In the midst of being described a criminal by U.N. experts last month, and the attempts of recovery from his appallingly disliked administration, ex-V.P. Dick Cheney still offers his advice to the United States. Between his Politico interview and CNN’s State of the Union interview two weeks ago, he has tried to promote the policies that got us into the current situations that the world faces.
So, despite fairly unified criticism of his remarks, Cheney seems to have nothing else to do.
The tone is the same as it has been since the attacks of September 11, 2001. This gave the Bush administration a central focus for its time in office. It worked for the first few years. But now, with an entirely different tone from the Obama administration, and more direct issues that face Americans, the politics of Bush and Cheney are no longer accepted by the general public.
It’s normally a tradition of the leaving administration to acknowledge the end of its tenure by withholding opinions. Dwight Eisenhower used his last day in office to give his advice to the nation, and handed the office over to JFK without another word on policy to the public. Harry S Truman retired to a country house after his presidency, excluding himself from more involvement in the world of politics.
Bush has kept completely quiet, after his somewhat depressing departure from office, which seemed to set the mood overall for the end of his time in office.
His former second in command, however, has moved to just outside D.C., and is giving interviews criticizing Obama’s new policies, which were mostly put in place to combat the failed ones of the Bush administration. His main point is that there is could be an impending nuclear or biological terrorist act that will occur in the United States if the Obama administration doesn’t focus more on militaristic policy.
“When we get people who are more concerned…with reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do everything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney told Politico.com.
Bias in journalism and politics go absolutely hand-in-hand in one thing: it does not matter whether or not there truly is any, the appearance of bias is enough to discredit anything. Therefore, anything Cheney says about Obama is going to cause controversy because they are very different administrations. To this degree, it doesn’t even matter if Obama’s policies fail; Cheney needs to let others determine this.
The reference to the closing of Guantanamo Bay is one Cheney makes throughout the Politico interview, strongly trying to make the same case that without torture, and unjust practice toward prisoners, the U.S. is in imminent danger. However, he has been condemned by numerous world leaders for his treatment of prisoners, and worst, the practices of Gitmo are essentially unconstitutional.
It is protected because of fear tactics, and the fact that the prisoners are not American. Never once has Cheney ever had to answer the question of what would happen if an American was taken, tortured, and held without trial by another country.
People who view the world with hate and cause destruction live in every country, in every state and city and there cannot be a final resolution to a “War on Terrorism.” This is not reason for fear. It’s a reason to push for a strengthened global role, for better foreign relations, and for better human interaction.
This is what the U.S. chose to believe in when Obama was elected, with a platform that didn’t focus on terrorist relations or militaristic operations. Instead of looking back and assessing the policies of the Bush administration, the efforts and focus of the U.S. and the world should be on reaching this goal. On pushing Obama to reach a new kind of global leadership that has been set back.
So the time for fear has passed, and with new policy comes a chance to re-establish the respect the United States lost with the controversial practices of the Bush administration. Cheney’s arguments are outdated, and the country, and the world, needs to look beyond policy of that kind, to a more effective governing style.