August 31, 2011

EXCEPT THEY STILL CAN'T ACCEPT THAT CHENEY WAS THE DUMB ONE:

We're All Cheneyites Now: The dark lord of American politics has a new book out, fiercely defending his Legacy. Lay down your arms, Dick. You won the fight. (Zev Chafets, 8/28/11, Daily Beast)

When he signed the deal in 2009, he was in bunker mentality--an embattled ideologue gearing up to defend a deeply unpopular terrorism policy under constant attack from the left. As his tome arrives in bookstores at summer's end, the battlefield has changed dramatically. His defense brief lands after the court of public opinion has ruled--in his favor. President Obama has largely adopted the Cheney playbook on combating terrorism, from keeping Gitmo open to trying suspected enemies of the state in military tribunals. Obama's drone war, which has quadrupled the number of attacks in the past two years, reflects Cheney's whatever-it-takes approach. The leftist wrath once trained on Bush's veep is aimed at the Democratic incumbent these days. Even the Bush-Cheney pro-democracy doctrine, born as a substitute rationale for the Iraq War after the failure to find WMD, is bearing fruit, toppling dictators from Cairo to Tripoli. The dirty little secret of the last few years is that the man George Bush called "Big Time" won. We're all Cheneyites now.

The analysis is mostly correct, but for one extremely important error: Cheney and the neocons genuinely believed that Saddam was a strategic threat. It was W who presented the war as one of liberation from the get go, in large part because removing the dictator was part of correcting the mistakes his father had made. He only allowed WMD to become the focus when Powell and Blair asked him to help them sell the UN and the Parliament respectively, with the only argument they thought would move those bodies.

The UR has kept some of the Cheneyite tactics but what really matters is that he's bought into the Bushian prodemocracy strategy, as witness continued intervention in and pressure on states that noone even pretends are threats to us.


Posted by at August 31, 2011 5:59 AM
  

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