December 1, 2009

"I begin to get nervous when I see the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small ‘p’ political reasons, where he’s trying to balance off different competing groups in society."

"Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander in chief really behind what they’ve been asked to do?... Here’s a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place ... and who now travels around the world apologizing. I think our adversaries — especially when that’s preceded by a deep bow ... — see that as a sign of weakness."

Dick Cheney.

70 comments:

Bissage said...

Gee. Sounds like Dick Cheney's jonesing for a philosopher king.

Crimso said...

I'd settle for something other than The Last Emperor.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Meow! His prostate must be acting up again.

Joan said...

[Obama']s having to deal, sort of up close and personal, with the Afghanistan situation. And it’s tough — it’s hard. ... Sometimes I have the feeling that they’re just figuring that out.

I had exactly this same conversation with my son yesterday. I think the Obama Team bought into the conventional wisdom that Bush was stupid, but they're figuring out that running the country isn't as easy as it looks.

It's too bad Cheney won't run. The press, of course, would try to eviscerate him -- would his experience and competence be enough to counter the attempt after years of Obama's dithering? The general public relies less and less on traditional media, by 2012 they may have relegated themselves into utter meaninglessness. There's a reason the "draft Cheney" movement is stirring already.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what Cheney would have said, oh, 6 years ago if Gore had ripped into the Bush Administration policies.

(I also wonder why "journalists" who get these types of Cheney quotes that althouse frontpages don't ask such an obvious question).

MadisonMan said...

Re: Afghanistan, by the way.

My Dad tells me that my nephew is very discouraged by what he (the nephew) has seen over there (He came back in September). Way too little way too late. We'll see if his observations are correct.

edutcher said...

Let's see, it took 9 months for Bambi to bring forth this mouse. Anybody wanna bet he'll claim it was worse than childbirth?

Yeah, that's the ticket...

MadisonMan said...

Re: Afghanistan, by the way.

My Dad tells me that my nephew is very discouraged by what he (the nephew) has seen over there (He came back in September). Way too little way too late. We'll see if his observations are correct.


That's going to be the excuse?

"Well, if Obama had decided right away, it would have worked, but he didn't want to rush it, being such a thoughtful guy, but now it's too late, so...".

PS What's your nephew's MOS? Intel or what?

traditionalguy said...

When the USA's strong power that the world daid it jealously opposed is voluntarily disabled by its new Commander who refuses to command it any longer, then the world will have to find some new strong power to lean upon and seek favor and protection from. That is CRISIS that is fit for solution by a World Community. Now if the world can only find the right Community Activist to reorganise the world's redistributed power. He will have to be a King that is able to rule by patronage and restore the lost Peace from the collapse of the old Pax Americana. Hmmm.

Sheepman said...

I think our adversaries — especially when that’s preceded by a deep bow ... — see that as a sign of weakness.

Does Cheney now consider Japan to be our adversary, or he just couldn't resist getting in a cheap shot?

vbspurs said...

Way too little way too late. We'll see if his observations are correct.

My 2 cousins said the same thing to me in 2006, when they finished up their tour in Basra. We'll see indeed.

Golden West said...

Madison Man,

It was almost 6 years ago (Feb. 2004) that Gore delivered his famous "He betrayed his country, he played on our fears" rant in Nashville.

vbspurs said...

Does Cheney now consider Japan to be our adversary, or he just couldn't resist getting in a cheap shot?

Don't blame Cheney if he's not seeing the trees for the forest of adversaries. The bowing and scraping have nil-all to do with the Japanese Emperor (or the Saudi King, let's recall), but rather with an apologetic and remorseful USA as represented in the person of the its president.

THAT is the weakness of which Cheney speaks.

Joan said...

I wonder what Cheney would have said, oh, 6 years ago if Gore had ripped into the Bush Administration policies.

If? If?

LOL.

Gore's entire livelihood is predicated on ripping into Republican policies.

An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006. And here he is, speechifying on "constitutional issues" in 2006: In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power.

Seems to me Gore's sweeping claims are a lot more crazy-sounding than Cheney's mild "Obama's more liberal than I thought he would be" rhetoric. Gore is a big part of the reason such a thing as Bush Derangement Syndrome actually exists. He created it when he un-conceded and he fed it practically every day of the Bush administration.

You can do better than this, MadMan.

LarsPorsena said...

vbspurs:

"My 2 cousins said the same thing to me in 2006, when they finished up their tour in Basra. We'll see indeed."

That was a Brit Area of operations.

Cousins Brits?

Read Michael Yon's coverage of them?

Arturius said...

The cheapest way (in terms of blood and treasure)of stablizing that collection of tribes is to buy off the biggest tribal factions in return for cooperation with the national government. I'd also include bounties paid for capture or (preferably) killed Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists.

Naturally this would mean associating ourselves with some less than affable characters but when one realistically considers the nature of people in that region, its a far less bitter pill to swallow than having good troops blown up in Kandahar.

vbspurs said...

Is Lars the only Althouse commenter who didn't know I'm British?

Big Mike said...

@Victoria, I pretty much agree with your comments, except that I believe that George W. Bush -- and his father -- are behaving very properly in keeping their lips zipped.

But if I were the present President I'd be scared to death that Barbara might enter the fray.

jayne_cobb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

Madison Man, I recall Al Gore being very critical of the Bush Administration. He might have shut up for the year immediately after 9/11 but that was it.

Comrade X said...

I wonder what Cheney would have said, oh, 6 years ago if Gore had ripped into the Bush Administration policies.

Cheney should do what Obama did 6 years ago and shut his piehole.

traditionalguy said...

Sheepman...Japan is our ally because we conquered them rather than bow to their Emperor which was their original plan. They will not remain allied to a weak sister who does not have the balls to protect them from Russia and China and North Korea. They are dis-illusioned big time by Obama's apologies for America's strength and his refusal to use it any longer.

Dave said...

Dick Cheney had 7.5 years to do what Obama has done in 10 months - that is, escalate are presence in Afghanistan.

His comments, coming as they do from a former VP present at the creation of this war, especially in light of the fact that Obama is DRASTICALLY INCREASING our presence in an extremely dangerous environment, are beyond the pale.

Talk about doing things for political reasons, Cheney clearly does not have the United States' best interests in mind. Rather he is attempting to undermine the CIC who is placing a big bet in a highly volatile locale.

Florida said...

"Does Cheney now consider Japan to be our adversary, or he just couldn't resist getting in a cheap shot?"

Barack Dupree also gave a handjob to the Chinese emporor and a full on bowjob to Saudi Arabia's king.

There isn't a world leader in existence Barack Obama wouldn't blow and they know it and expect it.

He's widely viewed by most world leaders to be an easy lay.

Scott said...

I miss W. :(

Roger J. said...

What Big Mike--best if ex presidents remain silent on the policy choices of their succesors.

On the actual US response to A-stan, will be intesting to see what the speech at my alma mater says. Given A-stan terrain, I doubt the 30K men will be able to make much of a difference. It is my totally unsupported suspicion that putting forces into A stan will be followe by an overall withdrawal at some point in the near future. In short, putting forces in may be a political gesture.

As to withdrawing from A-stan? Dont have a problem with that, if that is in fact the ultimate outcome of the strategy. But if it is, I question the wisdom of piecemeal commitment of forces at this point in the war.

master cylinder said...

Joan-how do you know Cheney wont run?
He's got the cojones and the hubris. Do you count his deferments as experience and competence? He has absolutely no skin in the game. Die already.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan said...

Cheney has said repeatedly that he has no desire to run for higher office. Some people think every word that comes out of his mouth is a lie, but I don't.

"Die already"? There's that civility the left is famous for.

Arturius said...

I doubt the 30K men will be able to make much of a difference.

I won't profess to be an expert on counterinsurgency operations but the numbers I have seen on the strength of the Taliban are anywhere from 25K to 45K. Assuming even the high end of the assumption doesn't speak well of a military that expends over half a trillion dollars a year if an additional 30K soldiers won't make a difference. Last count I heard was we had approaching 100K in-country, not counting the NATO contingents.

If we aren't able to crush the insurgency with the manpower and airpower we currently have now, then we're simply wasting blood and treasure. Or perhaps the ROE needs to be reviewed.

MadisonMan said...
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Roger J. said...

Mad Man: MOS = Miliary Occupational Specialty (ie, job)

:)

Arturius said...

MOS? Another TLA I don't know.

Military Occupational Speciality. Usually described by even more vague acronyms like 11-Bravo (infantry) or 13-Bravo (artillery).

Arturius said...

I truly doubt it's possible to win a war while subjecting your soldiers to restrictions like this.

Oh I would remove all doubt if that in fact is the case.

Maguro said...

Arturius - More about McChrystal's ROE here.

It's a disgrace.

master cylinder said...

"Die already"? There's that civility the left is famous for.

That's not from "the left". It's just from me.
He is awful.

peter hoh said...

I know two military moms. Both their kids did multiple tours in Iraq. Neither is interested in serving in Afghanistan. According to their mothers, though their service isn't up yet, they are not available for another deployment unless they re-up.

We'll see what happens.

victoria said...

Are people still listening to Cheney? What a windbag. I guess he prefers the old "shoot from the hip" attitude that was pervasive during his administration.


Boy, that worked out well, not!


The man is pure evil. If he truly loved his country he wouldn't go out in public try to undermind this president and his policies. He doesn't care, he just wants his name out there and maybe he wants his daughter to run. That's not going to happen, hopefully.


Vicki from Pasadena

former law student said...

Way too little way too late.

I looked up chutzpah in the dictionary and saw Dick Cheney's picture. He has replaced the parricidal son who asked for the court's mercy for him, an orphan.

We could have captured Bin Laden in December of 2001, except Rummy didn't want to commit more than 100 commandoes because he "feared a backlash."

Cheney's projecting his own administration's weaknesses on Obama.

A new U.S. Senate report says troops were within reach of capturing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains, but the American military did not deploy thousands of troops to find him, instead choosing to keep specialized soldiers on the sidelines.

The 50-page report, called "How we failed to get bin Laden," says the failure to capture him when he was most vulnerable in December 2001 laid the foundation for today's Afghan insurgents and aggravated the internal strife afflicting Pakistan.

It says that in December 2001, bin Laden and bodyguards "walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area."

But instead of deploying an attack with thousands of soldiers, which was within the means of the American military, the report found fewer than 100 U.S. commandos were assigned to work with Afghan militias to find him.

"The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines," the report said.

At the time, Bush's defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, expressed concern that a large U.S. troop presence might fuel a backlash. He and others said the evidence was not conclusive about bin Laden's location.

LarsPorsena said...

"It says that in December 2001, bin Laden and bodyguards "walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area."

That would be the report essentially authored by our hero J F Kerry?

Has anybody seen OBL since his "unmolested" walk?

Lots of Zawahiri but no OBL.

Jason said...

Deploy thousands of troops? What troops? From where? How would you get them there? How would you extract them quickly if you had to? What would the logistics support?

We didn't have much in the way of helo assets there beyond the 160th SOAR. How many troops could they support and backhaul? What medical assets were available to support a general engagement? How would you replenish water and ammunition to "thousands?" With what assets?

Holy crap, it's funny when libtards try to talk about military operations.

miller said...

Perhaps MC President can declare that Cheney isn't a "real" politician so the "real" politicians can ignore him, just like he tried to do with the Fox Network.

Why would anyone think that Cheney doesn't have the right to speak his own mind?

Jason said...

Where would you get bulk fuel from? The 160th SOAR can self-support to a limited extent. Typical MTOE aviation squadrons need external support.

Kerry, military amateur that he is, and the other losers writing the report, mentioned the most mobile divisions in the Army and Marine Corps. What rubes. We wouldn't be talking about divisions. Anyone talking about 'divisions' is living in fantasyland. Anyone who's ever seen a division logistical footprint knows that. The smallest element that can self-support in the MTOE world is a brigade. Ever see a brigade motor pool in one place? Where would you put it? How would you get it there? Where would fuel come from? How would you get it there? Where are all those troops gonna crap? Where would the water come from? How would you get it to them?

You can't move companies by themselves, except for a few very specialized units, such as ODAs. Oh, wait... that's exactly who we had in the fight!!!

Holy crap.

The old saw holds true. Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.

Monkeyboy said...

Jason:
You beat me to it. The MEU would have brought some of their own assets, but you have had to leapfrog everything from the ship.

We were supposed to run a huge, cumbersome operation on doubtful reports that one guy was in the area.

former law student said...

Why would anyone think that Cheney doesn't have the right to speak his own mind?

It's never attractive when the fired coach talks smack about the coach that replaced him.

former law student said...

We were supposed to run a huge, cumbersome operation on doubtful reports that one guy was in the area.

If sending more troops into Afghanistan is so damn difficult, why are we going to do it?

And if conservatives' critical thinking level is turned up so high, why did we launch a huge cumbersome operation against Saddam Hussein on questionable reports that they had weapons of mass destruction?

Jason said...

Sounds like an operation only a liberal could love. It worked out so well with Mohammad Farah Aideed.

Don't even get me started on the timelines you need to move these larger formations.

Monkeyboy said...

Ha!

Just remembered that he supoosedly walked out in December, take all your logistics issues and multiply them by three.

Jason said...

More than three. Helicopters can't carry the same payloads at elevations exceeding 10,000 feet above sea level.

jpr9954 said...

I think we've found the name of the law firm that Obama will join after being President:

Dithering Hither and Yon

Titus said...

I bet Dick has a big hog.

I bet Lynn gets on top of that thing and rides it like a stallion from the Wyoming Mountains.

You know Lynn is a big header too. And Dick takes a good dive into the meat curtains for some of his meals.

I am picturing Lynn on her back grabbing her feat with her pumps to the ceiling as he is licking her clean. That's hot.

Mary is the bottom with her ranger wife though. You know the ranger dyke has a big black strap on in which she pounds Mary's puss. Mary's an animal in bed. I am picturing nipple clamps, military boots and pulling of hair.

The other daughter...totally missionary, vanilla, somewhat annoyed and disturbed by the entire experience and not very interesting. Maybe tried anal once but then came to her senses and still regrets it to this day.

All three ladies to bleach their cooches though-if I would have to guess.

Monkeyboy said...

If sending more troops into Afghanistan is so damn difficult, why are we going to do it?

Because it's worth it? The only way to get detailed "actionable" intel is to have a relationship with the local population, we get that with engagements, training and giving the local cops and soldiers breathing space to get trained and supplied.

The issue is the difficulties mean that it takes a lot of time to move that number of troops, and a huge footprint, one that Aideed nimbly danced around. A huge operation near Tora Bora in December would have been dumb, even if we were guarenteed he was in the area.

Jason said...

If sending more troops into Afghanistan is so damn difficult, why are we going to do it?>

Because we have established logistics support areas now, that didn't exist in December 2001, moron.

elHombre said...

MadisonMan wrote: I wonder what Cheney would have said, oh, 6 years ago if Gore had ripped into the Bush Administration policies.

You mean like this?

elHombre said...

It's never attractive when the fired coach talks smack about the coach that replaced him. (11:05 AM)

Cheney was fired? Speak about that, O Ye Who Is Impervious to Facts.

Salamandyr said...

I bet Dick has a big hog.

From a photo I saw, he's got an incredibly big hog.

former law student said...

Because we have established logistics support areas now, that didn't exist in December 2001, moron.

So the amount of prep time needed to effectively fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan ranges somewhere between three months and eight years.

Kinda makes you wonder how we could defeat the Nazis in just three years and change.

if Gore had ripped into the Bush Administration policies.

You mean like this?

Besides being measured and polite, Gore's criticism was also 100% on the money, as we have seen.

In fact, we all should have gotten nervous when we saw the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what Cheney would have desribed as large ‘p’ political reasons, where he’s trying to distract the country from his failure to capture Bin Laden.

We have other enemies, but we should focus first and foremost as our top priority on winning the war against terrorism.

Nevertheless, President Bush is telling us that America's most urgent requirement of the moment right now is not to redouble our efforts against Al Qaida, not to stabilize the nation of Afghanistan after driving his host government from power, even as Al Qaida members slip back across the border to set up in Afghanistan again.

Rather, he is telling us that our most urgent task right now is to shift our focus and concentrate on immediately launching a new war against Saddam Hussein. And the president is proclaiming a new uniquely American right to preemptively attack whomsoever he may deem represents a potential future threat.

Moreover, President Bush is demanding, in this high political season, that Congress speedily affirm that he has the necessary authority to proceed immediately against Iraq and, for that matter, under the language of his resolution, against any other nation in the region regardless of subsequent developments or emerging circumstances.

Now, the timing of this sudden burst of urgency to immediately take up this new cause as America's new top priority, displacing our former top priority, the war against Osama bin Laden, was explained by – innocently, I believe – by the White House chief of staff in his now well-known statement, and I quote, "From an advertising point of view, you don't launch a new product line until after Labor Day," end quote.

former law student said...

Cheney was fired?

A natural consequence of poor performance, marked by two years of over 60% disapproval ratings, leaving a stain on the reputation of the Republicans so great that the country elected a half-grown calf with no executive experience.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm honestly curious, say the stars aligned, newtonian physics were upended, and the Star Trek replicators we supplied to 18ABC allowed us to capture Bin Laden in 2001.

....Now what?
Seriously, do you expect that the war is over and we can go home? I'm facinated with the idea that the capture of Bin Laden is somehow a global gamechanger.

Oh, and it took 2.5 years to build up enough troops in our forward logistics base (Britain) to take on Fortress Europa.

Cedarford said...

"former law student said...
We were supposed to run a huge, cumbersome operation on doubtful reports that one guy was in the area.
If sending more troops into Afghanistan is so damn difficult, why are we going to do it?"

------------------
Because Obama talked himself into a trap. To condemn Iraq and advocate running there, he and his campaign handlers thought he would look really good on the stump portraying Afghanistan as the Good War, the War of Necessity...the war to find the Holy Grail of those who think terror is not an ideology-driven thing.

You know...Find Bin Laden and give him to some ACLU lawyers, hold a trial, and the world will gasp in awe and admiration of our lawyers at work. (much as US citizens Venerate lawyer types today...) And in awe of how wonderful US justice is dealing with Osama..all the thousands of other Islamoid terrorist leaders, their several hundred thousand followers, and tens of millions of Islamoid, Euroweenie, and NYC ACLU types will all stop it.

Peace will reign!

And with The One stepping into his own trap, the neocons re-emerge and say even if a gallon of fuel costs us 400 dollars delivered to an Afghan FOB, and the cost of supporting a single soldier costs over a million in logistics..Neoccons say they love what Obama is doing for the noble Afghan Freedom-Lovers. And spring the trap he just stepped in..or they also step in with the hapless President and touch off the trigger device of the trap.

=====================
Jason said...
"If sending more troops into Afghanistan is so damn difficult, why are we going to do it?"

Because we have established logistics support areas now, that didn't exist in December 2001, moron.


Not really. We were actually in better position in 2001. We had Russia's full cooperation on overflights and even some Russian material deliveries. They turned over a treasure trove of data on caves, area maps. We had full access to bases in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. Pakistan was stable and we could get trucks in with little or no interdiction of logistics paths. EVEN frikkin' IRAN offered us a logistics route - since the Taliban were enemy to Iran after butchering ethnic Persians in Afghanistan.

All that is gone.

Putin is enjoying knowing that if Pakistan shifts political control or is in revolution and cuts off logistics - the US troops can only turn to Vlad to continue to exist in Afghanistan.

John Lynch said...

The President is doing this against the wishes of 2/3 of his party. Why?

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and be happy that we're now more likely to win the war.

vbspurs said...

Hey guys, I hope many of you will be here at 8 PM EST, so we can live blogchat during the One's West Point address. I want to see which leaker was righter (sic, sic).

Catch you all later!

Cheers,
Victoria

Jason said...

Cedarford,

Overflight routes and intel support != logistics support areas.

The fact remains that it is much easier to insert and support 100,000 troops now that Bagram and Kandahar are modern, fully-equipped facilities with dining facilities, repair facilities, billeting, and on-site storage facilities for fuel and food.

These facilities didn't exist during the fight for Tora Bora, and the logistic amateurs ignoring that fact trying to fix blame for that on Rumsfeld have their heads up their asses.

Jason said...

And if conservatives' critical thinking level is turned up so high, why did we launch a huge cumbersome operation against Saddam Hussein?

Because we could.

We needed to outfight and outmaneuver a mechanized force, and so that required a mechanized force of our own. We also had an established and advanced logistics support area, complete with a warm water port, to support it. It's called Kuwait.

We also supported it out of Jordan as well.

Amateurs talk tactics; professionals talk logistics.

Start talking logistics, kid. Raise your game!
WV: glogist. Heh.

vbspurs said...

Have you guys read James Fallows' descriptively titled blog today? "In praise of George W. Bush".

In trying to paint Cheney in as bad a light as possible about his outspoken anti-Obama pronouncements, the former Jimmy Carter speechwriter had to bend himself into an ideological pretzel to praise George W. Bush.

Of course, it's true. Bush has behaved in a dignified way, as most ex-presidents do after they leave office.

But man, how much do some people hate Cheney, when they have to praise BUSH to make their point!

John Lynch said...

If all this deep thinking for four months gets the liberals on board with the war, then it was worth it.

I doubt that will happen.

miller said...

Fired?

Is there a change to the 22nd Amendment I don't know about? As far as I know, Cheney served out as many terms as VP as fabled Algore.

So "fired" isn't exactly the right word. Perhaps "VP emeritus" is better.

traditionalguy said...

After 9/11 Bush had to go to Afghanistan and defeat the locals hold there to send a message. Keeping it was never a need, and the enemy knew they could successfully fight us there and do major damage until we left, all because of the logistics of fighting in a Guerrila war in a mountainous multi-valley terrain. We were trapped. But Bush used Iraq as the perfect war where the land is flat and we have easy logistics and OIL to keep away from the enemy.That sent the real message to the Arabs. Bush baited Al Queada into joining the fight there and the USMC won. Now Al Queada is coming back to get us in the Afghan logistics trap. We simply need to advance to the rear ASAP and fight in another place where victory is an option.

vbspurs said...

Arggh, anyone here watching? I asked Ann for a new thread.

vbspurs said...

If he says "Pah-kees-stahn" one more time............

victoria said...

No Victoria (Capital V) Bush isn't classy, he is in hiding.


Vicki from pasadena