Out of the Quagmire
In 1997 on this day US President Richard B. Cheney met a key election pledge to the American people by serving notice of an accelerated plan for the withdrawal of US Forces on the President of Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi.
Back in 1991, as Defence Secretary, Cheney had strongly argued against the decision to go into Baghdad1, saying that America would simply install a puppet regime ~
How long would we have to stay there to keep this regime in power? How effective would it be if it were perceived as the puppet regime of the United States military? It gets to be a very difficult, a very nebulous, a very long, drawn-out kind of committment, what I would describe as a quagmire. We have absolutely no interest in getting U.S. Military forces involved inside Iraq.
Cheney had been proved absolutely right, and the Clinton Presidency was sucked into this quagmire.
More profoundly, Cheney himself had been radically changed by the experience. During the Nixon Presidency, Cheney had served as White House Chief of Staff, earning the CIA codename Backseat for his style of withdrawal and disengagement. And through the Bush Presidency, had left the running of the Pentagon to Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald J. Atwood, Jr.
During the 1996 general election
campaign, a new and revitalised Cheney arrived on the political scene.
Defeating both Bill Clinton and Robert Dole, Cheney seized the Presidency on a
radical ticket that included early withdrawal from Iraq.
In this scenario, we try to understand why Dick Cheney allied with neocons after the 1992 election.
1 Cheney's position in 1991 is repeated in unedited form, simply out of context. Wikipedia reports ~ Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Cheney remained steadfast in his support of the war, stating that it would be an 'enormous success story' and made many visits to the country. He often criticized war critics, calling them 'opportunists' who were peddling 'cynical and pernicious falsehoods' to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. In response, Senator John Kerry asserted, 'It is hard to name a government official with less credibility on Iraq [than Cheney].'
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