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Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has attacked the Trump administration’s “isolationist” foreign policy, lecturing Mike Pence on not living up to his example as one of the primary architects of Middle Eastern destabilization.
“We’re getting into a situation where our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us,” Cheney said, seemingly unaware of the irony dripping from his words.
“I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan,” he added, perhaps forgetting that Obama’s foreign policy largely consisted of continuing the wars that began under Cheney’s own watch – with a few more thrown in for good measure.
Even the hire of an actual Reagan relic to run the administration’s Venezuelan regime change – enforced democracy-dispenser Elliott Abrams, last seen threatening US allies with “secondary sanctions” for refusing to back the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido – did not soothe the former VP’s ire.
Cheney blindsided Pence with his “concerns” during a private American Enterprise Institute retreat at Sea Island, Georgia, attended by about 150 Republican movers and shakers – as fitting a locale as any to be lambasted by one of the era’s great supervillains. While discussion participants had agreed to keep their words “off the record,” some thoughtful attendee leaked a transcript to the Washington Post.
The hawk’s hawk lamented that Trump “supposedly doesn’t spend that much time with the intel people, or doesn’t agree with them, frequently” – since it’s hard to lie someone into a war with phony intel if you can’t sit them down for a briefing in the first place. He claimed to worry that the president’s “foreign policy boils down to a crude dollars and cents transaction” – a no-doubt heartfelt criticism coming from the man Sen. Rand Paul accused of starting the Iraq war in order to shore up the fortunes of Halliburton, the energy company where he’d long served as CEO. Halliburton not only received a $1 billion no-bid contract in the early days of post-“Mission Accomplished” Iraq, which mushroomed into $39.5 billion over 10 years, but reportedly skimmed so much profit off the top that the resulting low-quality construction actually endangered soldiers’ lives.
Jaws dropped all over Twitter to see Cheney not only roaming free, but dispensing political advice.