Chickenhawk Cheney, who gets more bellicose and snarling as he gets older, has issued a challenge to Washingtonians, Democrat and Republican alike. Here is what he said when he addressed the 46th Annual American Legion Conference in Washington yesterday:
Here in Washington, if any believe America should suddenly withdraw from Iraq and stop fighting al Qaeda in the very place they have gathered, let them say so clearly. If any believe that America should break our word and abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison, let them make it known. If any believe that America should be safer -- or would be safer with men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of Iraq, let them try to make that case.
This is the core of the Bush/Cheney government's argument. Quitting is cowardly, leaving Iraq would be a disaster, stopping our fight against Al-Queda in Iraq would be surrender, breaking our word and abandoning Iraq would be sentencing them to death and prison, America will be very unsafe if bin Laden and Zarqawi take over in Iraq. If you disagree with any of this, you are a cowardly, anti-American supporter of terror and you probably applauded after 9/11.
The direct message of Cheney's challenge is that he and Bush are the only ones who know how to protect us, and that any and all critics should just shut up.
This is the last refuge of this administration. Everything else around them is wreckage of their bumbling incompetence and greed, and they are making their last stand with their American flags on their lapels and their incessant war speeches.
This is what must be thrown back into Cheney's face at every opportunity:
1. You shut up, you fake patriot;
2. No one is advocating surrendering to Al-Queda;
3. No reasonable critics are advocating "sudden" withdrawal from Iraq;
3. You lied about reasons for the invasion of Iraq;
4. You lied about al-Queda being in Iraq;
5. You are wasting our troops and our country's future in Iraq;
6. You are fighting the wrong war on terror;
7. You are bankrupting America;
8. You are guaranteeing our country's future dependence on Saudi Arabia for oil;
9. You are ignoring the fact that the largest opposition, by far, to the US presence in Iraq is Iraqi, not al-Queda;
10. Only 18% of the American people support you, Cheney;
11. America will be safer when you are gone.
12. We have had enough of you. Go shoot something.
There, you want someone to speak up, Mr. Cheney? That's what people in Washington need to say to you, you phony, flag-waving, small-minded bully.