Liz Cheney, fast becoming the conservative's leading voice on foreign policy, is stepping up her assault on the Obama administration, charging that the president and his team are apologizing when they should be raising an iron fist. [See photos of the Obamas abroad.]
In her latest critique, given at an event to praise the "Manhattan Seven" who beat back the administration's bid to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, she said, "The last seventeen months, sadly, have been a period of drift and confusion for the country. And it seems to me clearer and clearer that the Obama doctrine has three prongs. Apologize for America. Abandon our allies. And appease our enemies."
Addressing the Center for Security Policy last week, she added: "Not even halfway into the Obama administration, there are some very grave challenges that have gotten worse. And our friends and our adversaries around the world are unfortunately sensing weakness."
A former State Department official in the Bush administration, Cheney is currently helping her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, write his memoirs. She has been mentioned in Virginia GOP circles as a potential House or Senate candidate, possibly a challenger to Democratic Sen. Jim Webb who's up for reelection in 2012. [Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About Dick Cheney.]
Cheney recently helped start Keep America Safe, boosting her voice on U.S. policy. But it's her closeness to her father and her view on foreign policy that give weight to her new comments, some of which were even sharper than the former vice president's.
Reviewing the president's policies around the world, Cheney—in the New York speech that was ignored in the media—said Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was right during the 2008 Democratic primary election when she warned in an about the president's limited experience in an attack ad. "It was the ad where she cautioned that the next president would have to deal with crises. And he'd have to deal with crises that came in three a.m. phone calls. Well, she had that right," said Cheney.
Her pet peeves:
--On Israel, she accused the administration of a "shabby" treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and she voiced anger that the U.S. didn't go to bat for Israel when it recently enforced the blockade of Gaza.
--On Iran, she said the administration is relying too much on sanctions to stop Tehran's nuclear program. "The dangers grow to us and to our allies with every hour we waste. The only way that diplomacy will succeed in convincing the Iranians to turn away from their nuclear program is if they believe, without a doubt, that if they fail to take those steps diplomatically, the United States will take military action to stop their nuclear program. And today, they do not believe that," said Cheney.
--She decried the administration's cancellation of a missile shield to be placed in Poland the Czech Republic. "It is more dangerous to be America's friend than it is to be America's enemy," she said.
And while she said that the criticism by herself and her father wasn't meant to be confrontational, but instead constructive dialogue, Cheney said that she is worried about U.S. security and called on Democrats and Republicans to voice their concerns to the administration. "I think there's a particularly important message we should all send to president Obama in this regard. President Obama, stop apologizing for this great nation and start defending her," she said.
Past attacks from Liz and Dick Cheney have been rebuffed by the administration as unconstructive and bellicose, but with Cheney's book coming out next spring, the duel is set to heat up again and indications from his allies are that Liz Cheney will help to lead that broadside going into the 2012 presidential election.