Grrrr. As usual, the former veep was mightily displeased. (ap)
In fairness, Dick Cheney totally started it. But like our mom used to say, “Then you be the one who stops it!”
Last night in a speech to the Center for Security Policy, the former vice president called out President Obama for being “afraid” to make a decision on troop levels in Afghanistan.
“The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger,” Cheney told the conservative gathering. “Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries.”
Sounds familiar. What's suprising is not so much the vim with which the former vice president repeatedly goes after the Obama administration — but how reliably the Obama administration responds. Has no one heard of a dignified silence? Oh, wait. This is Washington. Never mind.
“What Vice President Cheney calls 'dithering,' President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. “I think we've all seen what happens when someone doesn't take that responsibility seriously.”
Gibbs said that “it's pretty safe to say” that Cheney spent seven years “not focused on Afghanistan,” and called his remarks “curious,” since a request for a troop increase languished around the Bush White House for eight months without action, until Obama fulfilled it in March.
“Fuzzy math,” Gibbs said.
Gen. David McKiernan in May 2008 wanted to increase troop levels in Afghanistan from 35,000 to 65,000. Obama approved that increase, and is more recently considering increasing troop levels by another 40,000 or so, on the recommendation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal