WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says that ISIS terrorists are “very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies,” adding that the recent beheading of an American journalist is “what’s in store for the rest of the world” should the U.S. not respond with force.
Cheney, who helped push the U.S. war with Iraq in 2003, tells Fox News “there’s no question” that the Islamic State militant group claiming responsibility for the brutal beheading video of James Foley is indicative of a wider problem in the Middle East and Europe. The former vice president said President Barack Obama doesn’t realize that the world is a “mean, nasty place” in some regions.
“And when you see them behead an American reporter … that’s obviously a terrible development, but magnify that a million times over because that’s what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal effectively with this crisis,” Cheney told Fox News. He added that Obama doesn’t understand the “enormous” dangers posed by radical Islamic forces.
“The intelligence is there for all to see,” said Cheney. “There’s no question about what’s happening. But this president and the people around him refuse to recognize it and certainly refuse to deal with it.
“The damage that is being done as we talk tonight to the American military is enormous,” continued Cheney. “They’re taking our Army down below levels we haven’t seen since Pearl Harbor. They’ve made major reductions in the Air Force and the Navy…So it’s a train wreck. And there’s one more train wreck every day. It’s hard to believe that this president is as ineffective as he clearly is.”
Cheney said Obama lives in an ideal world, and unlike presidents dating back to Harry Truman, he “simply refuses to recognize the reality of the world we live in.”
Cheney said he understands that Americans are “war-weary,” but that Obama’s role as the leader of the country is to “persuade” them of the possibility of greater, deadlier attacks against the U.S. in the future.
“Of course, it’s difficult to persuade the American people that we ought to send our sons and daughters off to fight a war. But sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. And that’s why we have presidents. And that’s why they have the authority as commander-in-chief to make those decisions and why those of us who are involved need to do everything we can to support them and support our troops in the field,” Cheney told Fox News.
Cheney said he’s “absolutely certain” of massive deadly attacks against the U.S. in the future, “only next time, they’ll have far deadlier weapons.”