Dick Cheney’s shattered legacy: quagmires and chaos
by Kevin Foley
June 26, 2014 10:00 PM | 2613 views | 11 11 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 2000, President Bill Clinton took a pot shot at the Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush saying, “The message of the Bush campaign is just that, ‘How bad could I be? I’ve been governor of Texas. My daddy was president.’”

That got George H.W. Bush’s blood boiling.

“I’m tempted to come off the reservation,” said Bush senior. “And if he continues that, I’m going to tell the nation what I think about him as a human being and a person.”

That “reservation” is the one to which former presidents and vice presidents retire after their terms are over. On it, no ill is spoken of the current administration.

It’s an unwritten rule that is rarely violated because former presidents and vice presidents understand they’re no longer privy to intelligence the White House receives. Thus, criticizing or second guessing the president makes you look bitter, ill-informed and undignified.

Clinton was merely campaigning for Al Gore, but Bush was within his rights to call out the president. Poppy should now tell former Vice President Dick Cheney to shut up.

When he served as Secretary of Defense in the first Bush administration, Cheney earned a lot of respect overseeing the masterful Desert Storm operation that kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

Cheney sagely advised the president then not to chase the two-bit tyrant back to Baghdad.

In a 1994 interview posted at YouTube, Cheney explained America would have found itself in a “quagmire” had we invaded Iraq, rhetorically asking how many U.S. lives were worth spending to depose Saddam. “Not many,” he said then.

Nine years later, Cheney had done a 180. Suddenly, invading Iraq was Job One even though Saddam had no hand in the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

In the run-up to the 2003 invasion, when Bush administration officials were exploiting public fears of nuclear “mushroom clouds,” no doubt Cheney believed the attack on Saddam would follow the Desert Storm script.

It would be quick and almost bloodless, even though it was Cheney who predicted years of chaos if Iraq’s government was toppled.

No WMDs, no problem — as long as the shooting was over before anyone noticed, accounting for Bush’s rush to declare “Mission Accomplished” just two months after the invasion.

We soon discovered major combat operations weren’t over. In fact, they were just beginning.

So the 1994 Cheney was spot on. The 2003 Cheney was dead wrong.

Ten years, 4,487 American dead and more than $1 trillion in borrowed money got us nothing but quagmires and chaos.

If Cheney had gone quietly to that post-presidential reservation, humbled at being so completely wrong about so much, he’d be just a bad memory by now.

Instead, Cheney is an unhinged critic of President Obama, ignoring presidential decorum and revealing himself to be, yes, bitter, ill-informed and undignified.

After multiple heart surgeries, Cheney is likely on the last of his nine lives. He appears desperate to salvage his own shattered legacy by savaging Obama’s.

Cheney’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, co-written with his obnoxious offspring Liz, cast the president as a feckless dilettante more intent on his golf handicap than combating terrorism, which is utter nonsense.

Obama killed 9/11 perpetrator Osama bin Laden, whom the Bush administration was unable to bag for seven years.

It was also Obama who took dozens of terrorist leaders off the board, most recently the Libyan who allegedly led the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Besides other cranky curmudgeons watching Fox News, does anybody really care what Dick Cheney thinks? His former boss sure doesn’t.

In the documentary, “The World According to Dick Cheney,” we learned Dubya barely spoke to his vice president by the end of his second term.

Bush must have finally realized Cheney didn’t know what he was talking about.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Ben Twomey
June 30, 2014
@Mike H. To answer your inane questions about the lack of conservative response to Fooley's column, in this case there is no substance to his rant and therefore it does not warrant a response. It fails on its own.

That is common with most everything he has written since his lobotomy. But, being the kind-hearted individuals we conservatives are, we try to keep him happy with a few responses so he doesn't realize how totally worthless his opinions are.
Kevin Foley
June 30, 2014
@ Twomey - ...and yet you respond.

Please provide MDJ readers with specifics on what lacks substance here.

Ben Twomey
July 01, 2014
Wrong Foley, I responded to Mike H.'s absurd blog, not to your mindless rant.

MDJ readers are astute enough to see the fallacies in your drivel.
Mike H
June 27, 2014
I updated my computer and there was the hate, ignorance, and anger that is Cobb GOP. For a second, I thought that decency, respect, and moderation had conquered Cobb.
Bob Johnson
June 29, 2014
Mike H or Kevin Foley or whoever you are if you think KF got the facts right then there is no reason to try and talk with you. Update your brain not your computer
Mike H
June 27, 2014
Where are the knee jerk personal attacks that we are so used to in the Conservative Voice of the South? Yes, Kevin Foley is, as usual, right on the facts. Why aren't Cobb's Republicans doing what they do best-attack,attack? If Kevin Foley said water was wet, there would be 20 personal attacks on him.

Technical glitch, who knows?
Rhett Writer
June 27, 2014
Mr. Foley, you evidently watched Bill ("I did not have sex with that woman") Clinton on TV this past weekend. He was shoveling this same horse manure.
June 27, 2014
Come on MDJ, how much longer are you going to let this guy write this crap?

"That “reservation” is the one to which former presidents and vice presidents retire after their terms are over. On it, no ill is spoken of the current administration.

It’s an unwritten rule that is rarely violated because former presidents and vice presidents understand they’re no longer privy to intelligence the White House receives. Thus, criticizing or second guessing the president makes you look bitter, ill-informed and undignified."

Does K-Fo have short term memory loss? Why wouldn't he mention the deplorable and classless way Carter bashed President Bush at the FUNERAL of Coretta Scott King?? It may have been before or after Clinton was caught dozing off. As President Bush sat with class and grace, the senile old coot thought it was an appropriate time to trash our president. Of course then Lowery and Young had to take cheap shots at him, too. At a funeral. Did I mention this took place at a funeral?

K-Fo...didn't someone challenge you last week to have the guts to chime in on the Lois Lerner e-mail situation? You know...the ones that were 'lost.' Hahaha! You just can't defend that one, can you old boy?!
Blackjack the Quack
June 27, 2014
IRS coverup

Benghazi scandal

Arming jihadis around the globe

hating America

refusing to prosecute Black Panther voter intimidation

appointing known criminals, islamists, communists to sensitive government positions

Supreme court reversals on abuse of power

a First Lady who eats like a horse and tries to starve children

I'll take Dick any day!

Laura Armstrong
June 27, 2014
You are so laughable Foley. You obviously watch FOX news all the time, solely for the purpose of finding column ideas. Can't you come up with anything on your own?

Cheney is one of the most solid men in D.C. (now in Wyoming). He represented the most conservative state in the country for decades and has been consistent on his positions. Dragging the "Mission Accomplished" sign into your strange and convoluted argument about about why we should hate Dick is just more of the same from you. And please, please, quit with the "Obama got Osama" meme. It was brave members of our military who got him DESPITE Obama's malingering and indecision. Read the books. Talk to the operators. Oh, I forgot. You don't know any military men, do you?
just saying
June 28, 2014
Sorry Lara, as the number one apologist for the Bush/Cheney, Rumsfield Iraq War you have absolutely no credibility. After 4,500 American lives, 51,000 wounded, 500,000 Iraqi killed two thirds of them women and children and 6 trillion in debt or $75,000 per each American household all looking for WMD's that didn't exist. Cheney like yourself hasn't gotten anything right yet. "We will be greeted as liberators", I think we in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency", We know he's been entirely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons". Oh please, even a blind chicken can occasionally find some corn. So the Commander in Chief who ordered the bin Ladin raid gets no credit Huh! If the raid had failed, if Rangers had been killed or captured, you can be sure you and the right wing flying monkeys would have been, blaming Obama, dancing in the streets and screaming for Obama's impeachment.
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