Dick Cheney Doubles Down on Claims Iraq is Obama’s Fault and Proof It’s All a Lie
During this time of violence in Iraq, the news media has inexplicably began to trot out all of the old familiar hawks who were responsible for the push for war more than a decade ago. In a stunning move, the man perhaps most responsible for the war in Iraq – arguably even more so than President G.W. Bush – former Vice President Dick Cheney wrote an op-ed excoriating President Obama’s policies for “being so wrong, about so much, at the expense of so many.”
In an appearance with his daughter Liz on The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly – seen by critics as more than willing to further the “conservative narrative,” even in the face of contradictory truth – immediately questioned Cheney about his track record on Iraq.
Cheney, sounding more gravel-voiced than ever, doubled down both on assertions made in the op-ed and the old chestnuts from the run up to Iraq. He told Kelly, “I think we went into Iraq for very good reasons.” He also said that Iraq was in a “positive” place when the Obama administration took over.
Kelly, bless her heart, even used the Cheney quote from above to precede a laundry list of his statements that were since proven wrong about Iraq, then asking him if those words couldn’t also be applied to him.
Cheney replied, “No, I just fundamentally disagree”* and then said they “inherited” the Iraq problems, specifically “the extent of Saddam’s involvement in weapons of mass destruction.” He also invoked 9/11, despite there being no connection between Iraq and that attack.
Cheney’s inconsistency and errors in judgment about Iraq have been well documented. So, let’s focus on the accusation that President Obama is to blame for how America left things in Iraq. To suggest that the “stay behind” force that the Obama administration very much wanted to leave in place was rejected because it was too small is simply wrong.
A report from The Guardian in 2011 said, “the U.S. had plans for leaving behind four large bases but, in the face of Iraqi resistance, this plan had to be scaled down…to a force of 10,000. But even this proved too much for the Iraqis.” In fact, it has been suggested that the rejection of a continued agreement with the U.S. was Prime Minister al-Maliki’s way of sending a message to Shia-controlled Iran.
What is not being mentioned – mostly because there is no way to turn this against the President – was his refusal that Iraqis have criminal jurisdiction over U.S. Forces. Put another way, Iraq wanted to be able to arrest, imprison, and try U.S. soldiers and the President steadfastly refused to allow that.
Dexter Filkins of The New Yorker provides another clue as to why al-Maliki resisted the continuing presence of American forces. He suggested in his recent profile of al-Maliki that forces that stayed behind would have been there to watch over his government more than anything else.
Like much else about Iraq, former Vice President Cheney is either woefully wrong or willfully misinforming the American public.
*And for those amused by such things, he called Megan Kelly “Reagan” before correcting himself.
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