Who Gave You The Zombie Heart, Dick Cheney?

Ed Raymond

Whenever I see and hear former Vice-President Dick Cheney go on one of his acrimonious tantrums about the fate of the world under the leadership of President Barack Obama, I think of T.S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock, a man filled with high sentence but a fool, ruminate about his own qualities: “I am no prophet–and here’s no great matter,/ I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,/And I have seen the eternal Footman (Death) hold my coat and snicker,/ And in short, I was afraid.” Why can’t he leave it alone? Is it because he “feels perfect in every way?” Does he think he can rehab his crippled legacy? Or does he feel guilty about leading George W. Bush into desert sand after oil while turning the tribes of the Middle East into warring barbarians? Cheney is a fascinating conundrum of narcissism, ego, inferiority complex, and pathological liar.
In some ways he reminds me of the African drongo bird, another well-known pathological liar of the animal world. The bird is known for deceiving other animals by mimicking bird alarm calls so it can steal food the victims of his false alarms leave behind--as they run for their lives. Drongos are the con artists of the African Kalahari Desert, master liars by learning as many as 50 alarm calls of other birds. Sometimes they actually warn other predators of approaching danger. Sometimes they give alarm calls so they can steal the food killed by other predators. The drongos have red eyes, a hooked beak, and a forked tail. Cheney has blue eyes, a mouth with a permanent sneer, and a forked tongue.
What does Cheney Do When He Looks In A Mirror?

Is Cheney guilty of narcissism?   This pathological disorder has been around since the ancient Greeks defined it. Maybe Adam was touched by it–after the apple, of course. In 1980 the American Psychological Association recognized that narcissism is a pathology,  although only one percent of the population normally contracts it. (Incidentally, and perhaps ironically, many of the One Percent, of which Cheney is a member, have this one percent pathology!).  Narcissus the Greek looked at his reflection in a pool of water and fell hopelessly in love with himself. He couldn’t tear himself away.
Is this what happens when Cheney looks at himself in a mirror?  He has many of the characteristics of the classic narcissist: lacks empathy, is arrogant, has inflated sense of self-importance, is ruthless, aggressive, and hypersensitive, has disdain for normal rules, is greedy, overvalues material possessions, needs constant attention and admiration, reacts to criticism with rage and combativeness, is power-hungry, and has selfish goals. Add in haughty body language. Watch him during a lengthy interview.
During the Vietnam War the-great-warrior-of-Iraq Cheney received five different kinds of military deferments too numerous to mention here. He also said he had better things to do. As vice-president he said Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) without a doubt, thus convincing Condi Rice to talk about smoking guns and hovering mushroom clouds and Colin Powell  to lie to the United Nations. Cheney talked about a mysterious Al Queda-Iraqi meeting in Prague that never took place. Remember when he said we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq? Remember when Cheney’s neocon buddy Paul Wolfowitz estimated that the Iraq War would cost us only millions because we would pay for it with Iraqi oil? Now the closest estimate is $4 trillion.  Who agreed to withdraw all troops from Iraq in 2011? Bush-Cheney. Who put Nouri al-Maliki in power? Bush-Cheney. Cheney had the chutzpah to say, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.” Which president was he talking about?

What Kind Of Man Kills 70 Tame Pheasants In An Afternoon Of Shooting?

It would make a terrific case study. Why does a man with five deferments from armed conflict, a man who has never had a military uniform on, love to kill tame animals by the gross? Is a ruthless pathological liar also a pathological killer? How much “canned hunting” Cheney did before becoming vice-president is probably classified, but records back to 2001 suggest it is at least a personal annual mushroom cloud.  He had a shoot at a 4,000-acre New York canned hunting club named the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in 2001 which charges $150,000 a year to kill tame pheasants, ducks, and Hungarian partridges. His trip cost local taxpayers $32,000 for security alone. Sometimes these birds have to be kicked or pushed to get them to fly because they are raised in small cages similar to chickens in an egg factory.  The birds often wear goggles so they don’t peck each other to death in frustration. Some cannot walk or fly and none know how to hide in the wild. Some states have banned canned hunting for moral reasons and cruelty to animals. Real hunters have described that canned hunting is like having sex with a blow-up doll. What are Cheney’s reasons? Is killing “sexual” for him?

Remember When The Quail-Hunting Cheney “Canned” A Lawyer?

At a canned hunt at the Pennsylvania Rolling Rock Club in 2003 he killed 70 pheasants and dozens of ducks in one afternoon. His “hunting” party killed a total of 417 pheasants that day. At a 2006 Texas quail hunt he actually “canned” a lawyer friend Harry Whittington, wounding him in the face. I see the Department of Transportation places the value of $9.2 million on each human life. One would think anyone carrying a gun would be more careful.
Psychologist Gerald Schiller suggests that people who program massacres of tame, pen-raised or caged animals and birds have a rather deep psychological disorder. Criminologists say that such killing of defenseless tame animals is often a predictor of criminal and homicidal violence. Richard Speck, the killer of Chicago nurses, And Jeffrey Dahmer of Wisconsin who did weird things to humans, committed very cruel acts on animals before killing human beings.
Psychologists estimate there are about three million narcissists in the U.S. Senator John McCain, who put the irrepressible Sarah Palin’s index finger close to the nuclear button, is another prominent example. John looks into a TV camera, sees his image, and falls in love time after boring time. I just heard him on a newscast say, “We are living in the most dangerous time in world history.”  C’mon, John. More dangerous than the Cold War with Russia and the potential use of nuclear weapons?  More dangerous than WW II? No wonder this guy graduated 894th out of 899 graduates at the Naval Academy!  McCain has called for  war in at least a dozen countries. Might makes right to the right. He doesn’t have the brains to figure out it’s best to stay out of wars of unintended consequences.
Another prime example is the beautiful Donald Trump, who must live in a house of mirrors. He has dedicated his whole life to himself.  He attacks the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency by saying the Hawaii birth certificate is a forgery. He continues to say Barack Hussein Obama was actually born in Kenya. I wonder what location is cited on Trump’s birth certificate. Maybe The Donald is hiding the fact his certificate lists “Heaven.” A reporter described him as being a “shameless, birther-believing, stubby-fingered, spray-tanned, right-wing egomaniac.” Accurate–and not a word about his haircut.

It’s Possible Cheney Has A Zombie Heart And Post Operative Cognitive Disorder

Cheney had his first heart attack at 37 during a period of time when he smoked three packs a day. Over the years he had four more plus many other heart procedures. He lived with a mechanical heart for two years after the five attacks, and finally had a heart transplant at age 71.  Although there is no firm age limit for those receiving heart transplants, it is rare over 65. That’s another story.
About half of the patients having heart surgery and anesthesia have memory or thinking problems, and some have extensive personality changes. I have followed his career since he was elected to the House of Representatives. He may have been affected by PostOperative Cognitive Disorder (POCD) by all of these surgeries and his transplant, but it is very hard to tell. He was an early drunk and has always been a bastard without empathy. His voting record affirms early and late narcissism and maybe a touch of POCD: consistently voted against Head Start programs, voted against WIC (women and children’s nutrition programs), voted against banning cop-killer bullets, voted against the Clean Water Act, voted against abortion rights even in case of rape, incest, and health of mother, voted against public housing programs, endorsed torture interrogations including waterboarding (he called waterboarding “just a dunking”), against gays in the military or in civilian life–until daughter came out as lesbian, arranged for his former employer Halliburton to receive $7 billion in no-bid contracts while he was vice-president—and the list could go on almost to infinity. When Republicans voted to put Iraq and Afghan wars on Uncle Sam’s credit card, he said “Deficits don’t matter!”  Always against any form of universal health care for all Americans, Cheney’s government insurance and Medicare have paid millions keeping this One Percenter alive when he is  99 percent wrong.
Research indicates that POCD often occurs after major operations–and is more likely after heart operations than other types of surgery. It occurs in older patients with high alcoholic intake. After his transplant Cheney showed total indifference to the young person who contributed his new heart. Appearing on the Larry King show because of his book about his transplant, Cheney responded to King’s question about the identity of his donor.  He said: “It hasn’t been a priority with me...It’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart. And I always thank the donor, generically thank the donors for the gift that I’ve been given, but I don’t spend time wondering who had it , what they’d done, what kind of person.”
Perhaps the donor was a classical zombie who has died and re-animated with a nervous system--but without a beating heart. Does Cheney have a pulse? Zombies love to devour human flesh. A few retain memories from their previous lives. Cheney certainly has retained every thought he ever had.

Did Cheney See A Vice-President When He looked In A Mirror?

Historians have given the Bush-Cheney administration a double whammy. Many rated the Iraq War as the biggest foreign policy mistake in our history, and they have placed George W. somewhere among the five worst presidents in the 44 we’ve had. Not good. How many Islamic terrorists were in Iraq in 2001? The 19 who brought us 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
In recent interviews Cheney has said he and his daughter Liz have started a 501(c)4 lobbying group called Alliance for a Strong America so Republicans can lobby Congress for a stronger military. We already spend more on military defense and offense than the top fourteen countries spend on militaries combined! He says we have a responsibility to defend the European Union. Are 400 million Europeans incapable of providing their own defenses?
Certainly we should have spent a couple of weeks bombing the hell out of Afghanistan to show the world we meant business, but we should have recognized the wisdom of the Russian general who said: “You can bomb Afghanistan to stones in a week, but in ten years you’ll sneak out with your tail between your legs.” Alexander the Great, the British Empire, and the Russians failed to conquer the Afghans. Only a narcissist like Cheney would think we could do it.
And then Bush-Cheney lied their way to a trumped-up Iraq War. Cheney said in a recent Washington Post interview: “When we left it (Iraq) was in pretty good shape.” Sure, we got rid of Saddam. He was a bastard. But he was no worse than 20 other bastards in the world at that time. It was all about oil in the end, not bringing democracy to tribes that don’t allow women to drive cars or go to school. We wasted 4,801 lives, changed the lives of 19,000 with missing limbs, suffered 35,000 with wounds, and an estimated 300,000 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It may cost us $6 trillion before its really over. Cheney’s mirror and TV image should fade to black...

Raymond is a former Marine officer and school board superintendent and resides in Detroit Lakes.