First, a game of good-cop-bad-cop where Cheney plays good cop and casts the Democrats as bad cop. Yes, the Democrats, relentlessly ridiculed as softies by Cheney, Rove, and the Wurlitzer, are now cast as the tough cops.
"Cheney's message to military ruler Pervez Musharraf: Bush and I may still love you guys, but those uptight Democrats in Congress are going to kick your ass unless you get serious about stopping Al Qaeda."Second, an official White House news release in which an unnamed "senior administration official" pierces his own veil of secrecy by speaking in the first person:
"I've seen some press reporting says, 'Cheney went in to beat up on them, threaten them.' That's not the way I work."And now, a new wrinkle on justifying the war in Iraq. A defense of the war crowned with a nugget of actual, if inadvertent, truth. Tim Grieve plucked this gem out of Cheney's address to CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee):
"In these circumstances, it's worth reminding ourselves that, like it or not, the enemy we face in the war on terror has made Iraq the primary front in that war. To use a popular phrase, this is an 'inconvenient truth.'"Droll as ever, that Cheney. Cheney new line is a twist on an old favorite: We're fighting them in Iraq so we don't have to fight them in Afghanistan. But the inadvertant truth of Cheney's remark is this: The enemy of our success in the war on terror is an ideologically blinded administration that has poured resources into making Iraq a distracting front in that war, while allowing the Taliban and Al Qaeda to regroup, train, and prepare their surge in Afghanistan.
Before the towers fell, Bush was handed the famed daily brief, "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." He ignored it. Fast forward to now: I wonder what bin Laden is determined to do these days. According Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA bin Laden unit (1993-1996), "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US with Nuclear Weapon." Alternet has video of Schuer's interview with Keith Olbermann.
Mickeleh's Take: The direct cost of the Iraq war in lives, dollars, and honor is enormous. The opportunity cost may be even higher.