Despite undergoing a heart transplant in 2012, former vice president Dick Cheney is still very much alive and well—and still hungry for war. On this week’s “Face the Nation,” Cheney told Charlie Rose that he believes the Obama Administration can and should pursue military action against Russia after the recent invasion of Ukraine.
That’s right: Dick Cheney thinks missiles are the solution to Ukraine’s problems. Take a minute to recover from the shock.
Of perhaps more interesting note is Cheney’s justification for said belief. According to him, Russian president Vladimir Putin deserves a healthy dose of American ass-kicking for having violated treaties, “like the Budapest Memorandum, when Russia, the U.S. and Britain guaranteed the borders of Ukraine in return for Ukraine giving up their nuclear weapons. Very important. And Putin is just blowing that off.”
Cheney continued his argument, noting that “the real question is how much do you want to allow Putin to ignore those agreements — very, very important agreements — that ended the Cold War, led to the unification of Europe and the liberation of millions of people?… I do not believe we should allow him to do that without paying a price.”
While it’s certainly laudable that Cheney thinks so highly of international agreements, we have to wonder when, exactly, he changed his opinion on the subject—because when he was vice president (i.e., when his ideas still mattered), treaties seemed about as important to Cheney as adhering to a heart-healthy diet.
As you might remember, one of the most controversial decisions made by the George W. Bush Administration (and there was a whole lot of ‘em) was to sanction the use of torture during the interrogation of terrorism suspects. That’s all fine and dandy, except for the somewhat awkward fact that banning torture was pretty much the whole point of the UN Convention Against Torture, which the United States totally signed.
So what does Cheney think about the torture practiced under his watch? “I was a big supporter of waterboarding,” he told ABC after leaving office. “I was a big supporter of the enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Based on this brazen flouting of international law, many have called for Cheney to face war crime charges. But we think there’s a better solution: Maybe, instead, the United States should take military action against the Cheney residence—apparently, Dick himself would approve.