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Oct 24th, 2009


White House Rejects Cheney’s War Criticism

Former vice president says president is ‘dithering’ while troops in danger

Video
Cheney criticizes Obama on Afghanistan (MSNBC, Oct. 22, 2009) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama of “waffling” on sending more U.S. troops in Afghanistan and warned him to stop “dithering.” Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and Air America’s Ron Reagan discuss on Hardball. (14:53)


Oct. 22, 2009

WASHINGTON – The White House on Thursday forcefully rejected criticism from former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans that President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan decision is taking too long.

“What Vice President Cheney calls dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”

Obama is nearing a decision on whether to significantly expand the U.S. war posture in Afghanistan by honoring a military request for thousands of additional forces. The decision had been expected as early as mid-August, when Obama’s new war commander prepared a harsh assessment of deteriorating conditions in the 8-year-old conflict, and now is expected in what Gibbs calls “the coming weeks.”

Weighing different options

Obama is also weighing with his national security team whether to focus more narrowly on al-Qaida terrorists believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

Top commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s still-secret troop request outlines three options – from as many as 80,000 more troops to as few as 10,000 – but favors a compromise of 40,000 more forces, officials have told The Associated Press. There now are 67,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and 1,000 more are headed there by the end of December.

The previous top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, submitted a request for more troops that went unfulfilled by former President George W. Bush. Obama partly granted that request in March when he ordered an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to go to Afghanistan this year.

Cheney said in a speech Wednesday night that Obama needs to “do what it takes to win” and that “signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries.”

“Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries,” Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy. …

Gibbs said such comments were curious “given the fact that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president’s, for more than eight months, a resource request filled by President Obama in March.”

Senators defend president

Other Democrats chimed in to defend the president, despite opposition among congressional Democrats to a major expansion of the U.S. war effort.

“Republicans have developed a troubling pattern of blaming President Obama for trying to fix all the problems that they created,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., also defended Obama, when asked about Cheney’s criticism. “I think President Obama is entitled to take sufficient time to decide what our long-term role ought to be in Afghanistan,” he said on MSNBC. “I want him to take the time to get it right.”

Cheney had also taken issue with statements out of the White House that the Obama administration had to start from scratch to develop a strategy for a conflict begun in 2001, the first year of the Bush presidency. …

Blaming others?

Cheney said the Obama administration seems to be pulling back and blaming others for its own failure to implement the strategy it had embraced earlier in the year.

“The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger,” the former vice president said. “It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.” …

——

10/25/09 Update

Lawmakers Split on Timing of Afghan Decision

Republicans want boost in troop levels; Democrats counsel patience

Image: A U.S. soldier in Afghanistan
A U.S. soldier stands on the road leading to the site where a roadside bomb hit a U.S. vehicle in Mehtar Lam, Laghman province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. (Photo credit: Rahmat Gul / AP)


Oct. 25, 2009

WASHINGTON – Top lawmakers sparred Sunday over the timing of President Barack Obama’s decision on how to move ahead in Afghanistan, with Republicans urging a quick move to boost troop levels and Democrats counseling patience. …

Republicans said Obama must sign off soon on a recommendation from the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to substantially increase the number of American troops there by 40,000. Democrats warned against a hasty decision on any increase.

“Clearly, time is of the essence here,” said Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican. “I’m afraid that with every passing day we risk the future success of the mission.”

“I think it’s taken too long,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “Why not follow the advice of his hand-picked general?”

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee for president last year, said that “every day we delay will be a delay in this strategy succeeding.” The deteriorating situation “argues for a rapid decision,” he said.

None of the Republicans would second a claim made last week by former Vice President Dick Cheney that Obama is “dithering” in making a decision, but they agreed that continued delay would endanger the 68,000 U.S. soldiers now on the ground in Afghanistan.

“I would never want to call my president dithering,” Hatch said. …

Distancing himself from Cheney, McCain also said he “wouldn’t use that language.” …

——

Related report: U.S. tested 2 Afghan scenarios in war game

——

Dick Cheney Personality Profile (Aug. 10, 2009)

The Personality Profile of Vice President Dick Cheney (Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, August 2009)
Poster presenting the results of a study of the personality of Vice President Dick Cheney, by Jaclynn Beier and Carl Haefemeyer, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University; research supervised by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., director of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, August 2009.

——

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 24 , 2008

Write-in Campaign: Day 6

One year ago today, on the sixth day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I analyzed MN-06 poll data, noting that Bachmann’s support had remained steady in the wake of her controversial McCarthyite statement on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews that she wants the media to investigate which members of Congress “are pro-America or anti-America.”

Bachmann Tinklenberg Anderson Undecided
Grove Insight (Aug. 19-21)                        40            27                 –                 –
Grove Insight (Oct. 10-12)                         42            38                 –                15
Public Opinion Strategies (Oct. 12-13)   44            33                 8                 –

“Hardball” interview (Oct. 17)
SurveyUSA (Oct. 20-21)                            44             47                 6                 2
Mean                                                              42.5         36.3             7.0              8.5
Standard deviation                                      1.7           7.3              1.0              6.5

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3 Responses to “White House Dismisses Dick Cheney”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Horner Endorsements Rolling In Says:

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