Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz, the one-time Senate candidate and ex-State Department official, took to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday to blast President Barack Obama on Iraq.
The Cheneys set a bleak tone right off the bat: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” they wrote. “Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is ‘ending’ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality.”
Cheney, a chief architect of the Iraq War, believes Obama had just one job regarding Iraq when he assumed office. Al-Qaeda had already been “largely defeated,” he and his daughter wrote, thanks to the “heroic efforts” of U.S. armed forces during the Bush administration.
“Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace,” the Cheneys wrote. “Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”
The two faulted the President for talking climate change and golfing as Islamic militants continued to make gains across Iraq in recent days. But the Cheneys went beyond merely accusing Obama of having his priorities out of order — he’s “willfully blind to the impact of his policies,” they wrote.
“Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch,” they added. “Indeed, the speed of the terrorists’ takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.”