Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Liz Cheney (Wyoming)
Washington – House GOP Conference Chair and Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined PBS’s “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover,” in an episode that aired Friday night. During the lengthy interview, Cheney expanded on her foreign policy worldview and also talked about the fraud of socialism that is being promoted by Democrats.
Watch some excerpts of the show below:
Cheney On The “Fraud of Socialism” Offered By Democrats
MARGARET HOOVER: One of the things that distinguishes you is you’re also a mother of five, and we know in the Republican Party that they’re facing a massive generational challenge as well, and as Democrats talk about student debt and issues that have become sexy issues for youth to talk about and engage in, how is the Conference Chair of the Republican Party thinking about offering alternatives that are attractive to a rising generation?
REP. LIZ CHENEY: First of all, we have to make sure that people of all ages, but young people in particular, understand what it means. When somebody says to you, “The government is going to give you a job, guarantee it, the government is gonna make sure that you can go to school for free, the government is gonna make all your decisions for you, you don’t have to do anything,” what that means fundamentally is you’re gonna lose freedom. Whether it’s a Green New Deal or Democratic takeover of healthcare. Those all come with a huge cost, and that cost is loss of freedom. And so you have to make a decision: Are you willing to give the government and some faceless bureaucrats who sit in Washington, D.C., the authority to make those choices for your life? Fundamentally, that is a system that makes slaves out of people. So what we have to do is explain to people and make sure people recognize and understand the cost of socialism and the cost that comes and the fraud of socialism.
Cheney On Supporting Freedom Around The Globe
HOOVER: So, we’re gonna get more to Iran, but first I’d like to go back and talk about your role during the Bush Administration at the State Department. You were the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State, and one of the areas of focus was on Democracy promotion as a tool for peacekeeping around the world. And I wonder if you still support and believe that the promotion of Democracy is an important tool for securing American peace and support what the Bush Administration called the freedom agenda.
REP. CHENEY: I do. I do believe, absolutely, that those fundamental values of freedom and liberty on which we were founded are morally right and that those are values that we ought to do everything we can to help to support and defend.
HOOVER: And the critics of that, especially in the context of the last administration, will point towards the Middle East and say that there are just some cultures that are culturally inhospitable to the ideas of Democracy or the institutions that are prerequisites for Democracy. What do you say to that?
REP. CHENEY: I think that’s racist. You know, I think if you look at — it’s not just Democracy. Democracy is a very important part of human freedom. Women’s empowerment is a very important part of freedom, I believe, economic empowerment. What we know is that all of those elements of free societies are the ones that are successful and the ones that create progress for human beings, and I believe we have a fundamental obligation to help to not just defend those in the United States but our freedom and our success and our economic prosperity depends upon free societies around the world.
HOOVER: Do you think it’s possible for Democracy to flourish in the Middle East?
REP. CHENEY: I do. I mean, I think you have examples of that. I mean, certainly Israel is an example of that. So I don’t believe that somehow there are only people of certain races that want to be free. I think that that, as I said before, I think that’s a racist way to look at it.
HOOVER: Could Democracy flourish in Saudi Arabia and in Iran?
CHENEY: I certainly think that people have the right in all places and at all times to be free. And I think that when you look today at our relationship with Saudi Arabia, a lot of it — it helps us to block Iran. It helps us in terms of stability in the region. But i certainly think — and when i was at the State Department — spent a lot of time talking to the Saudis about how important it was that women not be treated as second-class citizens. And i think those things still matter, and I think there are many societies, including the Saudis, that have a long way to go in that regard.
Cheney On Our Strategy When Dealing With Iran
HOOVER: What would a hot conflict with Iran look like?
REP. CHENEY: I guess I shy away from saying a hot conflict, a cold conflict. I think you have to deal with each individual situation as you find it, and the situation we’re in with Iran today is one where they have American blood on their hands. So the Iranians have been engaged in what looks to me like a hot conflict with us for decades. We’ve got to ensure that they don’t develop nuclear weapons. We’ve taken the agreement that basically said, “You’ve got a pathway to nuclear weapons in a few years,” was one, as i’ve said before, that i think was very irresponsible, and I think it’s good that we’ve stepped away from that.
HOOVER: So, is the — what should be the strategic objective of the United States vis–vis Iran? Is it regime collapse? Is it regime change?
REP. CHENEY: Our strategic objective is to get the behavior to change.
HOOVER: Regime behavior change.
REP. CHENEY: I think the behavior needs to change. Iranians need to stop their support for terrorism. The Iranians need to stop their activities that result in the death of Americans and our allies around the world. The Iranians need to recognize that we won’t be blackmailed into lifting the sanctions.
Cheney On Our Approach To Combatting Russia
HOOVER: I want to move on to Russia. And a lot has been made about President Trump and Vladimir Putin and the words they have for each other. But i’d like to back up to the previous administration because there was wide criticism of the Obama Administration from many, including you, about the Obama Administration’s Russian reset policy.
REP. CHENEY: I think that the Obama Administration and Secretary Clinton at the helm at the State Department really sort of fell into this idea that if we somehow extended a hand, that that would fundamentally change the course of that country and of that regime. And I think the problem is that Vladimir Putin — he’s KGB. Vladimir Putin is what he is, and he is running that nation with an effort to try to rebuild the Russian empire. He’s been quoted saying that one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century was the fact that the Soviet Union crumbled. And so, I think it’s very important for us to recognize they very clearly are adversaries.
HOOVER: So, against that backdrop of President Putin’s aspiration to reassemble Russia as a major geopolitical force, do you think about what would happen if Russia tried to mimic the actions of the invasion of Crimea and Ukraine but with a NATO ally, like Estonia, and what would you support the administration doing in that case?
REP. CHENEY: Absolutely we invoke Article Five. NATO is the single-most successful military alliance in the history of mankind. And it is an alliance that depends very much on the Russians recognizing that we will, at all times, come to the aid of NATO members if they’re attacked. I think that it’s important for us to make sure that the Russians understand that message so they don’t make a miscalculation.