That grand mistake should be an example to all of the tragic unintended consequences inherent in regime change. It should be an enduring reminder of the misery that can be unleashed when our leaders don’t think soberly about what happens after they start a war.
The Iraq war was started by Dick Cheney along with President George W. Bush in 2003. In the 16 years he’s had to reflect, the former vice president has been clear for many years that he would not hesitate to do it all over again.
A reminder of this is the ongoing Twitter battle between Rep. Cheney and Sen. Rand Paul where many barbs were exchanged (Paul called her a ‘warmonger’ and Cheney called him a ‘loser’ among other things).
But the most ridiculous insult Cheney lobbed might have been the charge that Sen. Paul puts, ‘Terrorists First, America Second.’
This is exactly backward. It is the Cheney family who have always put their hawkish ideology above what’s best for the country.
Let’s start with Iraq: if most people in this country, including those who actually fought the war, can conclude that the high cost in lives, dollars, the rising soldier suicide rate, explosion of PTSD, empowering Iran — I could go on forever — were not worth invading Iraq over in 2003, who is actually putting America first?
What kind of a leader would put the country through that again?
Dick Cheney would, because he puts his war ideology first and the country’s well being second. If you don’t admit mistakes, you never have to say you’re sorry.
Liz Cheney has never given us any reason to believe she’s different.
As far as who is putting ‘terrorists firsts,’ never forget that it was the Iraq war that gave us Isis.
When President Trump announced he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria, Cheney went after him. When Trump declared he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Cheney opposed the president. When Trump called off an airstrike on Iran at the last minute out of concern for civilian casualties, Cheney really let him have it.
When Trump chooses peace, Cheneys strike.
In fact, neoconservatives are urging Liz Cheney to run for the US Senate precisely to counter Trump’s “America First” foreign policy agenda.
The regime changes the Cheneys and hawks in both parties often seek are highly likely to create vacuums that radicals will fill, as Bush created in Iraq for Isis, and later President Obama created for Isis through our military intervention in Libya.
If you are for regime change wars — and the Cheneys are — you are putting terrorists first. That’s not good for America or the world.
Unlike his Republican predecessor, President Donald Trump believes being reluctant to go to war is putting his country first. To date, history has proven him more right than his critics.
Jack Hunter is a contributor to The American Conservative and the Washington Examiner and a former adviser to Sen. Rand Paul.