Danger! Deep, dark, debilitating, fear! Fear of death, fear of assassins, bombs, explosions, knives, men in black masks, hiding…waiting! Anarchy and people murdered in their sleep! No it’s not Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe. It’s Dick Cheney. That is what Dick Cheney was selling and a lot of people bought it.
We must invade Iraq, he said, or they will blow Cincinnati into tiny molecules of Colgate, Palmolive soap flakes. They will blow up Boston or Parkersburg. They will kill us in our sleep. A “mushroom cloud” — remember? They will kill our dogs and cats and turn our children into mindless Muslims, chanting to a mythical being, five times a day.
Of course “they,” the Iraqis whom Cheney wanted us to fear, could not even defend themselves for a solid week. Far from being able to launch even a hot air balloon at this nation, the best and most militant of the Iraqi military in 2003 ran ran headlong from the desert to save their lives. Granted they did run from an armed force greater than that of any country, not just Iraq. We, of course, dedicate ourselves to proving that we are the key international power. We have the dubious distinction of being able to pretty much kill anyone anywhere any time we want. By 1991, more than ten years before this assault, we had already decimated their air force.
They had no real defenses. They had no way to launch weapons. They had no way to avoid the eyes in the sky that could see a license plate from 20 miles up. They could barely get Saddam Hussein from one place to another without being assassinated. Their weapons of “mass destruction” turned out to be fertilizer trucks or some similarly ridiculous thing. And yet, Cheney said: Be Very Afraid!
So we beat up a midget bully nation that was bullying other midget nations. Wonderful. That was what Mr. Cheney, the career government official had us do. This was the man whose government career netted him over $50 million and made him enough contacts among those who would like to own this country outright. They installed him as Vice President through lies and fears spread among the people. If we had names for our “leaders” as the ancients did, Cheney’s would be “Cheney the Fool.”
Why? Because, by the time he left office, we saw that his whole career was a series of wrong decisions after having had more access than anyone to the facts. The only other explanation for the disasters he took us into was that his entire life had been led to merely enrich himself by enriching others, none of whom really care about the security of this country. If this country were to be attacked seriously by another country, Cheney and his friends would be among the first American Vichy or Quislings. They spent 8 years selling out the American Middle Class.
But the midget nation turned on us and said, “Get the hell out of our house! You killed the biggest bad midget; now let us kill each other.” And what did we do? We said, “No. We’re going to stay to help you become good midgets.” Translation from Cheney-speak? “We’re going to stay until we get all the oil deals straightened out.” So, today, do you know where your oil deal is? Do you know who is getting oil from Iraq and at what cost? Do you know who is making what on Iraqi oil that 4,000 American young men and women died for? You don’t. But Dick Cheney does.
Well, it doesn’t matter now. Isn’t that strange? 4,000 Americans died and at least 30,000 Americans were seriously wounded. Their families and their comrades don’t want to hear that they died so that Texas oil men can keep their Rolls Royces. They don’t want to hear that the same people who profited most paid Dick Cheney to start that war and see to it that we actually put boots on the ground.
Oh sure, we could have knocked off Saddam with 19 simultaneous air strikes, which we could have done. One night. Nineteen air strikes. No war. No trillion dollars. No thousands of children without fathers, fathers without sons, wives without husbands, brothers without brothers. But it takes troops to secure oil fields or secure territory to protect Halliburton while they secure oil fields.
What about Iraqis? Dick Cheney (Cheney the Fool) said that we would arrive and they would accept us as liberators, spreading flowers before the troops. He was the Secretary of Defense under George Bush the First, the Secretary of Defense during the first war against Iraq in 1991, when Bush the First, himself a veteran of a major war, was smart enough to know when to stop. So Cheney knew Iraq. He knew, or supposedly knew, the country, the people, the history, the ethnic and religious divisions. He ran the ice cream store and came back ten years later to somehow think the chocolate chip now had pineapple in it? Is he really that stupid? Can you get to be Chief of Staff for a reasonably bright man like Gerald Ford and Secretary of Defense for George Bush the First and be stupid? Because if you are not stupid, then you have an agenda. You have plans. Not just for yourself. Big plans.
How about this plan? You want to borrow a few thousand, 120,000 to 150,000 to be exact, American troops, an Air Force, huge amounts of munitions, helicopters, aircraft carriers and Stealth bombers…to do what? To defend America from a man and a country that you, Cheney, as a former Secretary of Defense, already knew to be Middle Eastern midget? They couldn’t defeat Iran. Israel has defeated all of them, together, combined….three times!
So why did Cheney the Fool (or was he?) want to attack Iraq when Al Quaeda was in Afghanistan? We were already fighting them there, trying to kill those who killed 3,000 Americans? Was Vice President Cheney really–really–stupid? Could he have been…is he…a complete moron? This is what we must ask ourselves, when we see the disastrous outcome from someone who had more knowledge of the area than almost anyone else.
He was not simply someone with just local knowledge of Iraq, some former Iraqi native. Not just some field-grade officer who had led a battalion in the first Iraq war. Not even a diplomat who had lived and worked in the Middle East. No…this was the man whom everyone else, our entire military and national intelligence and our diplomatic corps and our CIA briefed about the military conditions, the social aspects, the potential war-making capacity, the intrigues, the religious divisions, the weapons systems, and the military power and intentions of the Iraqi General Staff. Dick Cheney arguably knew more than anyone else about the military potential of Iraq. And yet he made exactly the opposite decision of the right decision. He overlooked every other option that we now know would have been better and chose only the one that was riskiest and could lead to the greatest disaster. But also to oil.
Maybe he isn’t stupid at all. Maybe he will not be historically “Cheney the Fool” for posterity. After all, there are some suspicions about his motives. Within days after taking office, no less a reliable authority than the highly respected Paul O’Neill, the Bush Secretary of the Treasury, a fiscally conservative but socially liberal Republican, lifelong friend of Alan Greenspan, head of the incredibly successful ALCOA Aluminum Corporation, said that he had been in a meeting about Iraq.
Cheney, spread out large maps on which the provinces and tribal areas of Iraq were overlaid with oil field areas. They were identified as now belonging to various oil interests whose names were now also overlaid on their particular area of interest. That happened during a secret meeting between Cheney and oil company executives, the minutes of which have never been revealed to the public. None of the oil company executives has yet come forward. One, ENRON President Ken Lay, is dead. But we know that it happened and we know that it is still secret and we know that Paul O’Neill eventually resigned from the Bush Administration in disgust.
Cheney and Bush the Lesser were working endlessly on going to war with Iraq from the beginning. They worked on this probably harder than on any other project…certainly harder than on defending against Al Queada because that didn’t work out too well for 3,000 Americans. Certainly harder than protecting New Orleans…Bush cut back on $440 million of levee construction work by the Corps of Engineers so that a few million Americans, the top .5% could get huge tax cuts, which they did. He let up on getting help to the people of New Orleans after Katrina, which he delayed for three crucial days while people died.
The Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Military were working hard, too. They were trying to stop the disaster of a war against Iraq. General Shinseki, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised that they should not go into Iraq or if they felt that they must, then they should go in with a minimum of something like 250,000 men. Cheney at first ignored him and then later fired him. The next guy in line decided that he wouldn’t even bother trying to talk Cheney out of it, so he just resigned. Finally, they got General Tommy Franks to do it. He probably figured that they were going to do it anyway with someone, so why not. It was a way to spend his final tour in the military, maybe trying to protect the troops from what he probably saw coming.
Cheney ignored the military, had maps drawn up to split up the oil, knew the problems but decided to go in anyway. It seems doubtful that Cheney the Fool could have been that stupid. It had to be deliberate. There is one good reason why he may have wanted to go in. He was still on retainer by one of the biggest oil field support companies in the world, Halliburton.
Halliburton had paid Cheney over $40 million to become its President some years before. He didn’t know much about the oil business. But that isn’t why they wanted him. He had been a Congressional aide, then a Congressman, then Assistant to Nixon, aide to Gerry Ford, Secretary of Defense under Bush First, and then went to Halliburton. They wanted government jobs.
Cheney had one particular bit experience that turned out to be helpful to Halliburton. He had been Secretary of Defense. He knew and was respected by many in the Defense Department. Why? Generally speaking, they are all Republicans. Yes. Your military is not in the hands of Independents. Your military is in the hands of Fundamentalist Christian Republicans who may or may not want to launch a crusade against the Arabs. Sorry. But that is the way it is. So Halliburton obviously asked Cheney or Cheney volunteered to Halliburton to get them some military contracts.
That he did. Before the 1990s were over, Halliburton, which had previously had about $350 million in government contracts now had over $3.5 billion. And Cheney had put $40 million in his own pocket. Then he became Vice President. Then he launched a war in Iraq. Then Hallburton got another roughly $9 billion in government contracts. (That we know of.)
Remember the Army and Navy and Air Force that Cheney borrowed for the war (to make money for Halliburton)? Well, in addition to the 4,000 brave American soldiers and those 30,000 mutilated for a lifetime, the military also needed to replenish and rehabilitate its equipment. More money for Cheney’s friends. More borrowing to eventually be paid back by the children of the middle class. More money into Cheney’s ongoing contract with Halliburton, the one that never expired in spite of long time government regulations that said it should have.
People started to catch on about Cheney. They began to say…wait a minute…wars and torture and secrecy and all the corruption in these no-bid contracts, and how 9 Americans were electrocuted in faulty Halliburton showers. Long-time purchasing agents like highly prized Bunnatine Greenhouse were fired or transferred when they objected or simply did their jobs as they should. Finally people began to see that perhaps Cheney the Fool was really Cheney the Evil. What else would you call someone who enriched himself in government service, used political power to run roughshod over the military, started wars, caused untold deaths and injuries, and ruined millions of lives.
Of course all that does not include tacit treason. Cheney the Evil oversaw a campaign of retribution against the wife of a man who dared to offer an alternative opinion. This revelation quite possible resulted in the ruin of a covert operation, the arrest of an entire covert network, possible torture (which Cheney condones) and their deaths. Not to mention the loss of years of work and the possibility that we might never get that opportunity again, thus costing potentially even more lives. That act alone should be enough for someone to be censured or indicted for treason.
And now, lo and behold, here comes Cheney’s daughter. The daughter…with, again, nothing but political activism in her background…never accomplished anything…is using the same method. Use daddy’s name to drudge up a bunch of these lobbying groups…hospital groups, health insurance lobbyists, military industrial complex, the NRA, anti-abortion groups–whatever–and get their financial support.
Next you create an organization. Get into the family business, just like the mafia. Create a job for yourself…lobbying for all the Anti-Middle Class America groups. Use their money to spread lies and…..FEAR….fear of terrorists….fear of big government (without which your father would have been and still would be a pauper)…fear of the black man…an African-American…among the racists, of which there are far too many among her Right Wing supporters. Even fear of women who want to have control of their own bodies rather than giving it to the Lesbian Cheney.
So what would this group be called? After all, it’s all in the name. There is no substance. “Keep America Safe.” What a great name! Safe from what? We already have a military, the CIA, FBI, NSA and Homeland Security. So safe from what?
Safe from making a decent living? Safe from having affordable health care? Safe from good job opportunities? Safe from education, tuition assistance, more chairs in the medical schools? Would we be safe from drawing down the military and, for the first time since World War II, bringing the troops home, and simply telling the world…we’re going home. We’re going to send peace participants to you, not military. But if you attack us, we will send rockets to blow you to smithereens.
No, that wouldn’t work for Cheney’s Daughter. We can be sure that they will let us know what to fear. Like father, like daughter. She needs to keep the fear stirred up, to get power and keep it over a largely ignorant segment of the population, just as her father did.