• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
4m 11s

Rand Paul: Blame Dick Cheney for Iraq violence, not Obama

By Jake Miller / CBS News 4:30 PM June 22, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., offered some bipartisan backup to President Obama on the subject of Iraq Sunday, saying many critics who blame the president for theferocious Islamist insurgency there, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, should take a look in the mirror.

“I don’t blame President Obama,” Paul told NBC News. “Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution.”

Paul said those who have questioned the president’s approach to the recent surge in violence should ask the same questions of those who supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq: “Were they right in their predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there? Was the war won in 2005, when many of those people said it was won?”

“They didn’t, really, I think understand the civil war that would break out,” Paul said.

Cheney and other conservative hawks have beenrelentless in their criticism of the president in recent days, saying Mr. Obama invited the chaos in Iraq by withdrawing all of America’s troops in 2011 and that he’s failing to stop it now by dithering and dissembling in his public response.

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” wrote the former vice president in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal this week. “Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is ‘ending’ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality…he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”

But the response — from Paul and other critics of the 2003 invasion who preach caution in response to the recent violence — has been equally loud and clear: You’re kidding, right?

“That is sick, when you really look back at the record,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said of Cheney’s criticism Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

“The fact is, what we’re seeing now is an outgrowth of that bad policy the neocons got us in, that crowd, on false pretense that said, go in there. And, as a result, ISIS was born. Let’s face that fact,” she continued. “It was Vice President Cheney and Condi Rice working for George W. Bush and Rumsfeld and all those folks — that’s just like, you know, a nightmare come back to haunt me, just frankly — who are basically telling us, get right back in there again. The American people don’t want it. The president doesn’t want us in.”

PBS host Tavis Smiley said on “Face the Nation” that it is “beyond troubling” to see the “revisionist history” from neoconservatives who pushed the 2003 invasion but now blame the president for the chaos.

“The president clearly…has made mistakes since he’s been president, on a number of foreign policy fronts,” Smiley said. “But to lay all of this at his feet and to forget how we got in this mess in the first place, as if the clock started this week on Iraq, is sickening.”

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., told ABC News that Cheney is singularly unqualified to advise anyone on Iraq.

“Why don’t we go get the guy who wrecked the Exxon Valdez and ask him about, you know, how to run an oil tanker,” he joked. “I mean, there couldn’t be a worse person to offer views on what to do next.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., offered perhaps the pithiest response on Wednesday to Cheney’s offered advice: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Cheney, though, didn’t cede an inch to his critics on Sunday, defending his push for the 2003 invasion and reiterating his condemnation of the president during an interview with ABC News.

“I was a strong supporter then of going into Iraq, I’m a strong supporter now. Everybody knows what my position is. There’s nothing to be argued about there,” he said. “But if we spend our time debating what happened 11 or 12 years ago, we’re going to miss the threat that is growing and that we do face.”

He singled out Paul for criticism, saying the senator simply doesn’t understand the nature of the threat posed by terrorism.

“Rand Paul, with all due respect, is basically an isolationist. He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved in that part of the world,” Cheney said. “That didn’t work in the 1930s, it sure as heck won’t work in the aftermath of 9/11, when 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters came all the way from Afghanistan and killed 3,000 of our citizens.”

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Alaska House, Senate negotiators reach agreement on budget

    by Associated Press on Apr 25, 23:13

    House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a state operating budget, and proposed a way to fund government through the end of this fiscal year without potentially having to draw from the constitutional budget reserve fund. The committee proposed using $1.1 billion in forward-funding for education for the fiscal year beginning July 1, to […]

  • News

    Nepali community in Anchorage hit hard by news of earthquake

    by Sierra Starks on Apr 25, 23:09

    After hearing about the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal near the country’s capital, Jeet Tamang was relieved to finally be able to talk to his family Saturday. “The whole world is trying to call over there,” said Tamang. “And it’s really hard to get through.” The death toll from the devastating Nepal quake now stands […]

  • Sports

    Iditarod musher Steve Watkins safe, was climbing Everest during Nepal earthquake

    by KTVA Sports on Apr 25, 20:22

    Army veteran and 2015 Iditarod rookie Steve Watkins was unharmed, as of Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The epicenter of the quake was 130 miles from Mount Everest, where Watkins was in the process of climbing to the summit. According to his girlfriend, Joy Chairusmi, Watkins was at camp […]

  • News

    How Alaska can benefit from US taking chair of Arctic Council

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 25, 11:56

    The University of Alaska Anchorage hosted a live-stream presentation Friday as the U.S. took over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a group of eight nations with Arctic territory and six indigenous Arctic organizations. The goal is to encourage cooperation to protect the Arctic environment while ensuring responsible development. Between retreating sea ice, warming temperatures, shipping, […]

  • News

    Nepal quake: More than 1K dead, history crumbles, Everest shaken

    by CNN / AP on Apr 25, 10:33

      A top Nepalese police official says at least 1,130 people are confirmed dead following a powerful earthquake that struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8, shook four other countries in addition to Nepal. Aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours. An avalanche swept across Mount […]

  • News

    More Alaska National Guard emails released

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 24, 21:12

    The state released thousands of emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal late Friday afternoon. It’s been more than 5 months since they’ve handed over any of the information they were ordered to give the media last year. In October, a judge ruled that then-Gov. Sean Parnell’s office must provide any correspondence that relates […]

  • Sports

    Thomas Wins 31st Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year

    by Dave Goldman on Apr 24, 20:42

    The junior ran away with it. It’s been said many times in Cody Thomas’s illustrious career. It also described his path on Friday night as the 2014-15 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year. The New Zealander claimed the honor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s athletic banquet at the Lucy Cuddy Center. Thomas’ list of accomplishments not only set the […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, April 24

    by KTVA Weather on Apr 24, 20:40

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies for southern areas of the Kenai. Most of the area with some rain showers in the mountains, south of Clam Gulch, and on the east side of the Kenai.   Southeast Expect lots of sunshine for northern and central areas with more clouds and a chance for afternoon […]