Think of things that the average person complains about: the internet is slow or their sports team loses a crucial game or, God forbid, they get stopped by a train on their daily commute.
In the moment, these things are frustrating to a lot of people, myself included. But some perspective on these “hardships” never hurts.
Somewhere, right now, someone has a terminal illness or has no means to get food or water. Somewhere else, a flood just swept away a family’s house or a person’s child was just the victim of gun violence.
It sounds depressing – and it is – but it gives you something to be mindful of as you scream at a slow-moving train or throw your laptop across the room because the Wi-Fi isn’t working. A lot of our problems aren’t that bad when we put them in perspective.
This is when former (Vice) President – and current spokesperson for Shameless Hypocrisy, Inc. – Dick Cheney comes into the discussion.
When you think about our country’s current situation, especially in Iraq, don’t forget how badly degraded our standing in the world was when Cheney was shaping foreign policy.
When we waged war in Iraq, based on faulty intelligence and questionable motives, what did Cheney and company say?
The conflict would only take months. Wrong.
There were weapons of mass destruction. Wrong.
It would be a quick and easy war. Wrong.
There was a connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. Wrong.
If being wrong was a crime, Cheney would be serving at least three life sentences in prison. And maybe he should, since his failure to get things right resulted in thousands of dead U.S. soldiers.
Not only was he wrong, but his insistence that we invade and occupy Iraq only served to undermine the U.S. operation in Afghanistan, where we seemingly let the 9/11 perpetrators off the hook. It was only until the Bush/Cheney administration left office that we shifted our foreign policy back toward Afghanistan and finally took out Osama bin Laden and a whole host of other al-Qaeda leaders.
So Mr. Cheney was wrong on just about every foreign policy decision he had a role in making when he was in office. Yet, for some mind-boggling reason, the current Republican Party is taking their policy tips from him, all while the media keep giving him a platform on which to shamelessly talk about how bad the current president’s foreign policy is.
How many more times does Cheney have to screw up before we stop listening to him?
All of this is not to say that these are boom times for America’s foreign policy. What I’m saying is that we, the American people, shouldn’t confuse a slow-moving train for a terminal illness. We should not confuse today’s challenges in the middle east with the inept foreign policy perpetuated by Dick Cheney and friends.
Instead, whenever Cheney opens the lopsided orifice on his face, we should remember just how bad things were when he was influencing U.S. policy decisions – foreign and domestic – and how awful things could be if Cheney were still in charge.
Oh, and he shot a guy in the face for God’s sake.