The Vice President is certainly giving a blogger like myself a lot of things to write about this week.
This is another stellar interview with Martha Raddatz (boy is SHE getting some notoriety this week as well).
What I have to call BS on is this line:
"The president carries the biggest burden, obviously," Cheney said. "He's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us."
I acknowledge that the President's job in doing that must be hard (although he never convinces ME personally that he finds it that hard).
But who is he kidding?
He bears a bigger burden than a 22 or 23 year old Army wife with one or two small children (maybe working a minimum wage job with limited economic prospects) who finds she's suddenly a widow, left to care for small children alone?
He bears a bigger burden than a young child who is of an age of awareness (not a little baby) that loses his Father or Mother?
He bears a bigger burden than a 55 or 60 year old woman who suddenly is faced with caring for a profoundly broken human being for the rest of both of their lives?
He bears a bigger burden than a person who suddenly has one or several of his friends in the field killed or savagely wounded?
Americans are very uncritical of a lot of the things that the Administration says, but this one should be challenged. It simply is nonsense.
The Vice President essentially goes on in the interview and says that this is an "all volunteer force" (even though Ms. Raddatz tries to ask the questions about "stop loss" he essentially waves her off) - he doesn't come right out and say it, but he is saying, quit whining, and do what we tell you for as long as we tell you. You signed the papers, deal with it.
Then, the Vice President says we must "win" in Iraq. As I have pointed out several times, there is never any real indication of what that really means. Not before this interview, and not in this interview.
I think often of World War II veterans (of which I'm proud to say my Dad was one) who also had to "win" before they could go home. But in that case, it was VERY clear what it meant to win. Defeat Germany and defeat Japan (both of which were accomplished in LESS time than we have spent fighting a rag tag band of fighters).
There is no such certainty here. They are just supposedly to continue fighting till someone tells them to stop? Or are we to trust our leaders to make the correct decisions as to when victory comes?
Of course the President has already said we won once with his "mission accomplished" speech, and even before the war this was supposed to be easy. A cakewalk, welcomed as liberators.
They want you to forget all this.
The historical revision now is that, there is no way we could have known, situation on the ground has changed, and that's why we need to still be there, etc. This is nonsense. Have our senses become so dull and uncritical that we can't see through this?
There were those who predicted EXACTLY what was going to happen. Either they (the decisions makers in Washington) didn't really know (or care) what was going to happen - in which case you have to question their ability to govern, and their judgment, or they knew what was going to happen and decided to roll the dice and do it anyway - convinced we were so powerful that the laws of history and empire simply didn't matter.
Either way, it doesn't paint a pretty picture of how we are governed.
TELL US WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO "WIN" - don't just say "we must win". I refuse to accept that answer any more. I simply CAN NOT.
I want to know what it means. I think we deserve that as a country. We've contributed billions of dollars (with billions more yet to come, and trillions more in debt yet to be paid back), 4000 of our finest kids (unfortunately, with more to come), and a literally unknown number of our kids profoundly broken physically, emotionally and spiritually (unfortunately with more to come).
We all should refuse to accept that answer any more.