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Cheney Named “Keeper of the Flame” and Sheds Some Light On Obama Lies

Bookmark and Share   As a general rule of thumb, it is not a good thing to lie. We teach little children not to do it and we should be able to expect our nation’s leaders not to do it. But last night as the Center For Security Policy held it’s annual “Keeper of the Flame Dinner” it became quite obvious that they do lie.

dick_cheney_3x4Of course this is nothing new. We would have to be childish ourselves not to know that politicians lie and even more naïve not to expect it. But to what extent is the current administration lying and what are they lying about. Well last night, the winner of the Center for Security Policy’s “Keeper of the Flame” award, Vice President Dick Cheney, shed some light on that question.

Compelled by a recent statement from President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, the former Vice President indicated that the administration’s own lack of experience, direction, inability to make hard decisions and their reluctance to commit themselves to a war in Afghanistan that they admitted to being necessary, has chosen to make the previous administration a scapegoat. That assessment was made quite apparent when on CNN, Rahm Emanuel recently reported President Obama is;

“asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side.”

“It’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift, that we’re beginning at scratch, just at the starting point…and that there’s not a security force, an army, and the types of services that are important for the Afghans to become a true partner.”

To this, Vice President Cheney pointed out that in the Fall of 2008, the Bush Administration saw that they faced new challenges in Afghanistan and went through extensive and intensive policy reviews, sent countless teams to Afghanistan and Pakistan to review options and consider the opinions of all involved in order to develop a strategy that dealt with the new challenges and that could be  passed on to the incoming President. While this was happening, the Bush-Cheney Administration was keeping the President-Elect and his transition team apprised of this new policy and strategy that was being designed to deal effectively with the counter insurgency that was building. During his speech, Vice President Cheney disclosed that during this same time, the Obama team asked the administration to keep it quiet and not make their findings and policy changes public. According to Cheney;

we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt.”

He added;

“The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it. Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity”.

The disclosure indicates several things. First, it shows that this obviously is not a “buck stops here” President. It shows that the Obama Administration is not confident about any of the decisions they are making. Their indecisiveness and procrastination regarding the war in Afghanistan is frighteningly evident. This is the same administration that has been trying to rush together healthcare reform yet they will not act with speed concerning our forces fighting on fields of battle? Furthermore; the attempt to suggest that President Obama inherited a disorganized policy that needed to be rebuilt, indicates further that the Obama team is unsure of what to do but preparing to push the blame for any blunder or failure that occurs under their watch, on to George Bush.

Apparently this Administration is lying about much more than just health care reform and the effects of the stimulus package. They are lying about a war that they are not fully committed to winning and they are preparing to blame it on Bush.

Vice President Cheney stated that while President Obama “dithers”, the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. It is a point that can’t be denied.  Especially after only just recently experiencing the largest monthly total of casualties in Afghanistan since the war there began. All of this makes our chances of insuring that the existing Afghan government does not get toppled by the Taliban increasingly difficult.   According to Cheney

“Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries. Waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause.”

Quite insightfully, Cheney also reminded us that while we had supported Afghanistan’s Mujahadeen against the Soviets in the 80‘s, when that successful policy delivered the results we wanted, we left the cause.  The result, as he put it, was that after abandoning Afghanistan “no one was watching, what followed was a civil war, the takeover by the Taliban, and the rise of bin Laden and al-Qaeda.”.

The point resonates well with those of us who understand that by not fully committing to our mission in Afghanistan we are at risk of Afghanistan again becoming a training ground to kill Americans from.

As for the rest of the former Vice President’s speech, it was consistently frank and always sharp. He addressed security concerns in several different areas, pointed out the mistakes that President Obama has made so far , and offered words of advice on future decisions that the still new President must be prepared to make.

Cheney was critical of President Obama’s decision to end a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, calling it a  

“strategic blunder and a breach of good faith”.

The former Vice President made it clear that the decision to abandon our Polish and Czech allies by “conceding ground and accommodating” to the wishes of Russia and Vladimir Putin, we received nothing in return but more trouble and

opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

He summed up the decision to dismantle the missile defense system by eloquently describing the fallout from it when he declared;

“President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.”

The former congressman, Presidential Chief of Staff, Secretary of Defense and Vice President proceeded to assail President Obama for continuously extending his hand to the totalitarian leaders of Iran’s Islamic Republic and other extremists while they;

provide lethal support to extremists and terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic continues to provide support to extremists in Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the regime continues to spin centrifuges and test missiles. And these are just the activities we know about.’

Mr. Cheney also criticized the President for missing an opportunity by not standing with the Iranian protestors who stand for democracy and were defying the government and their rigged election as they were being slaughtered in the streets this past June.

Other points of contention included Cheney’s longstanding defense of “enhanced interrogation techniques” involving known terrorists. Calling the left’s belief that these techniques did no good is “an act of faith” for them,  Mr. Cheney explained that; 

the left ignores the hard, inconvenient truth that we did try other means and techniques to elicit information from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and other al-Qaeda operatives, only turning to enhanced techniques when we failed to produce the actionable intelligence we knew they were withholding. In fact, our intelligence professionals, in urgent circumstances with the highest of stakes, obtained specific information, prevented specific attacks, and saved American lives.”

He added;

“In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.”

Upon hearing the Vice President’s keynote last night, I was reminded of the need for our nation to never allow our heads to be buried in the sand. I was reminded that no matter how wide a smile some may wish to put the face of evil, evil’s threat still exists and if our vigilance ceases to exist, evil can quite possibly put an end to the existence of life as we know it. I was also reminded that Dick Cheney is more than just Lynne Cheney’s husband.  It was quite clear to me why The Center for Security Policy chose to award Dick Cheney the honor of “Keeper of the Flame”.

The image of the flame represents tireless devotion and in his speech last night, Dick Cheney demonstrated that his devotion to the security of our nation burns bright within him. It burns as a bright beacon that leads us down a path that can secure the realization of our dream of freedom and peace. No matter how much those on the left try to malign him, Dick Cheney’s flame of devotion to our country and defense of freedom, make him a true keeper of the flame.

His record, experience and success add great meaning to his words. Far more than those of any of his critics. And so I think it only appropriate that I leave for all his critics, the words that Dick Cheney himself used to end his speech with last night. They are words I can only hope those who so vociferously deny his wisdom will someday come to understand.

“Last January 20th, our successors in office were given the highest honors that the voters of this country can give any two citizens. Along with that, George W. Bush and I handed the new president and vice president both a record of success in the war on terror, and the policies to continue that record and ultimately prevail. We had been the decision makers, but those seven years, four months, and nine days without another 9/11 or worse, were a combined achievement: a credit to all who serve in the defense of America, including some of the finest people I’ve ever met.We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work – the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.”

What the present administration does with those policies is their call to make, and will become a measure of their own record. But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.

There are policy differences, and then there are affronts that have to be answered every time without equivocation, and this is one of them. We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security, and turning the guns on our own guys.

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WHO WILL LEAD REPUBLICANS BACK INTO POWER

As the GOP recovers from a drubbing at that ballot box that served them with an eviction notice at the White House and a foreclosure on many seats in the house and senate, a reorganization is in order.

Crucial to a successful reorganization is the selection of it’s next national chairman.

Florida Senator mel Martinez

Florida Senator Mel Martinez

After the losses which cost them their majorities in the house and senate during the 2006 midterm elections, the powers that be, hastily installed Florida Senator Mel Martinez as the new chairman. At the same time they also elected Mike Duncan, a veteran political strategist and former Treasurer General Counselor to the RNC, to run the “day to day operations” of the national committee. In other words Duncan was actually the Chairman and Senator Martinez was to be the face of the party.

It was an arrangement that did not last long.

A few months into this arrangement, Senator Martinez stepped down and Mr. Duncan had the title all to himself. Not that it mattered. Whether it was his fault or not Republicans were outspent, out argued , outmaneuvered and voted out.

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

Outgoing RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

I will not blame Mike Duncan for the hemorrhaging of Republicans in this election cycle. That began before he took office, less than a year ago, and it simply continued for the time period that he was in office as chairman. It is more than likely that no individual chairman of the RNC could have prevented the losses Republicans suffered but we do know that the chairman did not help prevent them from happening.

So I do not blame Mike Duncan but I do harbor ill will to the party officials who gave up after 2006 and installed quick replacements to head up the Republican party. It was quite apparent that the party was simply trying to just get through the last two years of President Bush’s term in office. The RNC leadership were more like caretakers than leaders. They did not seek to adopt a leadership that was cutting edge and enthusiastic about revolutionizing the capabilities of the party organization and preparing us for the mother of all elections, the presidency.

It is the same complacency that helped cost Republicans their majorities in congress. Elected officials lost the anti establishment thinking that won them favor back in 1994. After becoming “the establishment” they slowly began to forget that government was there to work for the people not for the people running government.

So here we are saluting a new President-Elect, a new Democrat President-Elect. One who will be partnering with a majority of legislators who are also Democrats.

It might sound depressing to fellow Republicans but the truth is it is that for a number of reasons it is not depressing:

  • Can’t Get Much Worse -We have just about bottomed out. It truly can’t get much worse so the prospects for improving our numbers in the next election are good.

 

  • Liberals Gone Wild -With Democrats in total control of government, there is little to hold them back and prevent them from showing their true colors. When those true colors come out, Americans will realize that the direction they offer is too sharp a turn to the left for their tastes. The last time they had total control was in 1993 when Bill Clinton was President. After two years of liberals gone wild, Americans gave control, of both the house and senate, to Republicans for the first time in forty years. It was something that Republicans could not achieve on their own. It took the combined left leaning radicalization of today’s Democrat party to bring that about and it is about to happen again. In fact the greatest challenge that the new President will face comes from his own party. He will be struggling against them and fighting them in an effort to lead from the center rather than the left.

  • The War – Although the economy helped push the war off the front burner, the changing tide of the surge in Iraq also made the war less of an issue because violence and combat was down and it was being won. The war in Iraq did not help Republicans in this election cycle but not because it was unnecessary, as democrats claim,  but, as I explain in the link referenced here*, Americans became weary and leery of the war. While the surge was delayed and the administration wavered, violence spiked as a result of a resurgence of radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq. That is when Democrats successfully exploited a declining resolve to continue an effort that people were beginning to think was becoming a quagmire. Since the increased deployment of troops into Iraq, the situation improved and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, despite the cries of candidate Obama to end the war, President Obama will not be withdrawing all of our forces from Iraq anytime soon.  Now that he has seen the national security data that demonstrates the dangers of his misguided promises as a candidate, as a President he will not be so quick to screw things up. Ultimately Republicans will be proven right on the issue.

 

  • The Economy – Typically our economy goes through cycles of growth and contraction every ten to fifteen years. More accurately, just about every 11 years, we encounter economic turmoil brought on by the cumulative effects of industrial shifts, world events and other related circumstances. That being said, it is how we maneuver through these cycles that determines their severity and the length of time that we endure them. The liberal propensity to raise taxes and redistribute wealth during these times does not help. Those policies simply deepen the crisis and draw out the cycle. If the knee jerk, liberal tendency towards more taxes and an expansion of government does occur, Republicans will be able to stem their losses and start increasing their numbers. The current crisis that we are experiencing is not a result of Republican economic policy. It is a result of their complacency and unwillingness to differentiate themselves from liberals when it came to spending. Our own President had no problem with cutting taxes, a good thing, but he also never cut spending and neither did fellow Republicans in congress.

All of this allows for those Republicans, who are in office, to offer alternatives to the counterproductive liberal agenda that will undoubtedly dominate national policy. To effectively achieve that, Republican members of congress need to reestablish their fiscally conservative roots and inherent sense of an offensive strategy when it comes to national security. The fact that, as Republicans, we choose to eliminate threats rather than tolerate them will be made much clearer with liberals in control and it must not be ignored.

Now that Republicans are not in control we now have the luxury that Democrats had. The luxury of not having to defend our leadership. Democrats will now have the chance to be held accountable for everything that happens. They will have to take blame for the results of increasing taxes, increasing unnecessary regulations and increasing the size and cost of government. With their leadership comes responsibility. With responsibility comes credit as well as blame. After eight years of taking blame for all that is not liked, Republicans can now luxuriate in being able to place blame on Democrats as they have done to Republicans.

But while those Republicans elected to congress do their job by providing alternatives to liberal policies and maintaining their role as the loyal opposition, our political leaders must hit the ground running.

The question now is, who is best suited to reorganize and reinvigorate Republicans? The person needed to rally Republicans must be articulate. But a good speaker is not all that we need. The person who is made the new chairman of the party must have a passionate desire to advance the cause, incredible organizational skills, the ability to delegate responsibilities to the right and most qualified people, endless energy and stamina as well as creativity and resourcefulness and a proven record of success.

The new chairman needs the same type of vision and commitment to conservative principles that the freshmen members of congress who were elected in the 1994 Republican revolution had. The new chairman must have a vision which understands that the best government is the government that gets out of the way and allows freedom to flourish by defending it at home and abroad and by insuring that opportunity is available to all.

Currently, there are seven frontrunners. They include:

Steele

Mike Steele

Michael SteeleGOPAC , former Lt. Governor of Maryland and unsuccessful candidate for US Senate in 2006.

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob

Chuck Yob – Successful Michigan businessman, GOP fundraiser and Michigan National Committeeman

Saul Anuzis

Saul Anuzis

Saul AnuzisChairman of the Michigan Republican State Committee

Alec Pointevint

Alec Pointevint

Alec Poitevint – Georgia’s Republican National Committeeman

Katon Dawson

Katon Dawson

Katon DawsonRepublican Party Chairman of South Carolina , the state that had the best performance for Republicans during this election cycle.

Jim Greer

Jim Greer

Jim Greer – Florida’s Republican party Chairman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman

Chip Saltsman – A former Chair of Tennessee’s GOP and the former campaign manager of Mike Huckabee’s failed candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Speculation has not only Huckabee’s former campaign guru on the list, Mike Huckabee himself is rumored to be a potential contender. So is one of Huckabee’s former opponents for the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney.

Of all these names the one person who I believe could do the most for the Republican National Committee is Mitt Romney.

antrom11

Mitt Romney

Romney has been successful at every job that he has undertaken. He is passionate. He is articulate, savvy and has an eye for recruiting those who are the best at their jobs. Mitt Romney could do wonders for the party. He would be able to provide the GOP’s highly rated, get out the vote, 72 hour program with great improvements and he would create a top notch center for Republican organization, communications, fundraising and creative strategy.

Problem is that I want Mitt Romney to be able to run for President. I am looking forward to either him or Sarah Palin being our 2012 nominee. Becoming the political leader of the party does not help him establish the bipartisan image that a Presidential nominee needs. If he did as a good a job for the party as I think he would, having been the chairman of the party he rebuilds, could help him get the party’s nomination though.

However, I feel that a truly smart RNC chairman would involve Mitt Romney and utilize his expertise. Doing so would keep Romney free to expand his nonpolitical credentials while still allowing for his Midas touch to assist behind the scenes.

As for the other names mentioned, Mike Steele, Katon Dawson and Jim Greer are the only names that really interest me. Each of them have demonstrated ideological superiority to one extent or the other and have achieved outstanding results for Republicans.

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

One name not mentioned but is at the top of my list, is former Maryland Governor Robert Erhlich. After losing reelection in the 2006 GOP sea of change, Bob Ehrlich has not been discussed much. That is a shame because he happens to be one of the best in the newer generation of conservative politics. He was the first Republican to be elected governor of Maryland in almost 60 years. Through it all Ehrlich maintained his principles and conservative ideology. Not once did he try to win favor by acting like a democrat. Instead, he successfully implemented conservative ideology into government application. He also happens to be articulate and effective in his ability to explain and deliver the conservative message.

 

Sometimes referred to as a Kempite Republican, Bob Erhlich could be just what we need to rekindle our spirit and rally the cause.

Whoever the grand poobahs of the GOP hierarchy install as chairman, it is my greatest hope that they recruit the right people to carry out the mission that is ahead.

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

People like political Internet champion Patrick Ruffini who could incorporate the most cyber savvy organization politics has ever seen and Ralph Reed who is a master at reaching out and organizing the grassroots.

Ralph Reed

Ralph Reed

Being the minority party is not a problem to be feared. Becoming the minority is what we needed to fear and now, we are there.  So the worst is over. Now we have the chance to take advantage of what Democrats took advantage of for a long time, minority status and the ability to place blame on the powers that be that comes with it.

From here we can only come back, and if we take the right steps, we can come back quickly. To do so will require that our first steps be the right steps . In this case that would be done by picking the right person to map out our future and recruit the brightest lights to help illuminate the fast track to the reinvigoration that the party is capable of.

punchline-politics1

 

Q: What’s the problem with Barack Obama jokes?


A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and other people don’t think they’re jokes.

 

 

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