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Shoot Your Friends First: The Cheney Doctrine

By       Message Dave Lindorff       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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By Dave Lindorff

Some people are expressing consternation and disbelief at a report
by journalist Seymour Hersh that Vice President Dick Cheney had
discussed the idea in his office of having some Navy Seals dress up as
Iranians, and then putting them in faked Iranian speedboats to make a fake
attack on US ships in the Persian Gulf. The ensuing faked battle, with
fake Iranians shooting at US ships and US ships firing back, he
suggested, could be used to spark a war between the US and Iran.

' I don’t know why people would find it hard to believe that this
vice president would think up an idea like having Americans shoot at
other Americans in the interest of his own warped view of national

After all, this is a guy who shoots his own friends.

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Besides, Cheney is in good company in this kind of thinking. We know
from reports of the meeting filed by British intelligence that
President Bush engaged in the same kind of thing when he was having
trouble getting the country and the rest of the civilized world behind
his and Cheney’s plan to attack Iraq. It was disclosed years later that
in early 2003, Bush suggested to Prime Minister Tony Blair that the US
could paint a U-2 spy plane in UN colors and fly it over sensitive
parts of Iraqi airspace, so that Saddam Hussein would order it show
down. That, he argued, would anger enough UN member states to win a
security resolution to support a war on Iraq, and failing that, would
give the US an excuse to go in on its own. Blair was reportedly
horrified at this kind of kamikaze thinking—but not horrified enough to
expose the president as a nutcase.

So that’s where we are today folks. A president and a vice president
who both think that it’s a great idea to either send some of your own
troops under false flags into harm’s way to get shot at so you can
start a war, or, even worse, to dress up some of your soldiers as the
enemy you want to go after, and have them open fire on your own guys so
that you can claim you were attacked, and then go to war.

Who gets tricked by all these mad schemes?

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Not the Iranians, or in the earlier instance, the Iraqis. They know
they aren’t attacking American forces. No. It’s us, the American
people, who are being tricked. Cheney knows that most Americans think
the idea of attacking Iran—especially when we’re five years into an
interminable war in Iraq and seven years into another war in
Afghanistan, neither of which has an end in sight—is really, really
stupid. So they’re trying to think up a way to trick us into supporting
doing such a stupid thing. And the only thing they can come up with to
overcome of reticence is making us think that our guys are being

Now let me say that I’ve been a skeptic about people who claim the
9-11 attacks were an “inside job”—that the US government actually
organized those attacks. I know all the arguments and evidence, but it
always seemed to me that it was over the top to think that our leaders
would try to deliberately kill Americans in order to achieve some
policy goal. And yet, here we have Dick Cheney, the real brains (such
as they are) behind the Bush administration, discussing a plan, using
American forces, to fake an attack on other American forces.

It makes me wonder whether maybe Cheney deliberately shot his friend
Harry Whittington, either to flush those damned elusive quail he was
after, or so that he could generate public sympathy for the embattled
President Bush. And it even makes me wonder whether crazy Dick actually
did have a hand in bringing down those Twin Towers. He may be too
stupid to pull something like that off, but he has made it clear that
it isn’t moral scruples that would prevent him from doing such a
monstrous thing.

As ludicrous, pathetic and outrageous as this administration is, we
need to take this latest Hersh report seriously. It seems clear that
Cheney has a predilection for using fratricide to achieve his nefarious

It’s one thing when he does it with his own rifle, though. It’s
another when he does it with the world’s most mighty military machine.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is
“The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available
in paperback edition). His work is available at


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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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