Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Americans need to take the “terrible development” of the beheading of journalist James Foley and “magnify that a million times over because that’s what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal effectively with this crisis.”
“There’s no question what with the developments of Iraq and Syria, the development of a caliphate, that the ISIS organization in charge is very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies not only in the Middle East but in Europe,” Cheney told Fox last night.
The veep said he’s still wrestling with the question of whether Obama is operating from “naivete or lack of experience or because that’s the way he wants things to work.”
“I’ve just about reached the point where I’ve concluded that what he is discovering fairly late in his administration is that his basic world view is fundamentally flawed, that the world is a mean, nasty place on occasion, that you need a very strong America, you need superior American military forces to deal with it,” Cheney said.
“And I think every single day that goes by, he’s finding that there’s a bigger and bigger gulf between his hoped-for view of the world and reality. He’s not up to speed and does not want to believe all that’s going on out there. But every day, we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with the crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East.”
Obama headed straight for a game with Alonzo Mourning and others after yesterday’s statement at Martha’s Vineyard about Foley’s murder.
Cheney compared this with the reaction of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Foley’s killer had a Londoner accent.
“He wanted to immediately leave his vacation spot, head back to London and go to work, trying to deal with the problems that that represents. And of course, our president headed for the golf course as soon as he made his relatively, I thought, ineffective statement,” he said.
“I think the danger is enormous. I don’t think the president understands it… The intelligence is there for all to see. There’s no question about what’s happening. But this president and the people around him refuse to recognize it and certainly refuse to deal with it.”
Cheney maintained that Obama is making the situation even worse with military cuts.
“They’re taking our Army down below levels we haven’t seen since Pearl Harbor. They’ve made major reductions in the Air Force and the Navy. There was a recent excellent study done by a commission, bipartisan commission, Republican and Democrat alike, studying the long-term trends of the defense budget that basically concludes that there’s no way under current circumstances we can execute the national strategy,” he said. “So it’s a train wreck. And there’s one more train wreck every day. It’s hard to believe that this president is as ineffective as he clearly is.”
The former VP acknowledged the “lack of appetite” among many Americans to declare war on ISIS after Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Of course, it’s difficult to persuade the American people that we ought to send our sons and daughters off to fight a war. But sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. And that’s why we have presidents. And that’s why they have the authority as commander-in-chief to make those decisions and why those of us who are involved need to do everything we can to support them and support our troops in the field,” Cheney said.
“Now, is there a great threat coming? Absolutely. Remember what happened on 9/11, when 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters came here and killed 3,000 of us, took down the World Trade Center, blew a big hole in the Pentagon. I’m absolutely certain that some day, there will be another mass casualty attack against the United States. Only next time, they’ll have far deadlier weapons.”