Friday, August 17, 2007

Cheney: Deposing Saddam would make quagmire

Q: Do you think US or UN 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. It would have been a US 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, 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 easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have in the west; part of Eastern Iraq the Iranians would like to claim - faught over [it] for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds. The Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you've threatened the terratorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over.

Another thing is casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact that 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 and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein was, "How many additional dead americans is Saddam worth?", and our judgement was not very many, and I think we got it right.

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