The Tune That Dick Cheney Used to Sing

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Tune That Dick Cheney Used to Sing

Harper's Ken Silverstein reminds us that there was a time when Dick Cheney had a very different view of how the U.S. should conduct its foreign policy in the oil-rich Middle East:
A few months ago, in an interview with Jim Lehrer, Vice President Dick Cheney — who has been leading the call for tough action on Iran — said that the country has been “a problem for a long time.”

Not that long, apparently. Go back to March 1996. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, which was eagerly seeking to win energy business in Iran. The Clinton Administration had imposed sanctions on Iran a year earlier.

“I think,” said Cheney (in '96), “we Americans sometimes make mistakes. There seems to be an assumption that somehow we know what's best for everybody else and that we are going to . . . get everybody else to live the way we would like.”

Cheney argued that a unilateral approach would backfire and urged the United States to follow the lead of European countries that were seeking to expand business and trade with Iran. According to a Reuters account, Cheney said history “proved that international influence was derived from economic activity and clout” — not from threats and provocations.

... Two years later, in a speech at the Cato Institute, Cheney was even more scathing toward American sanctions on Iran.

... "The nation that's isolated in terms of our sanctions policy in that part of the globe is not Iran. It is the United States. And the fact that we have tried to pressure governments in the region to adopt a sanctions policy that they clearly are not interested in pursuing has raised doubts in the minds of many of our friends about the overall wisdom and judgment of U.S. policy in the area.”

“The good Lord,” he told the crowd at Cato, “didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is.”

0 comments in The Tune That Dick Cheney Used to Sing

Post a Comment

The Tune That Dick Cheney Used to Sing | Demagogue Copyright © 2010