Wineke: GOP leaders undermine U.S. security

Wineke: GOP leaders undermine U.S. security

Someone has to tell the leadership of the Republican Party that we are now in the war they’ve been asking us to wage.

And if we’re at war, then someone might think of telling Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Dick Cheney– just to name three– to stop trying to undermine the commander-in-chief.

I’m not talking about disagreeing with President Barack Obama’s policies. Anytime we are putting American servicemen and servicewomen in danger, it is the duty of those who disagree with the policy to say so.

Nor am I talking about racist demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and a good part of the FOX News commentary staff. If someone would pay me millions of dollars a year to sneer at the president, I would at a minimum be tempted.

No. I’m talking about the former vice president of the United States, who keeps finding people still interested in his opinion and calling Obama “very, very weak.”

I’m talking about the Republican candidate for president, who recently accused the president of being “too busy on the golf course to pick up the phone and meet with leaders around the world to say what happens if.”

The last I heard, incidentally, is that there are now 50 nations around the world, including most of the Arab and Islamic world that have joined the coalition to fight the terrorists in Iraq, Syria or both. Someone must have picked up the phone.

I’m talking about Romney’s vice presidential candidate, our very own Paul Ryan, who has been on interviews explaining he backs the president’s policy but doesn’t think he is capable of carrying it out.

“What I fear is the president is micromanaging the military in such an incremental way, making the same mistakes that were made in the past. We need to see this thing through and let the military do it as fast as possible,” Ryan said.

Is there some evidence the president is micromanaging the war? Or is Ryan just fearful of the prospect?

This has all been going on in one form or another for quite a long time. The top leaders of the Republican Party portray the president as a sniveling coward and then worry that the nation’s opponents don’t take him seriously.

I wonder how those opponents could ever come to that conclusion.

The alternative to Obama’s policies seems to be involving ourselves ever more deeply in seeking military means to, well, to what? Given enough guns and lives, I suspect we can destroy the current crop of terrorists. But they will just be replaced by a new crop of terrorists.

The idea of containing them doesn’t seem very masculine, I admit. But containment worked to keep the Soviet Union in line for decades and we used to talk about the Russians in pretty much the same terms we now use against the Islamists.

But, when all is said and done, the guy who just sets my teeth on edge is Cheney, who said this a few weeks ago:

“To avoid repeating President Obama’s arbitrary and hasty withdrawal of residual forces from Iraq – the tragic error that gave us the caliphate – we should halt the drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan.”

If there is one human being on the face of the earth responsible for destroying the status quo in Iraq and unleashing sectarian civil war in that country, it is the former vice president.

The “arbitrary and hasty” decision to withdraw our troops from that country was to carry out an agreement negotiated between President George Bush and Iraq before Obama took office. If Cheney had wanted a residual force of Americans to remain behind in 2011, his administration had the ability to negotiate it.

Frankly, I doubt that it would have made much difference one way or the other, except a lot more Americans would be in harm’s way today. But it does bug me to see Cheney taken seriously in this matter.