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Dick Cheney in a 1994 interview with the American Enterprise Institute:

“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, and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then 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 in Iraq, you could easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off.  Part of it…uh…the Syrians would like to have in the West.  Part of the eastern part of Iraq the Iranians would like to claim, fought over it for eight years.  In the north, you’ve got the Kurds.  If the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.  It’s a…it’s a quagmire, if you go that far in trying to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties.  Uh…everyone was impressed with that fact that…uh…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 was Saddam worth?  And our judgment was not very many, and I think we got that right.”

Posted without comment, because none is necessary, now is it?

(H/T to reader “JS” and to Diane for the link on this one, and to Grand Theft Country for the video find and posting of it.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com