October 22, 2009 Leave a comment
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is speaking publicly to the Obama administration on the issue of Afghanistan. Shortly after Obama was elected Cheney made a speech which was very critical of the President and how he proposed handling Camp Gitmo prisoners.
I have a theory to run by you. Dick Cheney is attempting to move the Obama administration to act in a way he supports by bringing these issues to the forefront, believing the majority of Americans are on his side. The actions of a former Vice President, especially Dick Cheney, will always be newsworthy if they involve attacking a sitting president. It is considered bad form and the media is looking for any chance to portray the Bush administration poorly. Therefore Cheney’s actions will make headlines.
The strategy then suggests the public takes notice. President Obama would prefer to not have the public stirred up about certain decisions he may make, such as closing Guantanamo Bay. In June 65% of Americans thought Camp Gitmo should remain open contrary to what President Obama said he supported during his Presidential campaign. Cheney makes some noise and the public takes notice and Gallup and Rasmussen start polling and President Obama decides to not follow through. Cheney wins.
The same may be happening with Afghanistan. President Obama is perceived as waffling some on his decision about a surge in Afghanistan in the media. Cheney, sensing an opportunity, speaks out. The United States, this side of the Vietnam war, does not want to lose another war and pulling out before the Taliban is smashed into oblivion and/or Osama bin Laden is killed or captured would be perceived at home and abroad as defeat. Cheney’s words sharpen just a little more the work General McChrystal already did in bringing Afghanistan back to the forefront and brings pressure to bear on the Obama administration from conservatives and independent Americans who do not want America to lose a war.
If President Obama makes a decision to surge troops in Afghanistan rather than to hold the current course Dick Cheney wins round 2.