Beheading? 'Magnify That a Million Times Over,' Cheney Says

Susan Jones | August 21, 2014 | 7:18am EDT
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Former Vice President Dick Cheney.  (AP File Photo)

( - Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who helped push the United States into war with Iraq in 2003, says "there's no question" that ISIS terrorists are "very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies, not only in the Middle East but in Europe."

"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," he told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

Cheney said he doesn't think President Obama understands the "enormous" danger posed by radical Islam:

"The intelligence is there for all to see. 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, Sean, to the American military, is enormous. 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 he's reached the conclusion that Obama is finally discovering that the world is a "mean, nasty place" sometimes -- unlike the world Obama would prefer to see.

"He's not up to speed and does not want to believe all that's going on out there. But every day, we find new evidence that he'd rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with the crisis that's developing rapidly in the Middle East."

Cheney said Obama is the first president of either party, going back to Harry Truman, who "simply refuses to recognize the reality of the world we live in."

It's understandable that Americans are war-weary, but that's where leadership comes in -- "and Barack Obama's not providing it," Cheney said.

"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 said he's "absolutely certain" that another mass-casualty attack is in store for the United states. "Only next time, they'll have far deadlier weapons," he warned.

"The issue is whether or not we're going to allow them to succeed in their basic fundamental objective in achieving a caliphate, a true caliphate, representative of the kind of thing we saw centuries ago in the Middle East, and follow their ideology, which calls not only for the destruction of Israel but also the United States.

"Now, are we going to pull ourself up by our bootstraps and get on with the business of destroying ISIS, or are we simply going to sit back and agonize every time they commit another outrageous act?"

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