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Dick Cheney Hammers Democrats on Hypocrisy on War

Nov 17, 2005

Liberal Democrats have enjoyed a free ride of late. They have been set free to absolutely rip the Administrations policies in Iraq without having to answer for their vote to authorize the war America now fights in that country. Media types gleefully allow their criticisms to go out unchallenged - and until recently so has the Administration.

But all that changed on Veteran's Day.

Cheney Fires Back
Cheney Fires Back

President Bush ripped the hypocrisy of the once pro-war Dems with a stirring speech. Now Vice President Dick Cheney is getting in on the act. In a speech Wednesday before a conservative public policy organization, Cheney said senators who accuse the Bush administration of misleading the public on pre-war intelligence are engaging in "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired" in Washington, D.C.

Drudge carried this excerpt of the speech:

"As most of you know, I have spent a lot of years in public service, and first came to work in Washington, D.C. back in the late 1960s. I know what it’s like to operate in a highly charged political environment, in which the players on all sides of an issue feel passionately and speak forcefully.

In such an environment people sometimes lose their cool, and yet in Washington you can ordinarily rely on some basic measure of truthfulness and good faith in the conduct of political debate. But in the last several weeks we have seen a wild departure from that tradition.

And the suggestion that’s been made by some U. S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of this Administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city...

Some of the most irresponsible comments have, of course, come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing force against Saddam Hussein. These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence, and were free to draw their own conclusions.

They arrived at the same judgment about Iraq’s capabilities and intentions that was made by this Administration and by the previous Administration. There was broad-based, bipartisan agreement that Saddam Hussein was a threat … that he had violated U.N. Security Council Resolutions … and that, in a post-9/11 world, we couldn’t afford to take the word of a dictator who had a history of WMD programs, who had excluded weapons inspectors, who had defied the demands of the international community, who had been designated an official state sponsor of terror, and who had committed mass murder.

Those are facts.

What we’re hearing now is some politicians contradicting their own statements and making a play for political advantage in the middle of a war. The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out. American soldiers and Marines are out there every day in dangerous conditions and desert temperatures – conducting raids, training Iraqi forces, countering attacks, seizing weapons, and capturing killers – and back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into battle for a lie.

The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history.

We’re going to continue throwing their own words back at them. And far more important, we’re going to continue sending a consistent message to the men and women who are fighting the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other fronts.

We can never say enough how much we appreciate them, and how proud they make us. They and their families can be certain: That this cause is right … and the performance of our military has been brave and honorable … and this nation will stand behind our fighting forces with pride and without wavering until the day of victory.

***

A welcome change. The forcefulness of the rebuttal is long overdue and caught the Dems off-guard.

Harry Reid's weak response would be comicalas reidsaidCheney was "playing politics like he's in the middle of a presidential campaign."

"I would urge the members of the Bush administration to stop trying to resurrect their political standing by lashing out at their critics," he said.

"Instead, they need to focus on the job at hand, giving our troops a strategy for success in Iraq."

That would be comical if it weren't so sad as Reid and his cohorts have undermined US troops for months now.

Reid, who voted to authorize the war, is used to the drooling DC press corps giving him a pass, and though they still are, it appears he will now be forced to answer criticism for his flip-flop and new cut and run strategy.

If the Bush Administration awakens from its slumber, perhaps America can again realize how serious the war against radical Islam remains. A debate on the war in Iraq is good for the country, the Dems cut and run strategy is not.

--CK Rairden

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