"Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," Dick and Liz Cheney write in a criticism of the American policy toward Iraq in the Wall Street Journal. No, they are not talking about George W. Bush.
The op-ed appearing in Wednesday's paper attacks President Obama for withdrawing American troops from Iraq and blames his foreign policy weakness for the renewed strength of ISIS insurgents, who took over several Iraqi cities in recent weeks. "He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America," the Cheneys write. "President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch."
Notably, the piece is heavy on criticism of Obama "abandonment" of Iraq, but light on touting Cheney's own role in launching the war that put the United States there in the first place. The piece does mention the success of the surge in battling back vicious sectarian fighting: "When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al Qaeda in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge," the Cheneys write. However, they claim Obama bungled the withdrawal, undoing those gains.
The Cheneys don't address that al-Qaeda was not present in Iraq as a force until he and the Bush administration took down the Saddam Hussein-led government. "Unsurprisingly, there's no mention of whose stupid idea it was to go into Iraq in the first place," the Daily Intelligencer writes.
Cheney certainly isn't alone in former Iraq War planners voicing their opinions on the burgeoning crisis. Many of the war effort's most important voices have returned to the spotlight to defend the policies of a decade ago, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, and Tony Blair. As Jon Stewart pointed out on Monday, Iraq's prominence in the news again has brought the neocon gang back together.
"This president is willfully blind to the impact of his policies," the Cheneys write. Perhaps they should consider the impact of the former vice-president's, as well.
The op-ed is actually a launch announcement of sorts for the Cheneys' new advocacy group, The Alliance for a Strong America. The non-profit is listed as a 501(c)(4), which means it's a "social welfare" organization that must spend less than 50 percent of its money on political activities. However, that also means it doesn't have to disclose the names of its donors.