Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bush and Cheney Flip Flopped While War Critics Were Consistent

Dick Cheney and the Bush White House are trying to deflect criticism of their failed policies based upon distorting intelligence reports by attacking critics of the war. This is often done by misquoting oppenents of the war such as John Kerry by continuing their absurd claims that Kerry and others initially backed their decision.

While John Kerry and other Democrats were justifiably concerned over the prospect that Saddam Hussein might possess WMD, Kerry repeatedly urged Bush to use inspectors and diplomatic options as he promised and not to go to war. This is Kerry’s position, and everything else done to claim he held another view, including distorting the meaning of his vote on the IWR, is pure political spin.

These right wing attacks weaken the anti-war movement but unfortunately are given the appearance of credibility due to being repeated by dishonest left wing hacks such as Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. Kos started his attacks on Kerry while being paid to provide favorable publicity on his blog for the Dean campaign, and, like Japanese soldiers found years after the end of World War II, does not appear to realize the primary campaign is over. Perhaps he still harbors a grudge for having his blog link removed from the official Kerry Blog after his disgusting comments (such as “screw them”) supporting the killing of four Americans in Fallujah. Since the election he has attacked Kerry for, among other things, criticizing the Republicans in control of Congress and criticizing the war.

While opponents on both the left and right attack Kerry by misquotation and distortion of his positions, Dick Cheney has sure flip-flopped on his views on Iraq. In a speech in 1992 to the Discovery Institute in Seattle Cheney justified the decision not to occupy Iraq after first Gulf War:

“And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”

Cheney also discussed the problems in occupying Iraq which no longer appear important to him:

“Now what kind of government are you going to establish? Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shi’ia government, or a Sunni government, or maybe a government based on the old Baathist Party, or some mixture thereof? You will have, I think by that time, lost the support of the Arab coalition that was so crucial to our operations over there,” he said.

The end result, Cheney said in 1992, would be a messy, dangerous situation requiring a long-term presence by U.S. forces.

Similarly, Bush has flip-flopped on his views on nation-building, the importance of apprehending Bin Laden, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.


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