Saturday, December 08, 2007

Who Says Cheney isn't Pole-Driven?

A relaxed Dick Cheney in shirtsleeves, “his big chair swiveled” toward the target, took quite a stick to his Democratic opponents in a testosterone-charged pas de deux with Politico this week.

The lede gets all-to-quickly to the upshot:

Vice President Cheney warned in an interview Wednesday that a premature withdrawal from Iraq would invite “further attacks” against the United States and said he has been surprised by the weakness of the Democratic Congress.
Cheney fingers Dingell and Murtha as representatives (d) of this ‘weakness’:

[Dingell] and Murtha “and the other senior leaders … march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous speaker,” Cheney said. “I’m trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion, but [in] the Congress I served in, that wouldn’t have happened.”

...When asked if these men had lost their spines, he responded, “They are not carrying the big sticks I would have expected.”
Hmm...weaklings with small sticks, at least one of whom would force a premature withdrawal if he were more potent. That would be a pity, with consummation nigh:
We’re sort of halfway through the surge, in a sense. We’ll be going back to pre-surge levels over the course of the next year.”
Fortunately, the would-be withdrawers need not be stymied for long. Our premature-predictor-in-chief assures us that a “self-governing democracy [will] be firmly established in Iraq” by January 2009.

And if the U.S. can’t surge to that swift and satisfying conclusion, other enemies are poised to stick it to us. Take Iran, with its hot pursuit of superpower status:
“The long pole in the tent in terms of developing nuclear weapons, traditionally, historically, has been developing fissile material.”
It'll take a big stick to keep that long pole out of the nuclear end zone.

In any case, it’s reassuring to know that our avuncular veep does not demand perfection, or absolute power. Counterinsurgent NIEs, images of soldiers holding naked prisoners on leashes, news of destroyed torture videos—it’s alll in term’s work:
“Everything leaks,” he said with a chuckle.
That's why there's no safety in premature withdrawal.

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