Today Dick Cheney validated what I have posited for years.
Cheney's disappointment with the former president surfaced recently in one of the informal conversations he is holding to discuss the book with authors, diplomats, policy experts and past colleagues. By habit, he listens more than he talks, but Cheney broke form when asked about his regrets.
"In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him," said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney's reply. "He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice. He'd showed an independence that Cheney didn't see coming. It was clear that Cheney's doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times -- never apologize, never explain -- and Bush moved toward the conciliatory."
Cheney is penning a book. Good. I can't wait to read it. America was lost when Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton and truly great leaders and statesmen were cast aside for apologists, appeasers and sell-outs to the left and their tyrannical masters.
I asked this very question of Ambassador Bolton here three weeks ago:
Full text of interview here.
Pamela Geller: I’m going to cut right to the chase because we only have a certain amount of time on You Tube, we have to work within the confines of the new technology. I want to go back to recent history, but really sort of ancient history now, in comparing the two administrations, Bush’s first and Bush’s second.
The second is so different in tone, if it could have another name on it, you would be believable. There was this thinking from the outsiders, that, there were two warring factions in the Bush administration, there was the Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton faction, and there was, lets say, Colin Powell, Armitage, Kritell, Catlin and subsequently Condi Rice.
Now at some point, it pains me to say, that the former lost out in the intellectual argument, or was defeated or what have you. The Condi State Department nearly took over in the second administration. I sort of saw it as a defining line, historically, in the summer of 2006 when Israel didn’t hold up its end in the strategic battle on the war on Jihad. You sort have had, Bush allowing…I’ll let you talk, I promise, because that is really why they’re watching, Bush allowing Israel to eradicate Hezbollah, and Olmert hesitated, lets be frank.
So that was crushing I thought, and then of course losing the Congress, then it was really over and ‘Bush Shrugged’. Could you tell me where I have it wrong and your perception from the inside, because it sure don’t matter now.
John Bolton: Yeah. Well there are a lot of issues there and I do think that there was disagreement within the Bush administration, I don’t think it necessarily followed fixed lines, I think that different people took different positions. In the first Bush term on many foreign policy issues, not Iraq, but on many other foreign policy issues, the disagreements within the administration often led to policies that were, if not internally contradictory, at least not entirely consistent, and I think specifically of Iran and North Korea, and our efforts to stop their nuclear weapons program.
The debates within the administration were not resolved within the highest level, and I believe one reason for that was the national security run by Condi Rice was not functioning as effectively as it might. It didn’t bring crisp disagreements to the president for decisions. The second term was very different, with a number of people departing for other positions and leaving the administration…
Atlas: You included.
I didn’t leave until a little bit later, but Secretary Rice then became
Secretary of State, and she, from basically the beginning of the second
term, was the dominant voice in national security advice to the
president. Eclipsing others, many left like Secretary Rumsfeld,
eclipsing the Vice President for reasons only President Bush best
knows. But, I think the, therefore the process in the second term was
different, and the outcome was very different. Condi, in too many
instances in my view, channelled the view of the State Department. She
spoke directly to Bush obviously, and he listened almost exclusively to
So the net, net, at the end of Bush’s second term was that we followed policies in many respects, on the Middle East, on Iran and North Korea, that functionally were not all that different were Barack Obama was when he came into office.