Iraq

Back in Time With Big Time

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Below, the hot clip in blogland this past weekend. I'd seen quotes from early 1990s-era Dick Cheney along similar lines, but to see the real-thing video is pretty striking. 1994 Dick Cheney assuredly and confidently dismantles the talking points 2003-2007 Dick Cheney's been delivering for several years now—and he does so, well, assuredly and confidently. In fact, in a debate, 1994 Dick Cheney would handily kick 2007 Dick Cheney's ass.

I know, like many things, the answer here is that "September 11 changed everything." It changed some things, sure. But I find it unlikely that September 11 made Iraq's Sunni, Shia, and Kurd factions chummier. Or that it made Iraq more governable, and less prone to quagmire-ishness. On the contrary. If anything, it made 1994 Dick Cheney's warnings more relevant, not less.

Dick Cheney, version 1994 reminds me of the veep pick that put my mind at ease about George W. Bush back in those salad days of 2000.  You know, back when the federal government didn't pay for everyone's medicine, nation building was a bad idea, and campaign finance reform was unconstitutional. 

NEXT: Ignoring the Victim

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  1. CFR was never unconstitutional.

  2. Indeed, what 9/11 really changed was Dick Cheney. Removing from him all of the steady judgement and prudent reasoning that had been his hallmark for thirty-years.

  3. The only thing 9/11 changed in Dick Cheney’s world was making him go from correct to incorrect son of a bitch bastard incompetent piece of shit warhawk who personifies evil.

  4. As I have said on my blog and on kuro5hin.org, and in countless conversations, the neocons started pushing for regime change in 1998 via the Project For The New American Century. This was their plan all along.

    This doesn’t teach us anything new except to underscore the mediocrity and failure of the anti-war movement leading up to the invasion of Iraq. There should have been ads running on television with those Cheney quotes and the video of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam’s hand.

  5. Oh, and shame, shame, shame on the mainstream media for not picking up on this when it actually fucking mattered. Their silence condemns them.

  6. What in the hell happened to this Dick Cheney? Seriously, everything he said in the interview has been coming to pass…what the hell happened to the guy who knew exactly what was going to happen if we went into Iraq unilaterally? Because that sonofabitch sitting in the VP’s office now is not the same person who knew exactly what he was talking about in that interview.

    I think it was Thomas Ricks who noted that sometimes people who suffer heart attacks have been known to undergo major personality changes…I can’t help but wonder if Cheney’s heart problems re-wired his brain.

  7. Hey everyone,

    Check out the Parsiad Meteor Shower. It’s only 10:55 here in Colorado and I’ve already seen a few. They’re best after 12:00 AM local time, and usually get continualy better till about 3- 3:30. Look to the East-North East.

  8. Occam’s razor: the current vice president is actually Mystique!

    It must hurt her pride to have to become so unattractive to keep up the ruse.

  9. Yeah, where was this clip in 2002?

  10. You know, back when the federal government didn’t pay for everyone’s medicine, nation building was a bad idea, and campaign finance reform was unconstitutional.

  11. Hey Rick,

    I know you meant well, but it might’ve been better for you to post a little earlier if you really wanted us to check out the shower.

    For those of you who missed it, the shower occurs every year so don’t be disappointed.

  12. “Yeah, where was this clip in 2002?”

    There was no You Tube in them days (started 2005), broadband was not universal; Prometheus hadn’t cracked the secret, and we had to search out videos by hand back then, and cobble them together by candlelight.

  13. Sure, there was no YouTube in 2002, and broadband was not universal, but there was this thing called “television”, and on this “television” there were people called “journalists” who would air videos of important interviews and whatnot.

    Surely somebody must have had a copy of this video in 2002, and it would have been nice if that person would have passed it on to a TV news program. Seems like it was kind of relevant to things being discussed at the time.

  14. thoreau,

    This has made the rounds over the last few years. I heard it on NPR quite some time ago.

  15. Fair enough, PL. I won’t pull the “Well, I’ve never heard of it” excuse.

  16. Lamar: The only thing 9/11 changed in Dick Cheney’s world was making him go from correct to incorrect son of a bitch bastard incompetent piece of shit warhawk who personifies evil.

    Can I quote you on that? I love it!

  17. How’s this for a theory: Dick Cheney’s actual beliefs in 1994 were very similar to his beliefs today, and he was being a good soldier and defending the position that the president he served under adopted instead?

    If we’ve learned anything about this man, it’s that he has an amazing capacity to knowingly, convincingly, and strategically lie.

  18. joe,

    No doubt, but I thought his no-win evaluation of why we shouldn’t hang around in Iraq made lots of sense. Too bad he “forgot” about that.

  19. Surely somebody must have had a copy of this video in 2002, and it would have been nice if that person would have passed it on to a TV news program.

    Setting aside the possibility that a “news program” would have shown the equivalent of a journalistic noogie to the vice president, no one was looking forward to being called an Islamofascist-appeasing traitor.

  20. I believe this clip was put out prior to the Iraq invasion, along with multiple stories discussing Bush 41’s decision not to go into Iraq in the first Gulf War. Basically, nobody really cared back then though because Bush kept making mushroom cloud references, claimed Iraq was partly responsible for 9/11 and he hadn’t pissed away all his credibility yet.

  21. Bronwym, I’m flattered! Quote away. I’ve sent this video to every rah-rah-rah neocon I know. Perhaps Joe is right that Cheney always wanted to create a vacuum in Iraq but Bush I was too smart for that. Still, he raises valid points that he never addressed in the runup to war.

    The failure of the anti-war movement is sad. I went to a huge (seriously, over 100,000 people) rally in NYC before the war. I was fervently anti-war, but 1/3 of the people were marching about abortion rights, PETA, global warming, vegan salad dressings, the whole nine yards. Talk about message confusion.

    I agree that the media did a poor job of questioning the war given the tools it had. So much for private media keeping the government in check. Heck, the BBC, a gov’t owned netwrok, did a better job of questioning the war.

    Remember Reason recently defended Wolf Blitzer against Michael Moore. I think Moore is repugnant, but Michael Moynihan’s defense of Blitzer is laughable, especially considering the existence of this video. Moynihan thinks a few tough questions about “last throes” in 2005 constitute media exculpation for the state of the war. Wolf Blitzer shares the blame because a tough question or two is nothing compared to cross-examining somebody with their own video.

    The real truth is that nobody said anything when it mattered for fear of being labeled a traitor (or even a liberal)….and by their silence the media performed the most anti-American act imaginable.

  22. The failure of the anti-war movement is sad. I went to a huge (seriously, over 100,000 people) rally in NYC before the war. I was fervently anti-war, but 1/3 of the people were marching about abortion rights, PETA, global warming, vegan salad dressings, the whole nine yards. Talk about message confusion.

    Thats what happens when you have the anti-war movement run by a group of disgusting Marxists like International ANSWER. Sometimes I wonder if ANSWER is created by neocons to discredit anyone who is anti-war.

  23. Sorry, I shouldn’t have called International ANSWER Marxist. They are actually, self-admittidly, Stalinist(!!)

  24. I like this guy. He sounds like he knows his stuff and how to make inteligent rational decisions. We should impeach bush and hand him the presidency. Or better yet just have him make all the critical decisions and allow Bush to be a puppet to handle all the criticism and public relations associated with the Presidency.

    oh wait…

  25. Cesar and Lamar-

    Yep. I know that it’s important to build broad coalitions, and accept that the people who show up to an event might sometimes be a bit extreme. But it would help if they could, you know, carry a sign that actually pertains to the event in question.

  26. They are actually, self-admittidly, Stalinist(!!)

    I wonder how many people with War is NOT the ANSWER bumper stickers know that?

    Follow-up question: If they knew, would they care?

  27. I guess we’ll never get away from the idea that a weird person advocating something makes the thing itself meritless, and that the weird person advocating the thing is, by itself, sufficient reasoning to make such a conclusion.

    If a PETA vegan is anti-war, I should be pro-war because I like meat….

  28. Lamar,

    Yeah, part of it is indeed the fact that (unfair as it is) kookiness in an advocate can turn people off on an idea. But part of it is also just about staying on-message. If you’re holding an event to oppose X, and a bunch of people are waving signs to oppose Y, and Y isn’t the same as X, that’s a problem.

  29. Yep, you never see anti-immigration booths at anti-abortion rallies.

  30. Lamar-

    Having never been to an anti-abortion rally, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or making an observation about the discipline of the anti-abortion movement.

  31. Thoreau: the latter.

  32. The problem isn’t that ANSWER are Stalinists (someone has to fill that little ideological niche); the problem is that there was no non-Stalinist organization able to organize anti-war rallies.

    Question for big-L Libertarians: Can you organize an anti-war rally on 7 days notice? Why not? Seems like a very useful took set for a political organization to have.

  33. “””I agree that the media did a poor job of questioning the war given the tools it had.”””

    For more on that, there is a good show on PBS called “Selling the War”.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html

  34. Yep, you never see anti-immigration booths at anti-abortion rallies.

    The right is almost always better at staying on message than the left. Left-wingers seem to be much more fractious and sectarian.

  35. The problem is that communist organizations exist for the purpose of hijacking liberal causes.

    The first rally is about opposing the war (or expanding the rights of immigrants, or getting some poor sap out of jail.)

    The second rally is about opposing the war, expanding the rights of immigrants, getting some poor sap out of jail, abortion rights, vegetarianismm, universal health care, opposing NAFTA, supporting labor unions, and impeaching Bush.

    The third rally is about opposing capitalism.

    Assholes. Makes me sick.

  36. getting some poor sap out of jail

    I wouldn’t call a black nationalist cop-killer caught red handed in the act (Mumia Al-Jabar) a “poor sap”.


  37. The failure of the anti-war movement is sad. I went to a huge (seriously, over 100,000 people) rally in NYC before the war. I was fervently anti-war, but 1/3 of the people were marching about abortion rights, PETA, global warming, vegan salad dressings, the whole nine yards. Talk about message confusion.

    I went to an anti-war rally in DC to check it out and the first sign I saw was “FREE MUMIA”. I regret it now, but at the time I had a strong negative reaction to this: “These f***ing noobs are unserious losers who have nothing more than a knee-jerk opposition to anything resembling the status quo”.

    On a related note, I saw FAR too many people who opposed BOTH war AND sanctions: “Saddam doesn’t have WMDS and we want that to change!”. The only reasohn he didn’t hav e WMDs was the sanctions

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