Thursday, June 23, 2005

RE: The Artful (draft) Dodger

How Cheney Fooled Himself

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005; Page A21

Host Tim Russert asked whether "we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there" in Iraq "for several years in order to maintain stability." Cheney replied: "I disagree." He wouldn't say how many troops were needed, but he added that "to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement."

Russert asked: "If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"

Cheney would have none of it. "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want [is to] get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Russert: "And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?"

Cheney: "They have so far." And the vice president concluded: "I think the prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world."

Was Cheney disguising the war's costs for political purposes? It's more likely that he believed every word he said. That suggests that the administration was not misleading the American people nearly so much as it was misleading itself.

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska says in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report that "the White House is completely disconnected from reality" and that "it's like they're just making it up as they go along." Unfortunately, the evidence of the past suggests that Hagel's acerbic formulation may be exactly right. Those who still see the invasion of Iraq as a noble mission don't need to protect the policy from the war's critics. They need to rescue it from its architects.

3 comments:

Mr. Natural said...

"...rescue it from it's architects..." Good idea, Richard!...maybe rescue it from the "insurgents", even from those who are "running " it. Billmon has a great snark about the changing spin of the Cheney administrations changing party line: http://billmon.org/archives/001943.html

dailyread said...

Those who say that Cheney didn't understand what was going to happen are probably right, but he lied through his puckered hat just the same. He deserves to be tried right next to the rest of those scoundrels.

Mr. Natural said...

I now live for the day when we can dance on thier graves...the whole lot of them. Graves or prison, those are thier choices.