Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, adapted from their forthcoming book “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,” in which they compare President Obama’s Iran deal to the infamous act of capitulation that launched World War 2.
The Obama nuclear agreement with Iran is tragically reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement in 1938. Each was negotiated from a position of weakness by a leader willing to concede nearly everything to appease an ideological dictator. Hitler got Czechoslovakia. The mullahs in Tehran get billions of dollars and a pathway to a nuclear arsenal. Munich led to World War II. The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The U.S. Congress should reject this deal and reimpose the sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place. It is possible to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, but only if the U.S. negotiates from a position of strength, refuses to concede fundamental points and recognizes that the use of military force will be required if diplomacy fails to convince Iran to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.
The authors also introduce other examples of how defiance is the way to rally the world and defeat a dictatorship, not appeasement.
Earlier in the article, they also invoke Ronald Reagan standing up to the Soviet Evil Empire. “It is up to us in our time to choose, and choose wisely, between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day,” Reagan said in 1983.
The Cheneys argue that American leadership is vital, and its absence deeply felt. The spread of totalitarian evil is a game the aggressors win by default, if the defenders of freedom don’t show up with their A-game. The Cheneys find Obama’s leadership uniquely lacking:
In the Cold War American leadership guaranteed the survival of freedom, the liberation of Eastern Europe and the defeat of Soviet totalitarianism. In this century it will be essential for the defeat of militant Islam.
Yet despite the explosive spread of terrorist ideology and organizations, the establishment of an Islamic State caliphate in the heart of the Middle East, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and increasing threats from Iran, China, North Korea and Russia, President Obama has departed from this 75-year, largely bipartisan tradition of ensuring America’s pre-eminence and strength.
They go on to fault him for abandoning Iraq and Afghanistan, making “dangerous cuts to America’s military” that left the Army as “unready as it has been at any other time in its history” and our Navy fleet at a historic low, and cutting our nuclear arsenal.
The Cheneys argue that Obama’s Iran deal will “gut” the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, opening the floodgates to even more nuclear regimes in the future. One of the reasons they think Obama’s deal makes regional war more likely, not less, is because it frees up Iran and its terrorism honcho, Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, to redouble their bloody efforts, pockets bulging with Obama-sanctioned cash. Iran’s territorial aggression, fervent theology and ideology, and penchant for sponsoring bloody attacks on the soil of other nations is likely to spark a major war in the Middle East, they argue.
“A vote for the Obama nuclear deal is not a vote for peace or security,” the Cheneys assert. “It is a vote for an agreement that facilitates Tehran’s deadly objectives with potentially catastrophic consequences for the United States and our allies.”
All is not lost, if the right president takes over in 2017 and begins cleaning up the Obama wreckage, they claim. The Cheneys advise us to seek a president who “recognizes that everything the nation must do requires having a U.S. military with capabilities that are second to none—on land, in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace.”
They add an interesting point about how citizens bear the responsibility for transmitting the true history of American exceptionalism and the importance of strong American leadership to the future of the free world, to their children. This implicitly suggests we cannot expect our politicized left-dominated educational system to get the job done, especially as the narrative moves beyond World War 2 and into conflicts where the American left is, to put it mildly, not convinced their own nominal side deserved to win.
Children should “know that once there was an empire so evil and bereft of truth it had to build a wall to keep its citizens in, and that the free world, led by America, defeated it,” the Cheneys declare. “They need to know about the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, the courage of the first responders and the heroism of the passengers on Flight 93. They should understand what kind of world militant Islam will create if we don’t defeat it.”
They conclude with another Reagan quote, this one delivered on Omaha Beach to commemorate the D-Day landings: “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”