Monday, October 04, 2004

Dick Cheney in 1992

"I would guess if we had gone into Iraq I would still have forces in Baghdad today. We'd be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home.

And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don't think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties. And while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn't a cheap war.

And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

Then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney delivered this speech to Seattleā€™s Discovery Institute in August 1992, 18 months after Operation Desert Storm. A tip of the hat goes out to Joel Connelly of Seattle Post-Intelligencer for remembering this speech, and The American Prospect for recycling it.


E.P. Monday, October 04, 2004