Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dick Cheney and American Average-ism

Dick Cheney is out with another "exciting" leak from his book. Actually, it's a leak squared because Cheney is leaking that President Bush ordered a leak to David Ignatius about the situation in Iraq in 2007.

“On Tuesday morning, May 22 [2007]," Cheney writes, "a David Ignatius column appeared in the Washington Post titled ‘After the Surge: The Administration Floats Ideas for a New Approach in Iraq.’ It quoted administration officials on the need to revamp policy in order to attract bipartisan support and to take into account the fact that the surge might not have the stabilizing effect we had hoped.

In the final analysis, what Dick Cheney has to say in his book isn't very significant. It's what Cheney did as Vice-President that counts and Cheney ultimately made the U. S. much more of an average authoritarian country. Promoting the illegal invasion of Iraq, introducing torture into American treatment of terror suspects, the emergency rendition of terror suspects to countries where they would be tortured, maintaining a set of secret CIA prisons, and perverting the whole legal structure of American government in defense of torture all made our country much more like Castro's Cuba, Mubarak's Egypt, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria than we had been.

Of course, the extension of the Arab Spring into the Libyan Summer and the Syrian Fall means that the U. S. is losing a number of our more brutal fellow-travelers. In a rapidly changing world, it's hard to stay average for very long.

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