FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dick Cheney’s Obscenity

by Brian J. Foley

Here’s an obscenity even greater than the bare breast of a statue for Attorney General Ashcroft to cover up: the U.S. war against Afghanistan.

That’s the implication of Vice President Dick Cheney’s damage control efforts on the Sunday talking heads news shows earlier this week. On NBC NEWS’ MEET THE PRESS, the Vice President purported that the U.S. has made some progress in the war on terrorism but warned, “the prospect of another attack against the United States is very, very real. It’s just as real, in my opinion, as it was September 12.”

It is? Even after seven-and-a-half months of war against Afghanistan? At more than $1 billion per month? A war that has killed and maimed and shattered the lives of thousands of people?

Last Fall a group founded by Dick Cheney’s wife attacked college professors and students who cautioned restraint in response to September 11, or who sought to learn why terrorists might want to attack the most powerful nation on earth. Lynne Cheney’s right wing, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, collected these “unpatriotic” utterances and issued its report, DEFENDING CIVILIZATION: HOW OUR UNIVERSITIES ARE FAILING AMERICA AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT. Here are a few statements ACTA found so scandalous, so uncivilized:

“We have to learn to use courage for peace instead of war.”
– Jerry Irish, Professor of Religious Studies, Pomona College.

“The question we should explore is not who we should bomb or where we should bomb, but why we were targeted. When we have the answer to why, then we will have the ability to prevent terrorist attacks tomorrow.”
– Rania Masri, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“Stop the violence, stop the hate.”
– Chant at University of California-Berkeley.

“If Osama Bin Laden is confirmed to be behind the attacks, the United States should bring him before an international tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity.” –Joel Beinin, Stanford professor.

“[We should] build bridges and relationships, not simply bombs and walls.” – Jesse Jackson, at Harvard Law School.

Despite our bombs and brave troops in Afghanistan, “the prospect of another attack against the United States is very, very real … just as real, in my opinion, as it was September 12.”
– Dick Cheney, U.S. Vice President.

OK, save that one for the revised version.

Many pundits, politicians and regular citizens likewise challenged (to put it politely) the patriotism of Americans who questioned whether war would work against an elusive, transnational terrorist group. Whether it would decrease the threat. Whether improving our intelligence and police efforts might prove more effective.

Some Americans who spoke up were even libeled and slandered as “helping the terrorists.” No one was immune: Even Dan Rather admitted in a BBC interview last week that he feared being labeled “unpatriotic” last Fall, and that this fear kept journalists from asking tough, necessary questions.

Such as whether the threat to Americans is actually GREATER than on September 12. We have not destroyed Al Qaeda by waging war against Afghanistan (And how could we? Al Qaeda is an elusive, transnational terrorist group!), but we may have increased the murderous motivation of its survivors — and of other transnational terrorist groups.

Questions such as whether threats worldwide have increased as well. Following the U.S. example, Israel pumped up its “war on terrorism.” Suicide bombings and military incursions volley back and forth, like a deadly tennis ball. India and Pakistan veered, and are veering again, toward war. Both countries wield atomic bombs.

As Colonel Kurtz famously observed in the 1979 film APOCALYPSE NOW, “We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write ‘fuck’ on their airplanes because it’s obscene! ” Last Fall, as we dropped fire on people in Afghanistan, “peace” was deemed obscene.

But Dick Cheney uttered an even darker obscenity on MEET THE PRESS: At his behest, Americans have killed and died to protect us, but we are no safer.

I hope it was just political duck and cover, that the Vice President sought merely to scare us, to distract us from recent revelations about the massive intelligence and security failure that helped terrorists murder innocent people on September 11. I hope the Vice President doesn’t plan to trick us into throwing good money after bad: “Hey, maybe this war didn’t work, but I have a great one to sell you in Iraq ….”

Brian J. Foley is a professor at Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. He can be reached at Brian.J.Foley@law.widener.edu

 

 Brian J. Foley is a lawyer and the author of A New Financial  You in 28 Days! A 37-Day Plan (Gegensatz Press). Contact him atbrian_j_foley@yahoo.com.

May 03, 2016
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail