In a new book, “DEAD CERTAIN: The Presidency of George W. Bush” author Robert Draper (to whom Bush granted “extraordinary access…including six private meetings with him”) has an interesting –and unfamiliar– quote from Dick Cheney about the War in Iraq.
The setup: in a private meeting in September 2002, Cheney is trying to persuade House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who was said to have been skeptical about the proposed war:
Here is Cheney’s pitch about WAR IN IRAQ:
“WE HAVE GREAT INFORMATION. THEY’RE GOING TO WELCOME US. IT’LL BE LIKE THE AMERICAN ARMY GOING THROUGH THE STREETS OF PARIS. THEY’RE SITTING THERE READY TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT. THE PEOPLE WILL BE SO HAPPY WITH THEIR FREEDOMS THAT WE’LL PROBABLY BACK OURSELVES OUT OF THERE WITHIN A MONTH OR TWO.”
Let me repeat that, line for line:
“We have great information.”
“They’re going to welcome us.”
(Chocolates and flowers, etc. 4000 dead US soldiers? Civil War? Insurgency? The belated arrival of Al Qaeda in Iraq? A trillion dollars of OUR tax money? Our reputation in tatters worldwide?)
“It’ll be like the American Army going through the streets of Paris.”
(How wrong can one person be? It’s a travesty, our ideologues comparing themselves to the meticulous planning and execution of Eisenhower and Roosevelt.)
“They’re sitting there ready to form a new government.”
(Four years and one mini-surge later –even a mildly successful military mini-surge– there’s still no sign of the Iraqi Government taking the action made possible by the surge.)
“The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two.”
(This is Criminal Negligence, Mr. Cheney. Utterly inept, incompetent. And all the people who warned him. The Military Experts –Colin Powell, General Shinsecki, et al.
Who can support him?
Can you believe that? That Cheney would have the slightest credibility left with ANYBODY in the whole of the USA about WAR IN IRAN, is an indictment not so much of him as it is of us. We the people.
But I’ve been smelling this one coming for more than a month now: drumming up a wild national slanging match for and against WAR IN IRAN for the next year, up to the election, as the Republican’s best chance to scare the populace into another TERRORISM victory at the 2008 polls.
Add to all that, the Democrats ineptitude in effectively answering the we-fight-them-there-so-we-don’t-have-to-fight-them-here ploy.
(I was interested to see that Frank Rich’s piece in the NYT yesterday
made exactly this point.)