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 April, 2009


 Dick Cheney Rears His Head

Cheney’s Achilles

Richard Nixon will always be known for two things. He resigned in disgrace and he was considered a foreign policy “genius.”

His meetings with China’s Premiere Zhou Enlai and Communist Party leader Mao Tse-Tung in February of 1972 helped thaw the frozen divide that had existed between this country and Communist China for decades.

That year, Nixon flew 16,000 miles in an effort that opened relations with the world’s most secretive (at the time) social order. Heck, pictures of Nixon glad handing the leaders of China, helped seal his legacy as a visionary American president. (That is when he wasn’t riffling through the U.S. Constitution to suit his purposes)

That’s why it’s so curious that Dick Cheney has appeared vexed by a mere handshake and a few not-very-tense words between President Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Cheney claims their handshake at the Summit of the Americas meeting “was not helpful.”

It was a handshake, not a full nelson. Cheney probably would have preferred Obama order out an air strike.

What nonsense.

Nixon’s efforts have been universally hailed, while Obama – who was simply standing in a crowd, was approached and then briefly responded – is the cause for Cheneylogic. Consider this. Cheney was a member of Nixon’s White House when Nixon made nice with the Chinese.

I guess Cheney thinks Venezuela’s military is a bigger threat to the United States, than China’s was.

Why else would he add Chavez’ handshake with Obama could lead our “foes” to “think they’re dealing with a weak president?”

Cheney has become the lead wingnut of the increasingly wingnutty Republican Party.

Cheney seems to be forgetting there’re pictures of Nixon arm-in-arm with Soviet Premiere Leonid Breshnev in 1973. Gee, I wonder if they were chit-chatting about those 19,000 nuclear missiles aimed right at our heads. Cheney was still serving in that White House at the time.

He was the Deputy Assistant to President Gerald Ford when Ford met with Breshnev in Vladivostok, in 1974. I’ve seen the picture of them signing the joint communiqué on the SALT treaty. They smiled.

Did Cheney call President Dwight Eisenhower “weak” because he appeared to be smiling in his tuxedo alongside Nikita Krushchev, after the Soviet Premiere had already proclaimed “We will bury you,” three years earlier?

Cheney probably wasn’t paying much attention to that. He was too busy getting one of his six military deferments.

History (and the internet) isn’t very kind to people who mount vicious, politically motivated attacks – when we can discover how selective they can be.

In Cheney’s mind, only Democratic presidents are “weak.”

When, for instance,

President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland in October 1986 and appeared to be smiling ear-to-ear, no Republican would have (or should have) called Reagan “weak.”

Why then, would Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compare Obama’s brief encounter with Chavez to President Jimmy Carter, by claiming that when this country’s enemies “sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead?”

The answer is simple. Gingrich thinks Americans have short memories.

Why else would there be so many internet pictures of Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld beaming while shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein on December 20th, 1983?

If Rumsfeld was so weak, why then was he the man chosen to lead the charge that would eventually bring down the government of Iraq and the man whose hand he heartily shook in the 1980’s?

I’m wondering, too, why supposed leaders of the supposed loyal opposition, persist in trying to find “weakness” where there obviously is none?

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH.) claims the handshake “isn’t a good way to start your presidency."
It’s probably a better way than ever nominating Gregg to a cabinet position (Commerce Secretary), having him back out, and then watching him take every chance to dispute every decision Obama makes. Gregg’s politics are showing here.

I truly doubt that Chavez thinks Obama is some sort of patsy. If he does, and he makes a move in the wrong direction – we’ll sic Cheney on him.

That is, if he’s not busily applying for another deferment.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net