White House hits back at Cheney “dithering” comment
The White House is firing back at former Vice President Dick Cheney who accused President Barack Obama of “dithering” and being “afraid to make a decision” on whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
“I think it’s a curious comment,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters at his midday briefing.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Vice President was for seven years not focused on Afghanistan,” Gibbs added.
“Even more curious, given the fact that (an) increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president’s, for more than eight months, a resource request filled by President Obama in March,” he said.
Speaking to the Center for Security Policy, a Washington think-tank, Cheney said the White House needed to “stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger.”
“Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission,” Cheney said.
General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has recommended a troop increase of 40,000. Obama has been holding a series of policy meetings with his top advisers to review the request and has said he wants to make a thorough review of the strategy before deciding whether to approve more troops.
“What Vice President Cheney calls ‘dithering,’ President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public,” Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”
What do you think? Is Obama “dithering” as Cheney says, or acting in a thorough manner as the White House says?
PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/Pool (Cheney in Kabul in March 2008), REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Obama with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House in May)