“I’m not surprised to hear from Dick Cheney something that’s obviously, number one, negative, and number two, wrong.”
That’s what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told PBS’s Gwen Ifill in a Thursday interview on “PBS NewsHour,” when asked what he thought of the former vice president’s comments about President Obama’s timeline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.Earlier this week, Obama outlined his plan to wrap up what has become the longest war in American history. Responding to the news, Cheney told Fox News’s Sean Hannity, “That’s stupid, unwise and will in fact just reinforce the notion that we’re weak and that we have a president that doesn’t understand his obligations.”
Kerry didn’t take Cheney’s jabs lying down. “Dick Cheney was completely wrong about Iraq, and we are still struggling with the aftermath of what Dick Cheney and his crew thought was the right policy to go in and start a war of choice for the wrong reasons,” he told Ifill.
“They turned topsy-turvy the entire region with respect to Sunni and Shia and the relationships there,” the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate added. “So the fact is that they have been deeply, deeply wrong in the policy that they pursued, and any advice from him really has no meaning to me with respect to what we’re doing today.”
In addition to Afghanistan, Ifill’s interview with Kerry covered a wide range of topics, from Edward Snowden (“He should prove his respect for that system,” Kerry insisted.) to the mission to rescue kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls (“It could be very risky to the young women,” Kerry warned.) and the Veterans Affairs scandal (“I think it’s fair to say that every veteran is deeply concerned about what has taken place,” Kerry, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, commented.).