Former Vice President Dick Cheney made his latest Sunday-show appearance yesterday, using the word “weak” quite a bit to condemn President Obama on “Face the Nation.” But what struck me as especially interesting was the former VP, true to form, complaining that U.S. military options aren’t being considered in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
DICK CHENEY: Well, I think – I worry one would begin to address a crisis by the first thing we do is take options off the table. I don’t think the administration should do that. And this–CHARLIE ROSE: Have they done that?DICK CHENEY: In a sense saying no military. He seems to operate that way most of the time. There are military options that don’t involve putting troops on the ground in Crimea. We could go back and reinstate the ballistic missile defense program that was taken out. It was originally going to go in Poland, Czech Republic, Obama took it out to appease Putin. We could do training exercises in Poland, joint exercises. We can offer military assistance in terms of equipment, training, and so forth to the Ukrainians themselves.
Now, we could talk about how dubious Cheney’s argument about missile defense is. Or we could note how amusing it is for the former VP to embrace his own caricature and talk up military solutions. Or we could even highlight the oddity of Cheney whining incessantly about Obama being responsible for the Ukrainian crisis, nearly six years after Putin went to war with Georgia, wholly unconcerned with what Bush/Cheney had to say about it.
But that’s not what came to mind watching Cheney’s latest condemnation of his successors.
Rather, I kept thinking about Rachel’s conversation with Jon Stewart last week.
STEWART: It’s incredible … how quickly they jump, and we listen to all of these individuals who were so wrong, led us so awry on the Iraq war, and they’re immediately on television with great confidence. ‘Ah, we’re so naive, it’s been 48 hours. Attack!’ The hubris has been incredible.MADDOW: And that’s because there hasn’t been accountability for the people who were wrong the first time. The people who said we ought to go; it’s not going to take very many people; it’s going to pay for itself; it doesn’t matter that we’re not going to set up a government; Iraq will be right back on its feet; it’ll be a Jeffersonian democracy in the heart of the Middle East. I mean, those guys got – Paul Wolfowitz got to go run the World Bank. Really? Like, you shouldn’t be running a light-rail system in a small town in a country other than this one that we dislike. You can’t actually have credibility on national security issues. You can’t be Bill Kristol, for example, who’s banging the drums harder than anybody else that we ought to go to Iraq, and that it would work out great, and now banging the drums for any subsequent war. And shame on us for even asking their opinion.STEWART: It always shocks me. ‘We’ve got Dick Cheney on the line,’ and ‘These guys don’t understand.’ And you just want somebody to say, you’ve been wrong about everything. I always say this to people, imagine going to work for eight years and being wrong, and then towards the end of that time, shooting an old man in the face, and still, and still people ask your opinion about things.MADDOW: People ask your opinion specifically about like executive power, and the use of force, and lying to the American people. It’s tough.
And so too was watching Cheney on “Face the Nation.” The former Vice President still talks about foreign policy as if he has credibility and his opinions have value, and apparently the rest of us are supposed to play along.