Cheney Father-Daughter Team Hit Obama in New Book

Former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, are exceptional individuals, and Exceptional (the title of their book) is how readers will describe its contents when they have finished it.

The book is separated into three parts.  The first is a journey throughout history, where American presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to George W. Bush had a bipartisan approach to foreign policy.  The second part shows how President Obama has deviated from this policy, causing the rise of America's enemies.  In the third part, the authors list what must be done to restore America as the world's premier power and leader.

Liz Cheney explained: "The point of our book is to say America is an exceptional nation.  We have been since our founding and are today, but for different reasons.  After America's founding we became a model for freedom in the world, and from the time of WWII, we became the defender of that freedom.  The fact that we have a president that is embarking on dangerous policies does not mean we are not exceptional.  Rather, it means he does not recognize the unique role we must play in the world.  We need a president that truly believes we are freedom's defender."

The authors first give a short history of America's foreign policy and the unique role played as the world's protector of freedom.  They add flavor by using quotes from past presidents that show how they knew that weakness invites aggression.  The Cheneys write about President Roosevelt, who in 1940 convinced a war-weary and isolationist-leaning country to join WWII because America has an obligation as "the defender of freedom" and "the arsenal of democracy."  And in 1962, Kennedy said, "The 1930s taught us a clear lesson: aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war."

Throughout the first part, they show that both Democratic and Republican presidents believed in a bipartisan approach that recognized America's prominence in the world.  Vice President Cheney commented to American Thinker, "I don't think Theodore Roosevelt would recognize Barack Obama in terms of his policy.  Looking at the Democratic Party from Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy, all shared in the consensus view that we had to be strong and the leader of the free world.  I don't think they would associate themselves with Barack Obama's policies.  This is a guy who wanted to go to Japan and apologize for what we did in WWII at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Harry Truman's decision to use the bomb was crucial in reducing loss of life, or we would have had to invade Japan.

"[Obama] is trying to rewrite our history through his apologies of what his American predecessors did.  It comes down to an issue of leadership.  As we quote in the book, President Ronald Reagan said, 'It is up to us in our time to choose, and choose wisely, between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day.'"

Part II explains how President Obama's policies have made America less safe, citing ISIS, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.  General Eisenhower's quote from the first part of the book is also appropriate to Part II: "[T]o get peace, we have to fight like hell." 

Liz Cheney commented to American Thinker about the above quote: "President Obama believes the U.S. is a malign force in the world, a force for ill.  He tries to do anything possible to minimize our impact in the world and to limit our engagement/involvement.  The President pays lip service as he says he will destroy ISIS but takes no action to achieve that outcome.  He has put a lot of policies in place that created outcomes adverse to our national security interests.  To the extent American adversaries are prevailing, it is a direct result of a president that does not understand or believe we need a military that is second to none."

Part III is the most interesting part of the book.  The Cheneys make recommendations on how to use America's power against its enemies.  This path restores America as the world's leader that includes rebuilding the military, negotiating with our adversaries from a position of strength, and working closely with our allies. 

The vice president stated, "My dad and an awful lot of Americans served in WWII.  They look back on their service with pride.  Today President Obama has sent a tremendous signal to friends and adversaries of weakness and our inability to influence events in the world.  For example, when America withdrew from the Middle East, the Iranians, ISIS, and Russia, all our adversaries, filled the void.  He has decimated our military capabilities in the face of rising threats.  I can't think of a time in history, in our history, when we've seen rising threats: ISIS in the Middle East, creator of a caliphate; China on the march in the South China Sea; Putin in Europe.  Yet the president is consciously and obviously doing whatever he can to reduce our military capabilities.  The military has been very sadly neglected, especially in the strategic systems.  The damage to the Defense Department will take years to be built up.

"What really bugs me is, Barack Obama has taken away a future president's ability to play defender.  I remember after Desert Storm, one of the first things I did was call Ronald Reagan and thank him for having a magnificent military force that helped us to wrap things up in a very short order.  Now we will have future presidents that will look back and tear their hair out because of the damage done to the military.

"But I am hopeful because of all the good candidates on the Republican side.  A number of them have been very clear about their understanding of what it will take to return American power and influence across the globe."

Exceptional: Why The World Needs A Powerful America is a must-read.  Unlike many authors, the Cheneys actually make clear and concise recommendations of what future presidents need to accomplish.  Through the historical journey, readers will understand why the authors' criticism of the current president is valid.  They make the excellent point that to safeguard America, presidents must "speak softly, but carry a big stick." 

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.