Dick Cheney 1994-2003: A curious and incomprehensible tale

Date September 25, 2007

This Dick Cheney video has had a ton of press of late. If you haven’t viewed it, you need to. It’s astounding:

Cheney’s analysis is simple, accurate, thoughtful. And it is exactly what happened, except that it has turned out even worse thanks to the dramatic incompetence of the Bush Administration. (Even Cheney couldn’t predict that).

The real question I have been asking myself is “what happened”? It would be too easy to just mock him and use this as proof that he was wrong to advocate invasion in 2003. The really troubling question is how did he forget, rationalize or convlnce himself that his original intelligent analysis was false? Is it that he and his cohorts operated in such a bubble of group think that they lost touch with their original clarity? Is it that Cheney’s 8 intervening years in the private sector gave him a taste for the corporate boondoggle that could be had at the expense of the Iraqi people and the American taxpayers? That the quagmire that he knew we would fall in was worth all the profit that the US govt would pay out to its corporate sponsors? [Don’t forget that every time the US Congress approves another $80B USD for the war, it is really just more cash we are paying to the US private sector for arms, transportation, security, etc.]

Or could it be that Cheney was just seeing red after 9/11, and he had to make somebody pay? Perhaps Cheney and Bush were simply irrationally angry and unable to contain themselves? That would certainly make them less “ill-intended” or evil. When we want something really bad, we will do anything to convince ourselves and others of good reasons to do it. As an old wise man once said: “First we make up our mind, then we find reasons to back up our decisions.” That’s problematic enough when we are just running our own life, but if we are responsible for a country as powerful as the US, I think the bar needs to be quite a bit higher in terms of self-mastery.

Is that one of the criteria we are taking into account in 2008?


Shayne Hughes


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