Dick Cheney has been making the rounds of the conservative media circuit, mostly to promote his latest literary attempt to revise history, “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,” co-authored by his daughter Liz Cheney. The Cheneys have also been promoting war in the Middle East, claiming President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is a catastrophe. To hear them, it’s essentially the end of American civilization as we know it.
The Washington Post reported last week, “It is far from clear that Cheney’s arguments, calcified in the intervening years, wield much influence anymore, even within his own party, or that they should. Rather than a slugfest, this feels like a swan song.”
The big surprise came, however, when the folks over at Fox News, once an oasis for Cheney’s freewheeling vitriol, turned against him, particularly when it comes to his seemingly endless lies about war.
Cheney appeared on Fox News last Sunday and was “grilled about his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal by Chris Wallace.” During the interview, Cheney made a flailing attempt to blame President Obama for “walking away from the Middle East” and creating a “huge vacuum,” but Wallace called him out, asking: “In fairness, didn’t you leave President Obama with a mess?” In all fairness? Really? FOX NEWS?
The interview started with Wallace questioning Cheney’s assertion that Obama’s deal with Iran was akin to Neville Chamberlain appeasing Adolph Hitler in Munich in 1938. The Chamberlain analogy has come up ad nauseam by the right wing with nearly everything Obama and the admiration does, from the Iran deal to Obama’s choice of breakfast on any given morning.
Cheney refused to back down, responding:
If you look at what happened with respect to [Obama’s] Iranian deal, the only winners are Iranians. The losers are the United States, are the friends and allies of the United States in the region, the Israelis, the Saudis and others. I think it’s a big deal, a major, major defeat — in my mind — in terms of our position in the region.
Wallace responding by pointing out that Cheney had failed for eight years to address Iran’s nuclear program:
You and President Bush, the Bush-Cheney administration, dealt with Iran for eight years, and I think it was fair to say that there was never any real, serious military threat. Iran went from zero known centrifuges in operation to more than 5,000. So in fairness, didn’t you leave — the Bush-Cheney administration — leave President Obama with a mess?
Even with that highly relevant and accurate fact (something FOX is generally unfamiliar with) Cheney manages to find it perfectly reasonable to blame Obama:
I don’t think of it that way. There was military action that had an impact on the Iranians, it was when we took down Saddam Hussein. There was a period of time when they stopped their program because they were scared that what we did to Saddam, we were going to do to them next.
Wallace continued his attack, stating: “But the centrifuges went from zero to 5,000.” Cheney persisted, wrongly noting: “Well, they may have well have gone but that happened on Obama’s watch, not on our watch.” “No, no, no,” Wallace responded, adding that “By 2009, they were at 5,000.” “Right,” Cheney conceded and tried to salvage the interview by insisting: “But I think we did a lot to deal with the arms control problem in the Middle East.”
Here’s the clip:
It’s clear that Cheney is vehemently against the Iran Nuclear agreement, meaning that the rest of us should probably support it. Most of his comments during the interview with Wallace are typical for a war-monger.
While Cheney may have the support of the loons, teabaggers and arms dealers, the military – who Cheney plans to use – has a slightly different view.
One Republican Colonel did not take Cheney’s criticisms of the deal lightly. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (who supports the Iran deal), appeared on MSNBC with host Chris Hayes and went off on the former vice president:
I have been searching for a single word that would describe Dick Cheney. And I am afraid the only one that I can think of is ‘insanity’. It’s a deliberate, it’s a methodical, it’s a lucid, often lucid insanity. But it is insanity nonetheless. He can’t recognize reality. He can’t recognize the truth. The good thing Chris, for this country is that Independents, Republicans, and Democrats wish he would just go away now. He has almost no influence. You saw the influence he has virtually by numbers.
Wilkerson also said Cheney’s personality drastically changed after 9/11, saying the former V.P. went from being a brilliant strategist to being “devoid of reason:”
I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s physiological. Maybe it’s biological. Maybe 9/11 did something to him. He is simply devoid of reason and he doesn’t recognize reality anymore.
Just when Wilkerson couldn’t be any more on point, he pulled out the gross association between Dick Cheney, his millions, and the Defense Industrial Complex:
Cheney is a millionaire now. So maybe I am assuming his insanity and maybe I am wrong. Maybe he sees this as a way, as a route to success and it turned out to be profitable. His personal finances now are quite well established. He is a multi-millionaire. This is a man who in 1998, Chris, said most forcefully as CEO of Halliburton, that sanctions were not working, that they wouldn’t work unless they were comprehensive and international. And he wanted to do deals with Iran. And so he was bashing sanctions up one wall and down the other. This is a man who’s lost his mind.
So not only has Cheney completely flip-flopped, but he’s made millions in the process. They aren’t wrong when they say money talks.
Remember, Wilkerson is a Republican. Luckily there are a handful of Republicans who will call out the very dangerous, mentally unstable, and disgraced Dick Cheney and will side with what is right.
Here’s the clip: