I think the exchange in this FOX News Sunday piece is a good reminder that even if the rationale for the Iraq war was supposedly anti-proliferation of WMD's and WMD-capability--the Bush Administration really wasn't much good at it.
Wallace made this key point:
Wallace pointed out that Cheney had eight years to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and failed to do it.Cheney completely did not understand that this was a failure. He pointed to the invasion of Iraq as something that was supposed to have done some good there--but the actual facts are that no, the Iran nuclear program was never arrested by the invasion, and in fact Iran had an ever-greater influence in Iraq because of that invasion and the destabilization of the previous political infrastructure.
“You and President Bush, the Bush-Cheney administration, dealt with Iran for eight years, and I think it was fair to say that there was never any real, serious military threat,” Wallace noted. “Iran went from zero known centrifuges in operation to more than 5,000.”
“So in fairness, didn’t you leave — the Bush-Cheney administration — leave President Obama with a mess?” the Fox News host asked.
Which gives me a notion that Cheney was in part, operating under the Kissingerian "madman" strategy, where the monstrous destruction wrought in Iraq was supposed to serve as a caution to other nations to not even try with the US.
That would be goddamn stupid. Because if you became aware that your neighborhood was unsafe--wouldn't it make sense for you to arm yourself? That nonsense didn't even work in Vietnam. If looking like a country run by crazies was supposed to result in a draw-down, what in the hell was the arms race with Russia and the escalation in Afghanistan in the '80's about? Everybody got to buying weapons. It was the opposite of anti-proliferation logic.
Well, funny old thing--in his post-congressional life in the 1990's, Dick Cheney got a job at Halliburton and they kind of went around sanctions to sell multi-use gear to Iran that might have been useful in their nuclear program. (There was all kinds of wrongdoing in the 1990's by Halliburton though. But they were in good--that is to say bad, company--see Donald Rumsfeld and North Korea.)
But let's call all those little ways in which Bush Administration so-and-so's screwed-up to make things worse world-wide in terms of WMD mere mistakes.(And how could they do better, being the heirs of Iran/Contra and the Cambodian Campaign?) Would it not make sense then, for people who were journalistically inclined, to not actually ever rely on the words of such people as experts in anything ever again? Just because they are very likely either abominably stupid or quite obviously lying?
I do not understand why failures are promoted in the media and why I should feel so happy to see one journalist even bother to address some aspects of the failure. This should be the media's regular job. Cheney should have been called out like an SOB in 2003.