As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war.Echoing the comments of other Republican critics who complain that we are coddling the Christmas bomber by refraining from torturing him, and planning to try him in an American court, Dick Cheney reminds us that of course the Bush administration would never have handled such a problem in that way.
Just as with Cheney's inconsistent criticism of the Obama administration's handling of its generals' requests for additional troops in Afghanistan, Cheney's real problem seems not so much about the substance of the Obama administration's policies, but about the rhetoric. What he appears most upset about is President Obama's refusal to whip up war hysteria, his low key demeanor, his failure to succumb to fear and hate. What Cheney seems to feel is lacking is the will to keep the country on a war footing to deal with the continuing problem of Islamic extremist terrorists, and to use the excuse of war to reduce the constitutional rights of criminals, and the privacy rights of American citizens. Instead President Obama has committed the outrageous sins of trusting in the American judicial system, admitting an apparent intelligence failure, and reassuring Americans that they should not be unduly alarmed. What Dick Cheney does not understand is the strength represented by that kind of response, as opposed to the fear and weakness that he continues to demonstrate.
Here is part of the White House response to Cheney's ridiculous criticisms:
To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.Off-key is putting it mildly. But I guess putting it mildly is all that Cheney was complaining about.