While he is still as dangerous as any cornered animal, Cheney stands brightly revealed as the main culprit in cherry-picking the evidence to make the case for a stupid, failed war. He has been exposed as a vindictive, inflexible ideologue, who attempts to destroy all who publicly disagree with him, such as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Wilson's CIA agent wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. His extensive ties and loyal political service to energy and defense companies such as Halliburton (which now, in a burst of honesty, is moving its headquarters to Dubai), reveal him to be a man of deep corruption.
Like Nixon during Watergate, Cheney is now shrilly on the defensive. "National security made me do it!" he insists, clinging to pseudo-patriotism, that last refuge of scoundrels. But it is an argument that no longer flies with a public that has caught on to the rhythm of his screechy lies. After all, this is the leader, dominating a weak president, who pushed so hard for a complete occupation of a Muslim country not linked to 9/11. A man who hung his arguments for adventuristic war on known falsehoods, such as the attempted purchase of yellowcake uranium in Niger.
It is thus Cheney who has played right into al-Qaida's plans, heightening tension between the U.S. and the Arab and Muslim worlds by evoking an image of U.S. imperial conquest of Mideast oil resources. His palpable disdain for civil liberties, bald-faced lies and support for torture have even tarnished the reputation of democracy itself, which has to please tyrants and theocrats everywhere.
If the occupation had gone well, of course, Cheney wouldn't be under fire. But as it heads into its fifth year, the only winners in this war are the aforementioned radical Shiites, Iran, mercenaries, al-Qaida, oil companies and military contractors such as Halliburton, which has scooped up $27 billion in contracts paid with our taxes. Now Halliburton is making its home in an undemocratic oil-garchy so distasteful to Americans that we wouldn't let a company from there manage our ports.
Perhaps Cheney, in disgrace, can build his retirement cave there.
I'm glad The Dick is getting outed for the evil that he is, but let's not take our eyes off the ball: if Bush had a teeny fraction of the toughness he claims, he could have said 'no'.