Friday, June 24, 2005

Dick Cheney on Senator Hagel: Thwap!
Q Let me read to you what Senator Chuck Hagel, a friend of yours, a Republican from Nebraska, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee told U.S. News and World Report: Things aren't getting better, they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. And he goes on to say, it's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Wolf, as long as I've been Vice President, and since 9/11, we've had people like Chuck Hagel and other politicians, and we've had people in the press corps, and commentators who've said, you can't do Afghanistan. Once we got into Afghanistan, we'd been there a couple of weeks, and Johnny Apple of The New York Times had a front-page story about how we were in a "quagmire." We were going to get trapped in the mountains. Winter was going to make it impossible for us to complete our mission in Afghanistan. They were all wrong.

We were told we couldn't hold elections in Afghanistan. You'll never be able to put it together. They'd never had an election in Afghanistan in the 5,000-year history of the country. It will never work. It did work. I was at the inauguration of President Hamid Karzai who got elected.

We were told we couldn't possibly succeed as quickly as we did against Saddam Hussein in terms of taking him down. We did. You'll never capture Saddam Hussein. We did. We were told you'll never be able to go in and transfer sovereign authority to the Iraqis. We did. You'll never hold an election. We did.

The fact of the matter is, the town has got a lot of people in it who are armchair quarterbacks, or who like to comment on the passing scene. But those who have predicted the demise of our efforts since 9/11, as we fought the war on terror, as we've liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, did not know what they were talking about. And I would submit to you today that we'll succeed in Iraq just like we did in Afghanistan. We'll stand up a new government under an Iraqi drafted constitution, we'll defeat the insurgency. And in fact, it will be an enormous success story that will have a huge impact, not just in Iraq but throughout the region.

We've already seen the ripple effect, if you will, of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq. We see it in Syria having to get out Lebanon. We see it in the Lebanese demanding free elections in the streets of the Lebanon. We see it in the willingness of a lot of governments in that part of the world now willing to consider democracy and freedom.

Q So the bottom line, Chuck Hagel --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Bottom line is --

Q Chuck Hagel is --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Wrong.

Take that Chuck "I'm a maverick just like John McCain" Hagel.

Read the rest of the interview.