Thursday, May 21, 2009

One last time

Ok, I know I said I was done with Dick Cheney. But all of a sudden, he's all over the place. When he was Vice President, no one ever knew where he was. He was hidden away in some bunker somewhere. I wish he would crawl back into that bunker. And I promise, I really will be done with him. In fact, here, since I posted that this morning, I'll say that I will be done with him today, so this will be my very last post on him.

I watched some snippets of his speech today and have read through the entire text. Let me quote the paragraph that stood out to me:

"So we're left to draw one of two conclusions - and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event - coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort. Whichever conclusion you arrive at, it will shape your entire view of the last seven years, and of the policies necessary to protect America for years to come."

This paragraph encapsulates for me why the Bush administration was such a colossal failure: they truly saw things as black and white, either/or. The above paragraph sets up a false dichotomy, claiming that there are only two possible conclusions to be drawn and that there can be no middle scenario. But there is. Of course there is, and anyone with any logic skills can see the deep flaw in Cheney's thinking.

Cheney's only goal is to get everyone to say the Bush administration was right, should not be questioned, and set forth a policy that we should continue to follow without alteration. He claims if he had it all to do over again, he would do everything the same "without hesitation." He views discussion, questioning, rethinking, and retooling as weakness. Thus, he reveals his, and the Bush administration's, greatest weakness: the inability, or unwillingness, to change course. Stubbornly pursuing a course of action is not good leadership. A true leader can listen to opposing viewpoints, can acknowledge when someone proposes a better idea, and can admit making a mistake.

I have now said my peace and I truly am done with Dick Cheney. He is irrelevant to me.


BellsforStacy said...

Or, his thought is that the country really is in danger, and he really believes what he's saying.

He is probably not as black and white as you paint him either.

He's not talking about the entire administration and every decision they made, he's talking about enhanced interrogation and Gitmo. He's saying he would make those decisions again, if the situations were exactly the same as they were presented to him.

When looking at the past 7 years, and how we have not been attacked, what other conclusion is there other than 1 - the safety measures are working or 2 - there is no threat?

Is there another option? What are the other scenarios? That we're just lucky?

That bunker by the way was outed by dear old VP Biden the other day.

S said...

I know you're smarter than to buy into this "only 2 conclusions can be drawn" nonsense. How about some combination of we had some successful measures and we had some luck and it just takes a lot of hard work, time, and coordination to bring about a plot like 9/11 so it is unlikely that another such attack was going to occur any time soon?

What I absolutely and categorically reject is the illogical notion that because we haven't been attacked since 2001, everything we have done is exactly right and we should keep doing everything exactly the same way. That is far too simplistic, black/white thinking that will not serve us well in the long run.

I am not painting him as black and white. That quote is all him. He is the one who can only see things in such dangerously simplistic ways. And that speech was not just about torture (I refuse to use that nonsense phrase that is meant only to sanitize what really happened in our minds) and Gitmo. It was about the administration's comprehensive strategy. He used that phrase over and over.

I don't trust a leader who says he would do everything exactly the same. That shows a total unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, let alone learn from them. It's stubbornness, not effective leadership.

BellsforStacy said...

Well to that end he's no longer in a leadership position.

I believe you are biased against anything he says because you categorically despise him.

For myself, I think he truly believes that they saved American lives. Which is why he wants the President to release the full memos so that we can see what was learned from the water boarding.

And I do not think he was talking about all aspects of the administration. I think he believes they were right to go to war with Iraq, about the water boarding, about Gitmo, about the war on terror.

If asked specifically about dismantling the Iraq army, for example, I'm pretty sure he'd say that was a mistake, as most do now. Among other things. If he does not ... well then he's just being prideful. Things were definitely mishandled in many areas.

If you are right and it just takes 8-10 years to plan an attack I hope that we are prepared to do everything necessary to prevent it. I am not willing to go through that again.

But I pretty much think Cheney could show you a map and point to the United States and you'd say he was wrong.

lu said...

i wish that cheney would go back to the wild where he can shoot his friends on hunting trips, where he belongs.

he even popped up here recently. but luckily, no unwitting canadians were shot during the trip.

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