There's no shortage of folks from the former Bush administration or other original invasion cheerleaders (former UK PM Tony "Blah Blah" Blair anyone?) sticking their heads above the parapets to criticise President Obama's policies in Iraq, almost none of whom are showing any signs of remorse over the decision in 2003 to enter the fray.
Yet it is Dick (Deadeye) Cheney who is showing them all a clean pair of heels. The recent comments in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by the former US vice-President and his daughter Liz Cheney regarding the ongoing anarchy in Iraq opened up old wounds. But that didn't seem to burden the Prince of Darknessand his politically up-and-coming offspring.
Given that Ms Cheney is preaching the same gospel as her old man, from the start we can assume Ole' Deadeye must have been home that night and his aim good, lending credence to the old adage [that] "the fruit don't fall far from the tree". In effect Cheney-one of the Shock and Awesome Foursome of the Unilateral and Pre-emptive New World Order(ed) Apocalypse-denounces Obama, blaming him solely for the current chaos consuming the former cradle of civilisation, Mesopotamia.
We'll return to the Cheneys' op-ed piece, but some background is necessary.
When I first heard back in late 2001 that the US was contemplating an invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, I couldn't believe it. I felt then the US would be opening up a can of worms. But such was the geopolitical climate post 9/11, one had to be careful expressing such reservations, including here in Australia. It seems then, if not so much now, far too many of us had given the US a blank cheque for what was deemed "vital" to rid the world of the "forces of evil".
Yet not even your humble scribe would have anticipated the Iraq debacle wreaking this much ongoing havoc. Nor did I think it would cost this much in blood, treasure, and political capital for the US. Then again, few others did either. This included especially the aforementioned Foursome, along with their broader circle of spear-chucking neo-con acolytes, of whom there was no dearth then or now it would seem, the present pandemonium notwithstanding.
Such is the nature of hubris, at once the curse of, and ultimate cure for, empire. This observation is indelibly underscored in Hubris, Rachel Maddow's 2013 NBC documentary. When you open Pandora's Box, the only thing positive that one might expect to find at the very bottom is hope. And that's about all America has got going for it at present, and one suspects, not just in Iraq! If that isn't enough, the provenance of this morass is further showcased by the 2013 BBC Panorama documentary The Spies Who Fooled the World.
As for Hubris Writ Large, we need go no further than consider the Cheneys' chutzpah laden, double standardised diatribe about Obama's handling of the current situation. This is the man - a war criminal no less - whose self-serving lies, monumental deception, unadulterated arrogance and conspiratorial deceit regarding the attacks of 9/11, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the mythical terrorist links, the false-flag anthrax scares, and the subsequent ill-advised and ill-fated Iraq invasion itself spuriously predicated on all of the above arguably have few if any parallels in modern history.
And this is the very 'stand-up' guy who by numerous credible accounts issued the 'stand down' order preventing a timely in-air intervention of whatever it was that hit the Pentagon on that fateful day! Wanna know which Horseman has the most 9/11 related blood on his cloven hooves? 'El Diablo' be your man! One suspects 'Deadeye' has his eagle eye on another invasion so as to boost up the value of those Halliburton stocks that have been keeping him and his daughter in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
All of which is to say, the former 'Veep' is also the man whose personal and family fortune has been immeasurably enhanced by the filthy lucre from the Iraq imbroglio, all at the expense of more US and allied blood and treasure, and international peace and security combined, than possibly any other foreign policy misadventure undertaken by the Home of the Brave in its bloody, mercenary, hegemonic history. That is with the possible exception of that other imperial quagmire Vietnam of course, the parallels to which are more than many would 'fess up to.
Presumably seeking something of a suitably catchy sound-bite to grab the short attention spans of the haplessly scammed, yet blissfully resigned American public - but without jogging too much their even shorter memories - Deadeye chastises Obama for "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" in Iraq. Say what Dickie Boy? Now what "victory" would that be? Are we missing something here old son? When has anyone - other than the invasion cheerleaders mentioned above - ever described the $3 trillion plus and counting Iraq debacle at any point as anything remotely resembling a "victory"? At least not since president George W Bush's "Mission Accomplished" flight suit adorned, fighter jet landing 'n grandstanding mo' on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the aftermath of the initial invasion.
A victory it may have been, but if so it was a victory for incalculable, unprecedented stupidity, arrogance, ignorance, lunacy, contempt, avarice and hypocrisy. At least his old mucker mate Dubya - the monkey to the Deadeye's organ grinder - has enough sense to keep his trap shut, presumably mindful of Basil Fawlty's advice about not mentioning The War ("Hey you started it, you invaded Iraq").