The appearance of llegitimacy
Does it matter whether there is actual corruption by VP Cheney re Halliburton's role in the Iraq reconstruction? There is clearly an appearance of impropriety, and Halliburton should have recused itself from Iraq for the sake of American national security. Halliburton pigging out in Iraq creates the appearance of an economic motive for the invasion, giving a huge propaganda bonus to those who claim America is occupying Iraq, not liberating it. This inflames the Iraq insurgents and raises suspicions among our allies. Halliburton's reconstruction deal is a political liability for the Bush administration. Fair or not, the patriotic thing was for Halliburton to sit out on Iraq.
I think this is a no-brainer: if the Vice President owns mad stock in a company that he formerly ran as Chairman and CEO, and that company gets a multi-billion no-bid contract in a country occupied by American forces, billions of people around the world are going to get suspicious. Cheney shovels up the b.s. about Halliburton - some are convinced, but billions don't buy it. Especially in other countries, where people aren't watching Fox News every night, the Cheney Halliburton connection makes the case better than Al-Jazeera ever could that America has morphed into a shameless, oil-thirsty military aggressor.
But I can't believe Dick Cheney doesn't already know that. Regardless of any answer Cheney gives re Halliburton, it is irrational nonsense to claim that anything outweighs the cloud placed over American motives by those contracts.
That cloud of suspicion means our allies have refused to share the expense in Iraq, leaving American taxpayers with the whole tab for the war. Cheney knows this. Why has he allowed Halliburton to profit in Iraq? Does Halliburton have 'dirt' on Dick Cheney they are using to force their way into the Iraq windfall at the expense of American national security.
The Dems love to accuse Cheney of of pure anti-American greed. But it's more likely that the Halliburton no-bid contracts reveal Cheney's weakness and vulnerability. More than likely, Halliburton has the VP by the balls and they're squeezing Cheney just like their squeezing Iraq. Squeeze!
Bush: The Anti-Nixon. Richard Nixon had a nervous breakdown and had to be removed from office. It's bad news when the C in C goes nuts, but our constitution provides for the swift removal from office of a crazy President. Before his breakdown, Nixon was a great foreign policy president, the architect of American victory in the Cold War, and a master of geopolitical strategy. Nixon's Vice President was a crook just like Dick Cheney. But I don't believe Nixon would have let corruption by his Vice President compromise the national security. If Nixon were President today, he'd tell Halliburton, "Sit this on out boys, for the good of the country. I'll hook you up on the next gravy train." And Nixon had the nuts to enforce his will. If Halliburton fucked with Nixon, he'd shove an audit so far up their fat ass, tax agents would be peeking out their nostrils. Bush Cheney talk tough, but neither one has the nuts of Nixon
Bush-Cheney are a disgrace to the modern Republican legacy of foreign policy skill, represented primarily by Nixon, and to a lesser degree by Reagan and George Bush Sr. Right now, the Repubs are riding on reputation, but the lack of foreign policy smarts shown by the Iraq blunder is unforgiveable.