas may hate us no matter what we do. They may hate us for being us. Like Hamas hates Israel for being Israel.
To my mind, it's not so much the hearts and minds of al-Qaedas and Hamas that we need to appeal to, but the many other people over there who are looking at those groups and looking at us and deciding those groups are the lesser of two evils. Let's convince such people that our motives aren't what they were in 1953. Invading Iraq wasn't a way to do that. How to rectify? Good question. You got me, jim.

Jim Mowen said...

"Botching things so badly (in Iraq)" - may be a bit of an overstatement - unless, of course, the only news one gets is from CNN.

Iraq is not the total mess that the drive-by media would have one believe. At the same time, it does provide a real issue of 'what next' (that has been discussed) - and there seems to be no simple answer.

It does seem too easy to think that we need to 'reach out' to the Islamic-fundamentalists (or anyone else).

The liberals seem to think that we are dispised by the world, yet illegal immigration is the second biggest issue (behind terrorism) that the U.S. faces -

If everyone hates us so much, why does everyone want to get in?

If you think that we can appease the Islamic-fundamentalists, if you think that we can apologize, turn inward and never cross their paths again - and they'll leave us alone, well, we will certainly have to agree to disagree.

My take again said...

We can agree to disagree, but I don't agree with your summation of my position, as you persist in distorting it. And I don't get my news just from CNN. Or Fox :)

As to why so many people flock to this country -- because here there is more opportunity for a better life than anywhere else. It's a great country, and my home. That does not make it above criticism.

If you wish to further misconstrue anything I've said in having the last word, go for it. I think this thread is exhausted and eventually David will start a new one.

Jim Mowen said...

Dave's cousin (and I suspect that Dave as well),

You specifically stated that you feel that the world is looking at the Islamic-fundamentalists and the U.S. and determining (in your words) "which one is the lesser of two evils."

If you, my friend, are trying to say that you think that the US, in any way shape or form, is even close to the Islamic-fundamentalists (which YOU MOST CERTAINLY IMPLIED) then I think that you are a sick and twisted individual and I understand why it is so challenging for you to discuss rational issues and ideas.

Robbie C. said...

Don't argue with Mowen. He is an idiot. He always reads a post and then says it was something else. I could say 'the sky is blue' and Mowen would be convinced I said 'the sky is purple.' He has no desire to learn anything or get anything out of discussion. He just wants to spew out his bigoted, conservative, antiquated opinions to as many people as he can. It's kinda sad really.

The point Mowen is missing in all of this? The fact that our presence in Iraq IS CREATING A NEW GENERATION OF TERRORISTS. We read all the time about how OBL got his training by fighting the Russians. Well in 10 or 15 years we are all going to be hearing about how the new terrorist leader 'blah blah blah' got his start fighting American soldiers in Iraq.

We are causing a new generation of Iraqi's, Muslims, and middle easterners to have a very bad opinion of America. Just as was mentioned above, most people don't hate America out of spite. Most have very good reasons. Our bad choices have come back to haunt us. Mowen, you talk about hindsight being 20/20... Well I can give you a 20/20 vision right now... We will look back in the future on this period being one of the most pathetic and shameful times for America and civilization at large.

Mowen you are a pathetic excuse for a human being. Shut up and go away.

Dave Barrett said...

Thanks, I think I will take your advice about not trying to argue with Jim Mowen. If he can not figure out who he is responding to or the difference between a brother-in-law and a cousin then it is easy to see how the complexities of foreign policy escape him.

Jim Mowen said...

Wow Robbie, did I wind your clock or something? Settle down big boy!

My comment is nothing more is easy to view something in hindsight and think that decisions are easy at the time that they are made. You have nothing positive to add to the situation faced today other than to call names and blather on about what 'should have been done.'

You are apparently so incredibly smart, so - if you were 'king' - what would YOU do, TODAY (not 5 or 10, or 20-years ago).

Robbie C. said...

Mowen, you ask what I would do? I would withdraw all the American troops in Iraq. Today. End of story. I would work to support Iraq's recovery into the global community. I would support any troop redeployments as part of any kind of UN force. Though my assumption is that the UN troops would be safer without us.

I would commit to finishing the job in Afghanistan. If the military advisor's felt that the goal was too far gone because of our fuck up in Iraq, then that would have to be let go as well. Certainly with the lower number of troops, the armed forces would become less taxed. National Guard units could actually serve their communities again in times of natural disaster. Regular branches could afford to not over deploy their troops.

In order to fight terrorism, I would use all the money saved in Iraq to start funding aggressive, high tech, legal means of tracking terrorists.

Additionally, I would try to stay out of middle east affairs as much as possible. Because it is nearly impossible to remove all the means for terrorists, I would focus on taking away their motivation. There is no way I can take away every weapon in the world, but I can take away their reasons for hating us. I honestly would re-asses our blanket support of Israel. That is the hotbed for middle eastern hatred, and our continued involvement only brings us problems.

I would restore this country to a place we can be proud of. I would end illegal spying. I would shut down Guantanamo. Easy on terrorism you say? Well guess what? These policies take away the very freedoms we so boldly protect.

While I was in power, I would institute limits on political fundraising. I would add term limits to both houses of Congress. I would repeal no child left behind. I would work to restore the environment. I would be pro-renewable fuels, but not supporting ethanol as the savior of the industrialized world.

I would work to do many things. And in the future perhaps I will.

But the bottom line is this: Mowen you have done nothing but promote your agenda. You constantly badger anyone who doesn't agree with you. You think that every democrat/liberal is named 'The Inside Dope.'

You talk about hindsight, but 3 years ago, if you would have found me on the campus of Monmouth College you could have asked me what I thought of the impending war. I would have told you that it would be a huge mistake. That while Saddam was a bad guy, we would leave the country in worse shape than we started. I would have provded examples of the power vacuum on many African countries that our European kin spent centuries fucking over. I would have told you about the complexity of Muslims and that they don't play well together. But no one asked me. No one should have. I was just a punk rebel in college. And the only people we had to rely on were liars. Blatant fucking criminal liars.

Its sad really. We have been so duped by this administration, we can see our mistakes and yet fail to correct them as they continue. The solution to a failed policy is not to continue said policy. It is to move on and try something different.

Good day Mowen. I still pray you find some Arkansas blogs to bother.

Jim Mowen said...

Robbie, I still don't understand why you are so mad. I think that you have anger issues.

Nice answer though. I disagree, but it is nice to see you explain something with thought. Too bad that you have to be so mad while you are doing it.

I hope that you can relax and have some fun today.