FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dick Cheney’s Obscenity

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

 

More articles by:

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 at brian_j_foley@yahoo.com.

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail