In the Arena

Cheney’s Lament

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THE VICE PRESIDENT: I usually avoid press comment when I’m up here, but I felt so strongly about what Senator Reid said in the last couple of days, that I thought it was appropriate that I come out today and make a statement that I think needs to be made.
Translation: I wanted to go onRush Limbaugh, but he was busy.

I thought his speech yesterday was unfortunate, that his comments were uninformed and misleading. Senator Reid has taken many positions on Iraq. He has threatened that if the President vetoes the current pending supplemental legislation, that he will send up Senator Russ Feingold’s bill to de-fund Iraq operations altogether.

Translation:: I, on the other hand, have taken only one position of Iraq, despite any changes in the situation on the ground: I have never missed an opportunity to mislead the American people.

Yet only last November, Senator Reid said there would be no cutoff of funds for the military in Iraq. So in less than six months’ time, Senator Reid has gone from pledging full funding for the military, then full funding but with conditions, and then a cutoff of funding — three positions in five months on the most important foreign policy question facing the nation and our troops.

Translation: The President and I have been entirely, consistently wrong. Anyway, we’re winning, so what’s the fuss?

Yesterday, Senator Reid said the troop surge was against the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. That is plainly false. The Iraq Study Group report was explicitly favorable toward a troop surge to secure Baghdad. Senator Reid said there should be a regional conference on Iraq. Apparently, he doesn’t know that there is going to be one next week. Senator Reid said he doesn’t have real substantive meetings with the President. Yet immediately following last week’s meeting at the White House, he said, “It was a good exchange; everyone voiced their considered opinion about the war in Iraq.”

Translation: Picky, picky. The Iraq Study Group was not opposed to a temporary surge, in order to ease the way for American withdrawal by, uh-oh, darn it, March 2008…which, [expletive deleted] idiots, is exactly what the [expletive] Democrats are proposing. The Iraq Study Group was also in favor of direction negotiations with Iraq and Syria, which we have, uh, ignored. Which is why there are real fears that next week’s Cairo conference will be a bust. If only those damn Arabs would listen to reason.

What’s most troubling about Senator Reid’s comments yesterday is his defeatism. Indeed, last week, he said the war is already lost. And the timetable legislation that he is now pursuing would guarantee defeat.

Translation: Damn that Bob Gates for saying the Congressional debate was valuable. Why the hell can’t we get a loyal SecDef. Where the hell is Rummy?

Maybe it’s a political calculation. Some Democratic leaders seem to believe that blind opposition to the new strategy in Iraq is good politics. Senator Reid himself has said that the war in Iraq will bring his party more seats in the next election. It is cynical to declare that the war is lost because you believe it gives you political advantage. Leaders should make decisions based on the security interests of our country, not on the interests of their political party.

Translation: We have never played politics with Iraq. We didn’t schedule the initial authorization vote for just before the 2002 elections. We didn’t cook the intel. We had nothing to do with the Mission Accomplished banner. The Navy told Bush to put on the flight suit. We didn’t ignore the insurgency and spend vast resources on the Iraq Survey Group to look for non-existent WMD. Karl Rove never told Republicans they could use the war for their benefit. We never questioned the patriotism of people who opposed the war. I’m not questioning Harry Reid’s patriotism now. And if you can’t get that through your thick heads, you stupid, stupid Americans…you stupid Americans impatient with our master plan for VICTORY in the middle east…you…you… well then, as I once explained to Pat Leahy [expletive deleted].