STOKING THE FIRES of American political intrigue, we have a new interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney speaking of the Obama camp to gnaw. Oddly, the words of Mr. Cheney sound very much like the words of the man now occupying his former suite at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Yes. Who can forget Joltin' Joe Biden's dire warning on the campaign trail just as things were heating up?
The incoming administration's controversial new policies on Guantanamo Bay prison and the treatment of detainees makes it more likely a terrorist attack against the United States will succeed, according to Cheney. In an interview with Politico, the former vice president issued a stringent defense of the Bush administration's record on the war on terror, and said he worries the President Obama has already made the country more vulnerable.
“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said in the interview published Wednesday.
Cheney also predicted the Obama administration is likely to backtrack on its pledge to end coercive interrogation techniques, since the protection of the United States from terrorists is a "tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.”
"These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek," he said.
The blunt comments come two weeks after President Obama issued executive orders that will close Guantanamo Bay within a year, and shut down secret CIA prisons abroad. Obama also signed an executive order calling on U.S. personnel to follow the Army Field Manual's guidelines when it comes to interrogation. In the interview, Cheney suggested Obama was irresponsibly adhering to “campaign rhetoric,” and called Guantanamo Bay a “first-class program.”
Hold on tight. This is to be a rough ride.
Next point. Much has been made of the US ties to Saudi Arabia, even in this column, but I am willing to concede ever so cautiously the tightrope the US must walk in combatting this vicious enemy. While my contempt for Saudi Arabia is robust, and I am particularly outraged by the intensity at which they finance their Wahabbi madrassas within this country and elsewhere without so much as a speed bump thrown out by the State Department, let's be very clear about the prosecution of today's global war. I would now argue that for VP Cheney to have condemned the Saudis in the first years after the attacks on September 11, would have been similar to the difficulty of FDR reading the riot act to the Soviet Union during WWII.
Just as Joe Stalin was villainous and stoking the fires of Marxist discontent in the West even while we were allies with the bastard, so it is with the House of Saud in this present war against yet another totalitarianism. Cheney is fully three-dimensional. It's a shame geopolitics has to be this complicated but it is.
But we've got to readdress this issue. For years, proponents of Western, especially US, backing for Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo have been assuring us that we would be acting as midwife for the ever-elusive peaceful, tolerant, democratic, et cetera Islam. As now-Vice President Joe Biden once put it, US support for an independent Kosovo was to have been a “much-needed example of a successful US-Muslim partnership.”
The predicate of such “partnership” was of course the absence of the radical, violent jihad ideology foundwell, pretty much everywhere else in the Islamic world. Now comes one of the premier apologists for Balkan Islam, Stephen Schwartz, confirming in The Weekly Standard thatbig surprise!Kosovo and Bosnia, not to mention nearby areas of southern Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, are threatened by “Saudi-financed, ultrafundamentalist Wahhabi” agitation.
That, plus all the Saudi wings for Islamic Studies now financed and housed within nearly every major campus of higher learning on American soil, leads me to say, "Washington, we have a problem!"
And to quote the indefatigable Hugh Fitzgerald once again...
"There is no end to this. And it will not come to an end if India hands over Kashmir to Muslim rule, if all Serbs are booted out of Kosovo, if Israel is squeezed back into the 1949 Armistice Lines (the "llines of Auschwitz"), if Afghanistan becomes the private preserve of the Taliban, if China gives up Xinjiang, if Thailand gives up southern Thailand, if the Philippines gives up the Moro islands, if Father Zakaria is permanently silenced and the Copts permanently terrorized, if the Maronites all flee Lebanon for Montreal, if Christians living as quietly as they can inIraq are killed or expelled, if every single Christian or other non-Muslim living in Dar al-Islam is expelledno, there is no end to this."
Unless the rest of the world finally resolves to fight for its culture, its history, its very life. Unfortunately, there remains a strong stupifaction to ignore the obvious in place across America, Europe, and elsewhere. Abandoned to our own lusts and shame, may God deliver us all...