Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Obama’s management of ISIS’ terror threat is benign and his planned intervention is pointless unless it’s bold and decisive.
On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, President Barack Obama is preparing to roll out his strategy to the American people on how to destroy the growing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka ISIS, ISIL, and IS. But one of his largest foes is critical of his diplomatic and military intervention.
Hours before the president takes to the podium, Dick Cheney addressed the American Enterprise Institute. There, he was judicious about his perception of Obama’s bold strategy, which he says would contradict his own record, as CBS News wrote.
An ominous interview President Obama gave on foreign policy in January on the topic of ISIS was characterized as his attempt to deny the militant group ISIS’ impact was equivalent to the atrocities imposed on the Middle East by the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a Bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
With mounting pressure from legislators, media pundits, and threats from IS of more carnage and American beheadings, Obama is now marshaling global support to destroy or diminish threats to vulnerable nation states and political partners. Dick Cheney believes his framework is rushed and behind the curve — compared to what he and Bush would have done to thwart the ISIS threat.
Sources say when Obama addresses the nation Wednesday, he will describe a plan to dismantle the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria using targeted airstrikes, a contingency of specialized ground troops, and a coalition of NATO partners and Arab partners.
While ISIS appears to be ubiquitous, the extremist group has been around for quite some time now. Moreover, ISIL has been quietly building financial reserves and successfully recruiting hundreds of foreign fighters — many from Europe and the United States — to take over large swaths of land in Syria and portions of Iraq.
Dick Cheney recalls Obama’s mantra, “the tide of war is receding,” on his policy to withdraw troop from war-torn areas in the Middle East.
“President Obama seems willfully blind to one of the key facts about the post-9/11 security apparatus: It is not self-sustaining. Those programs and policies must be kept strong and current.
“Those words suited his purpose at the time, in 2012. And yet of course that was the very time when dangers now obvious to all were gathering. In fact, all that receded from Iraq and elsewhere was American power, influence, and leadership. And if you think that American withdrawal marks an ebbing of conflict and a return to peace, then consider the new jihadist caliphate and all that will now be needed to clear it out.”
Cheney believes military force alone is not going to work in this situation, because the United States is essentially picking and choosing sides with the Kurds, Shia, and Sunnis Muslims. Obama’s so-called equivalent of Bush’s “Shock and Awe” in Iraq failed to stymie the ongoing propaganda of IS. Couple that with that fact that Congress is critical of his handling of the political matter to-date, and are not completely convinced of an imminent threat from ISIS on American soil, and it bolster’s Cheney’s claim of Obama’s soft-line approach.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid takes issue with Cheney’s rhetoric and paints it as partisan politics ahead of the 2016 Elections. Reid took to the floor Wednesday morning and responded to the former Vice President’s sentiments he echoed earlier behind closed doors.
“Taking advice on foreign policy from Dick Cheney? That’s a terrifying prospect. Dick Cheney is more responsible than anyone else for the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the country: the invasion of Iraq.
Reid, who put his full vote behind Obama’s use of drone strikes said “the most effective way to take out ISIS without committing troops, American troops, in harm’s way.” Furthermore, unlike suggestions from Cheney and other GOP talking heads, he says it’s shocking that Republicans want to rush off to war, when it was clear a draw-down policy during the Obama Administration was endorsed by the mainstream.