- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday that President Obama’s non-interventionist agenda and disengagement abroad gave rise to the terrorist army known as the Islamic State and other turmoil around the globe.

“I’m here to tell you that there’s a connection between these problems — between a disengaged president and some very volatile situations abroad,” Mr. Cheney said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

His remarks came just hours before Mr. Obama is scheduled to address the nation to outline a new strategy to confront the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, which overrun large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and beheaded two American journalists.

Mr. Cheney, who was a leading figure in President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said the troubles engulfing the world stem from Mr. Obama’s proven “distrust for American power as a force for good in the world.”

“So often, President Obama responds to crises abroad by announcing all the things he will not do,” he said “Too often, threats and aggression have been met with stern declarations of inaction by the United States, supported by lengthy explanations of our inability to shape events. And inaction by America spells opportunity for our adversaries, as in the case of Syria, where we saw the Russians move in for their own advantage.”

Mr. Cheney said that he “can only hope the pattern ends today.”

“A policy of non-intervention can be just as dogmatic as its opposite, and this president has seemed at times only more sure of himself as he is disproved by events,” he said, pointing to Mr. Obama’s aborted military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

“After the regime used chemical weapons against thousands of children, the administration took a stance of what you might call principled indifference: We cared, went the message — just not enough to do anything about it. And never mind the high-minded warnings and meaningless red line,” Mr. Cheney said.

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