August 20, 2007
Dick Cheney’s a prophet
I suspect that many, if not most, of my readers have seen the clip that’s been floating around the tubez of Dick Cheney explaining, in a 1994 interview, why coalition forces didn’t push on to Baghdad from Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Just in case you missed it, though, here’s the clip:
- “. . . if we had gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone, there wouldn‘t have been anyone else with it, it would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein‘s government then what are you going to put in place?”
- “It’s a quagmire . . .”
- “. . . how many additional dead Americans was Saddam worth? Our judgment was not very many and I think we got it right.”
I find it unsettling how accurate that assessment was, down to the use of the word “quagmire.” Still, that interview happened nine years before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, so one might charitably argue that enough changed over the course of those nine years to convince Cheney that overthrowing Saddam Hussein had become worth it.
However, on Friday Countdown showed a clip of an MSNBC interview with Cheney in 2000, in which his stance on invading Iraq didn’t seem to have changed. I can’t post the video (don’t know how Crooks and Liars does it), but here’s what he said (from the show’s transcript):
CHENEY: Instead of being the leader of international coalition that came and reversed aggression and risk toward civil order, if you will in that part of the world, we shift and become the imperial power coming in from willy-nilly occupying national capitals, taking down governments we disagree with that we don’t like.
So, in short, Cheney knew exactly what we were getting into when we invaded Iraq. He could have predicted (and, essentially, did predict) how poorly it would go. I have a very hard time believing that he was so convinced by reports of WMDs and/or human rights violations that he thought the pros of invading outweighed the cons. So, why are we there, again? I mean, I realize that Cheney isn’t (technically) the final decision-maker in the executive branch, but… well, you know where I’m headed. I tend to want to give the right-wing warmongers the benefit of the doubt in the sense that they believe their own information and rhetoric. This makes it clear that, at least in the upper echelons, that isn’t the case.