Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

The Ghost of Dick Cheney Past: Occupying Iraq would be a quagmire

Dick Cheney rendering a judgment, publicly, on the strategic ill-advisability of invading and occupying Iraq in 1994, before the full-throttle war-mongering of the Israel Lobby and the profiteering prospects of his own companies would change things. (R/T: 1:22)

UPDATED with transcript from Editor&Publisher after video clip


Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because if we’d gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it — eastern Iraq — the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families — it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

6 comments on “The Ghost of Dick Cheney Past: Occupying Iraq would be a quagmire

  1. Helen Clark
    14 August, 2007

    Guess he learned quickly that this was not the way to line his pockets, uhh?

  2. Kilroy
    14 August, 2007

    In fairness, that was before Bush tasked him to develop U.S. Energy Policy. He had no idea how many troops it would take.

  3. Ann El Khoury
    14 August, 2007

    Indeed, the Cheney Energy Task Force was in 2001, wasn’t it?

  4. Kilroy
    14 August, 2007

    Thank you for the link, Ann. Wow. What a comprehensive article on the task force. “So-Called” is needed here if it was ever needed anywhere. It looks like the whole federal government tried to do the right thing except the courts. We’re supposed to have three full branches of government – the exec, the legis, and the juris. Looks like they only delivered 2.5 or 2.25 branches. SCOTUS got one shot off in the war.

  5. michaelgreenwell
    16 August, 2007

    there has also been a much less publicised u-turn by the same people about iran having nuclear power. in the 70s the very same people opposing it now seemed quite in favour of the idea

  6. Ann El Khoury
    16 August, 2007

    Absolutely. I’ve seen one ad about this circa the 1970s, will try to find again. Might be well worth the effort visiting the historical vaults on this topic.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

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-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

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yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"