September 29, 2004


Cheney changed his view on Iraq: He said in '92 Saddam not worth U.S. casualties (CHARLES POPE, September 29, 2004, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER)

In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting "bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

Cheney, who was secretary of defense at the time, made the observations answering audience questions after a speech to the Discovery Institute in August 1992, nearly 18 months after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi army and liberated Kuwait.

President George H.W. Bush was criticized for pulling out before U.S. forces could storm Baghdad, allowing Saddam to remain in power and eventually setting the stage for the invasion of Iraq ordered by his son, President George W. Bush, in March 2003.

The comments Cheney made more than a decade ago in a little-publicized appearance have acquired new relevance as he and Bush run for a second term. A central theme of their campaign has been their unflinching, unchanging approach toward Iraq and the shifting positions offered by Democratic nominee John Kerry.

They're just figuring out now that Dick Cheney thinks he made a mistake leaving Saddam in power in '91?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2004 10:15 PM

This is about as asinine as attempts to portray Bush as a flip-flopper for saying in 2000 that America should not be nation-building around the globe, but now we're doing so in Iraq and Afghanistan! Ha! He stands for nothing!

Because clearly not one single thing has happened in the past, oh, three years and 18 days that might have made these two gentlemen change their minds about certain foreign policy issues...

Posted by: brian at September 29, 2004 10:32 PM

Hear, hear.

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 29, 2004 11:41 PM

Well, dragging up 12 year old statements is an improvement from a campaign that was fixated on a 35 year old war. By the end of October they might actually be talking about events that happened in 2001.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 30, 2004 1:27 AM

Hey! They began with the economic conditions under Herbert Hoover.

By 2008, they should be up to date with current events - I think.

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at September 30, 2004 7:43 AM

Anyone familiar with what went on in the White House of Old Bush knows that Cheney and Schwarzkopf wanted to finish the job but that Colin the Clown didn't. When Old Bush's Saudi paymasters ordered him to stop the advance, like the dutiful houseboy he was and is, he did what they told him to do, leaving it for his son to finish. That the delay cost the lives of millions of people in Iraq, Kurdistan, Israel and the US was of no moment to that pathetic walking piece of excrement, Old Bush, as long as he could keep cashing those Saudi paychecks.

Posted by: Bart at September 30, 2004 7:44 AM

Bart tell us what you really think of "Old" Bush. Don't hold anything back.

Posted by: h-man at September 30, 2004 8:22 AM

Bart, do you really think that there was domestic American political support to turn the victorious, low casualty "100 hour war" into a meatgrinder of urban warfare in Baghdad ?

I don't.

Sans 9/11, no march on Baghdad.
The US should obviously have tried harder to bomb everywhere Saddam was said to rest his head, but no more.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 30, 2004 8:41 AM

Oh no, we're back to the meatgrinder? It would have lasted a day. The real blame though goes for not supporting the Shi'a uprising, which is why they're dubious about us now.

Posted by: oj at September 30, 2004 8:57 AM

And we can thank who for that lack of support?

Posted by: Uncle Bill at September 30, 2004 9:51 AM

Speaking as someone in high school during the first Gulf War, we all expected the army to take Baghdad. We were all truly perplexed when we didn't. Almost all the students in high school strongly supported the war and the troops. Yellow ribbons were everywhere (although I always wondered they were yellow).

We were truly amazed the casaulties were as low as they were, but we had already internalized high casualties. I think the nation would have supported a continued war. It's occupations we tend not to like. We would have been content to let the Shi'a rule the country.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at September 30, 2004 12:36 PM


Americans like to 'finish the job.' What we hate is this diplomatic pettifoggery which causes us to leave someone that the despicable old Bush claimed was 'twice as bad as Hitler' in power to continue his genocidal reign of terror. Old Bush sent our troops into the region at the behest of his Saudi paymasters and when they were satisfied, ended the war. The Saudis called the shots and that inbred Yankee scumbag did what he was told like some Stepin Fetchit in whiteface.

Posted by: Bart at September 30, 2004 6:31 PM


To the contrary, we never finish the job.

Posted by: oj at September 30, 2004 7:58 PM


Don't mistake the Iraqi army of '03 for the Iraqi army of '91, nor believe that the US' military of '91 could have done the job as easily as the American military in '03.

The situations feature the same teams, but all else is different.
Baghdad in '91 would have been very bloody, assuming that we didn't just flatten it, which we wouldn't have.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 1, 2004 9:10 PM

The army was broken and wouldn't have fought, never mind been able to control the Shi'a.

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2004 9:38 PM