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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Maureen Dowd, "Repent, Dick Cheney": "Surrender, Dorothy"

"Surrender Dorothy"

- The Wicked Witch Skywriting, "The Wizard of Oz," 1939

Before first-time visitors send messages telling me that I am a nefarious neocon destined for the netherworld, bear in mind that I am pro-choice, in favor of gay marriage, oppose the sale of assault rifles, opposed the Second Gulf War, and oppose America's ground involvement in Afghanistan. And whereas I didn't care much for Cheney, who turned 72 in January, I also have no affection for Maureen Dowd's beloved Barry.

You see, the pendulum swung from right to left, leaving little space for those in the middle. And whereas Cheney is a distant memory, Barry is now "leading" America into an economic abyss.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Repent, Dick Cheney" (, Maureen Dowd excoriates Cheney for past indiscretions:

  • "Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours."
  • "He filled W.’s head with stories about conflicts between presidents and vice presidents sparked by the vice president’s ambition, while protesting that he himself did not want the job."
  • "To make his crazy and appallingly costly detour from Osama to Saddam, and cherry-pick his fake case for invading Iraq, he played on W.’s fear of being lampooned as a wimp, as his father had been."
  • "Cheney still hearts waterboarding."
All true, all deplorable. However, Dowd also writes:

  • "It was too late to rein in the feverish vice president, except to tell him he couldn’t bomb a nuclear plant in the Syrian desert."
That's right, the US didn't destroy the Syrian nuclear plant, and instead, the Israelis took it out. But can you imagine what might have happened if a maniacal Bashar al-Assad, John Kerry's "dear friend," had gotten his hands on a dirty bomb, combining radioactive material with conventional explosives?  Or if the al-Qaeda faction of the Syrian rebels were to take control of this facility?

And whereas Cheney went too far to the right, we now have Obama "leading from behind" in Libya, telling Putin that he will be "more flexible," prolonging the agony in Afghanistan, avoiding any position involving the Syrian civil war, and unable to convince Iran's mullahs that he means business.

As once stated by Aristotle, "The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom." Today, moderation is a commodity very hard to come by.

But a question for Maureen: Suppose terrorists have hidden a dirty bomb in Manhattan, not far from The New York Times Building, and are threatening to detonate the bomb unless the US releases all of its Guantanamo prisoners. The bomb is timed to go off in another two hours, and there is no time to evacuate the city. Millions are expected to die slow painful deaths from radiation poisoning and cancer unless the bomb is found and defused. Then suddenly, one of the al-Qaeda conspirators is captured, but he refuses to talk. Would you waterboard him, or read him his rights and wait for his lawyer?

I know what I would do.

Meanwhile, I'm not in the business of fighting ghosts of the past or wicked witches.

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