Josh Marshall provides the interview between John King of CNN and Vice President Cheney:
They’ve stood up a brand new government under a new constitution for the first time ever. We’ve got a quarter of a million Iraqis now in uniform, equipped, trained, in the fight.
President Bush’s mantra has been that when they stand up, we stand down. Cheney says the Iraqis have stood up – but he criticizes Senate Democrats who call for us to stand down. This White House contradicts itself – again!
But here is where the Republicans have it all backwards:
You got to remember that the Osama bin Laden types, the al Qaeda types, the Zarqawi types that have been active in Iraq are betting that ultimately they can break the United States’ will. There’s no way they can defeat us militarily. But their whole strategy — if you look at what bin Laden has been saying for 10 years — is they believe they can, in fact, force us to quit, that ultimately we’ll get tired of the fight, that we don’t have the stomach for a long, tough battle, and that we’ll pack it in and go home. If we were to do that, it would be devastating from the standpoint of the global war on terror. It would affect what happens in Afghanistan.
Had we finished the Delenda plan in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda would have been crushed. But Bush and Cheney decided to divert resources to Iraq. Of course, Osama bin Laden had no backup plan once his 9/11 strategy failed to deliver the intended results – as James Wimberley ably explains:
I found the half-baked rhetoric of the preamble at least as interesting, for it shows the depths of confusion into which US policy has fallen; and, by the same token, the extent of Osama bin Laden’s strategic victory. He started from a very difficult position. Most jihadi Muslims, including the Taliban, Chechen autonomists, Hamas, and al-Zarqawi follow the fairly realistic “near enemy” strategy aimed at “liberating” Muslim majority populations into the delights of fundamentalist rule. He leads a small minority group of jihadis espousing an apparently insane “far enemy” strategy directed at the United States as the ultimate guarantor of the vile régimes all jihadis want to overthrow: secular, corrupt rulers of Muslim countries and of course Israel. Consider his objectives. As I understand them, these are:
1. To provoke the USA into a crusade against Muslims in general, a conflict of civilisations.
2. To provoke the USA into revealing the shallowness of its pretended values, in contrast to the authentic ones of Islam; and to show its true colours of exploitative greed, imperial power-lust and Zionist colonialism.
3. Aided by 1 and 2, to persuade the umma of Muslims to rally to a global jihad led by himself.
After the fall of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden needed what he called a “gift from God” and President Bush’s incredibly stupid decision on March 19, 2003 to invade Iraq gave bin Laden just that. I hate to say this – but we are ruled by idiots.
Update: CNN has a nice picture of Cheney looking like a scared kitten as he utters this line:
“If we pull out, they’ll follow us,” Vice President Cheney said of terrorists in Iraq.
It’s like Cheney is scared of his own shadow! Our young men and women are putting their lives on the line – and for what? Neo-McCarthyites who dodged the Vietnam War and have no clue what they are doing in the war on terror.