It's thoroughly obvious why this photo of Dick Cheney went absolutely viral the other day. For the left-leaning, it presents the ultimate opportunity to hate on Darth Vadar for being so callous. And for the right, the nonchalance is cowboy fuel for biding one's time before retaliating with vengeance.
What we must learn from his and Dubya's blunders is that the U.S. should never go to war unless we have absolutely no other choice, when any other course would put our country in real danger. As a country, we must learn to turn away from those who never learn that war must only be a last resort.
This week, the historic nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers was finalized. Provisions include reducing Iran's stockpile of uranium by 98 percent, IAEA inspections for 25 years, and a "snap-back" clause that would quickly reimpose sanctions if Iran breaks the deal. President Obama said it's "our best means of assuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon," and pointed out that critics haven't presented an alternative. But that didn't stop them from sounding off. Speaker Boehner called it "a bad deal" that "blows my mind." And Dick Cheney asked, "What the hell is the president thinking?" As the debate over the deal continues, it's worth noting that many of its most bellicose critics were among the biggest cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq -- the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history. Their opposition might well be the ultimate sign the agreement is in America's best interest.
President Obama may be hesitant when it comes to the idea of drawing the United States into another war in the Middle East. But he is reflecting the sentiments of a war weary American public.
Sorry, Washington -- you probably can't put Iraq back together again. Certainly, the kinetic effects of more bombing won't repair the damage done to the Iraqi nation since the US invaded in 2003.
I worry that the media and the public will focus on the wrong things and damage her electability. I worry that she will stumble late in the campaign. I worry that there is no Democratic back-up plan.
The Republicans' dramatic intra-party fighting over NSA domestic surveillance, which saw the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain having to give way to the likes of young libertarian Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul and House Republicans, points up a brewing civil war on national security.
I'm not a big fan of libertarians or libertarian Republicans, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul deserves tremendous credit for his brinksmanship on the Patriot Act in forcing the U.S. Senate leadership to bend on the issue of the federal government's massive, once very secret, monitoring of our private communications.
While the twenty-something other candidates who make up the rest of the GOP field are all fighting over those who agree with neo-cons, Senator Paul figures he can nab the rest -- the growing number of GOP voters who reject neo-con ventures in the Middle East.
The 2016 GOP candidates are settled on their desire to send U.S. troops back to Iraq to fight ISIS. While Republicans suffer from short-term memory loss, there's no reason the rest of us should forget what actually happened in Iraq.
Nothing illustrates better the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican war hawks who call themselves presidential candidates than their attempts to whitewash the history of how this nation went to war in Iraq.
Republicans risk being caught in a trap of their own devising. The master narrative they're going with -- dishonesty -- is as dangerous for them as they want it to be for Hillary Clinton. They want the 2016 election to turn on the question "Can you trust her?" But Democrats can use jiu-jitsu and make the election turn on the question "Can you trust the people who duped you into Iraq?"
The U.S. has the most powerful military in the history of the world, but it should not be utilized as a political tool or for retribution. The government and its leaders must do their best to make the right decisions, to be truthful with the American people, and to provide all the necessary support needed to fulfill the military's mission. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case.
Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post this week is typical of commentators who blather about "free speech" when college students protest one commencement speaker or another every spring.
Bush recently stated that knowing what we know now, he still "would have invaded" Iraq. While the GOP presidential candidate blames "faulty intelligence" for the Iraq invasion, it's important to revisit the predictions of Dick Cheney shortly after America's Gulf War victory.
"The Iraq war error reminds us of the need for epistemological modesty," Brooks writes. That's bullshit, even if written in the lingua franca of the salons frequented by Brooks and other apologists for what Bush and Cheney visited on the people of Iraq.