In a new interview with right-wing radio host Scott Hennen, Vice President Cheney again criticizes President Obama’s national security policies, harping on his belief that Obama is “dithering” on Afghanistan and endangering U.S. troops. To make his point, Cheney talked about the “perspective” of men and women serving on the front lines:
I worry that there’s a lack of understanding there of what this means from the perspective of the troops. You know, if you’re out there on the line day in and day out and putting your life at risk on a volunteer basis for the nation, and you see the Commander in Chief unable, to or appearing to be unable, to make a decision about the way forward here — you know that raises serious doubts. Nobody wants to think of volunteering to be participate in that kind of operation. [...]
It may in part be inexperience on Obama’s part. It may be that there’s confusion on the staff. But I’m not encouraged by it.
Listen here (beginning at 2:20):
Cheney really doesn’t have any more authority on this subject than Obama does. He neither served in the military, nor has he been Commander-in-Chief. As the New York Times noted in 2004:
Eventually, like 16 million other young men of that era, Mr. Cheney sought deferments. By the time he turned 26 in January 1967 and was no longer eligible for the draft, he had asked for and received five deferments, four because he was a student and one for being a new father.
Bush administration officials also seemed to think that they were soldiers in the military, with former White House press secretary Tony Snow saying that President Bush was on the “front lines” and “in the war every day.” In April 2007, First Lady Laura Bush said that “no one suffers more than their President and I do” during wartime, and Bush would speak on behalf of U.S. servicemembers to bolster his policy ideas. “The [military] families gathered here understand that our troops want to finish the job,” Bush said in 2007 during a speech opposing Iraq redeployment.