For the first time in six years, I can finally say it: I agree with Dick Cheney!
The vice president questioned the Democrats' strategy on Iraq earlier in the week and said Nancy Pelosi's tactics would "validate the al Qaeda strategy." That's not the part I agree with.
Then, Nancy Pelosi shot back that she was going to call her mommy, I mean the president, and tell on Cheney. I know she's trying to pressure the president to either stand with his vitriolic vice president or repudiate him. It's not a bad strategy, but it was carried off in a way that made me feel like she was whining.
Here, look at this quote from Pelosi about Cheney's comments:
"And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to call the president and tell him I disapprove of what the vice president said."
Oh, are you? Wow.
But this is not my main point. The real reason I think Cheney is right is because the wrong strategy can help al Qaeda. There are things the United States can do that would hurt al Qaeda and there are other things we can do to help strengthen them and validate their strategy.
As it happens, the policies Dick Cheney has advocated and this White House has adopted has led to the former. In fact, Cheney has validated the al Qaeda strategy more than anyone else in the world.
Al Qaeda said we would attack oil-rich Middle Eastern countries -- and Cheney did. Al Qaeda said that we would get stuck fighting these wars and squander our national treasure doing so -- and Cheney did. Al Qaeda said our real goal was to occupy the Middle East and hold Muslims in the region down -- and Cheney did.
Now Cheney promises to validate al Qaeda's strategy even more by attacking another oil-rich, Middle Eastern country. This would lead us into another unwinnable war, further occupation of Muslim lands, and waste even more of our money.
Osama bin Laden made a tape right before the 2004 election. The Republicans and Fox News Channel spun it by saying Osama wanted Americans to vote for John Kerry. But that's not what he said in the tape at all. Quite the opposite. He said how happy he was that we had invaded Iraq and that we were going to bankrupt ourselves there just like the Soviet Union bankrupted itself fighting Muslim forces in Afghanistan.
And what did Americans do in response -- we validated his strategy by re-electing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
After the election, the Bush White House went further into Iraq, wasted even more money, started an escalation and now they threaten another war in Iran. Osama must feel pretty damn validated right about now.
Dick Cheney was right when he said about Pelosi, "I didn't question her patriotism. I questioned her judgment." And I'm not questioning Cheney's patriotism. I think in his own twisted mind, he thinks he is the only one that understands what's best for the country. He doesn't want to harm America. But the consequences of his decisions do. You have to point that out. That's what happens in a healthy debate.
Here's what Pelosi should have said in response to Cheney's comments:
You know what validates al Qaeda's strategy? Going into Iraq when that country had nothing to do with 9/11 and leaving Osama bin Laden alone. I don't care to hear what the vice president thinks of al Qaeda strategy until this White House captures Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri -- the men who ordered the attacks against this country on 9/11 and so far have suffered no consequences.
Instead of running his mouth, the vice president should be busy devising a strategy to capture the leaders of al Qaeda. Their strategies are validated every day they are free and openly taunting our government. Does this administration ever plan to capture the people who committed this heinous act upon our people? Or are they too busy attacking their political opponents instead?
Right now, the president and the vice president are threatening Iran, yet another country that did not attack us on 9/11. Do they care about al Qaeda at all? Escalating the war in Iraq and threatening a new war against Shiite Iran would do absolutely nothing to thwart al Qaeda. It would only make them stronger.
Maybe I need to draw the vice president a map because apparently he has no idea where bin Laden is, or doesn't care. Yoo hoo, he's over there -- in Pakistan. Are you going to go get him or sit there and make political attacks all day?
Here's my final message to the vice president: Shut your mouth and do your job!
Could you imagine if Pelosi actually said that? How great would that be? You know what the repercussions would be? Absolutely nothing, except that people would love her for it.
Fox News Channel would whine like babies, but it wouldn't stick. People respect strength and they would think: "You know what, they haven't caught Osama and what does Iran have to do with al Qaeda? Maybe we ought to let the Democrats take a shot at catching this guy. They can't do any worse than Bush and Cheney."
The way to counter aggressive Republican attacks isn't to complain about them, it's to be even more aggressive in fighting back.
Democrats have the right ideas, now they just have to shove it down the Republicans' throats. And whatever you do, don't take any crap from Dick Cheney.