Thursday, January 25, 2007

Contemptuous Cheney, Delusional Works Too

Vice President Cheney not only seems to see a world only revealed to him, but he also places the will of the Bushites above the annoying "will of the people" (see earlier post). Delusional and leadership do not belong in the same sentence, let alone in the same White House. Add contemptuous to the mix and you have near half a million killed civilians, thousands of dead and wounded soldiers, and billions of tax payer dollars in big business coffers. For what?

According to Vice President Cheney, every drop of blood and penny was worth it to achieve the better world we now live in...... As he tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer,

CHENEY: You can go back and argue the whole thing all over again, Wolf. But what we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do. The world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq. There's a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government. Saddam has been brought to justice and executed. His sons are dead. His government is gone. And the world is better off for it. You can argue about that all you want. That's history.

History??? The world is a safer place???? Someone please tell that to all the decimated and lost lives in Iraq and the US. Saddam's sons are dead, but so are too many others.

But according to Cheney, "we have, in fact, accomplished our objectives of getting rid of the old regime..."

Is that what our objective was? What happened to weapons of mass destruction, axis of evil, and Saddam's support of Al Qaeda? Oh, yes, those "objectives" were proven ungrounded... perhaps even fabricated.

(Spin 101: when you make up stuff to get people to do what you want, always have a back up story so they don't feel they did it in vain when the s*** hits the fan... and hope they forget the original story.)

Memo to Cheney: We did not forget.

But that's not all... Not only did we achieve "our objective", but we were also successful... (yes, we had our cake and ate it too!) and all is well in Iraq.

CHENEY: ... They have got a democratically written constitution, the first ever in that part of the world. They've had three national elections. So there's been a lot of success.

But when pressed by Blitzer:

BLITZER: Some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and the House, are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders, of the failures.
CHENEY: Wolf -- Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash

He doesn't accept the premise? What premise is he rejecting here? The premise of Congressional oversight? The premise of accountability? Is that akin to declaring he doesn't feel obligated to answer to the American people or their representatives?

Sarcasm aside, although it may be the last refuge of the helpless, Cheney is putting forth a very dangerous precedent. Assuming, just for the sake of argument, that the US objective in Iraq was merely to take down the Saddam regime and at this the US was successful, that can only be half the equation. Measuring success cannot be only in terms of outcome or benefit... It must also take into account cost, both immediate and ongoing.

At what cost did the US achieve the downfall and death of the Saddam and his progeny?

Answering that must balance that outcome against the death of hundreds of thousands, destruction of an entire country's infrastructure, loss of US world stature and solidarity, a generation of US and Iraqi orphans, widows, and disabled, the opportunity cost of the billions of dollars gone towards the war effort, and last, but not least, the immediate and long term political impact on the region. That last calculation would need to consider what the impact of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq has been on the balance of power in the region.

The only thing more dangerous than a fool is an unbridled powerful one.

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