Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz penned an acerbic op-ed on Tuesday accusing President Obama of “abandoning” Iraq and putting Americans at greater risk of terrorist attacks from al Qaeda.
Cheney, a primary advocate of the Iraq War that has left more than 4,500 U.S. soldiers killed in action since 2003, accused Obama of being “blithely unaware” of the threat of al Qaeda.
“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” The Cheneys wrote in their op-ed, published by the Wall Street Journal.
The former vice president has been a vocal critic of President Obama since shortly after Obama took office. In an interview last month, Cheney referred to Obama as a "very weak president." While former President Bush has largely been silent when asked to comment on his successor’s time in office, Cheney has taken shots at Obama on a wide range of issues and has been particularly harsh in his assessment of the president’s foreign policy:
“Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. … Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. 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. … Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”
Liz Cheney, a former deputy assistant secretary of state during the Bush administration, was embarking on her own attempt at winning elected office, entering the Wyoming Republican U.S. Senate primary, in which she attempted to unseat current Sen. Mike Enzi. Ms. Cheney, who made her foreign policy expertise a centerpiece of her campaign, withdrew from the race in January, citing health issues.
The Cheneys also criticized President Obama over reports that the administration may hold discussions with the Iranain government over a possible role in helping to stem terrorist attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror,” the Cheneys write.
The op-ed has generated some pushback. In the The Week, Eric Kleefeld writes, “Notably, the column accuses President Obama of having been spectacularly wrong about Iraq — with no mention of Vice President Cheney's own vast errors in 2002 and 2003 about Iraq allegedly having weapons of mass destruction, or his predictions that the war would go smoothly.”
Liberal blogger Brad Friedman simply referred to the piece as “epic trolling.”
The Cheneys concluded their piece with a sweeping attack, covering several pet issues for conservatives in the foreign policy realm, referencing the Benghazi embassy attack and Obama’s stated preference for diplomacy over military invasions:
“American freedom will not be secured by empty threats, meaningless red lines, leading from behind, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies, or apologizing for our great nation—all hallmarks to date of the Obama doctrine. President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.”
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