A recently discovered video dating from 1994 featuring Dick Cheney warning against an invasion of Iraq has been shrugged off by the Vice President's office who say they cannot comment because at the time Cheney was not Vice President. The video appeared earlier this week on YouTube and shows Dick Cheney explaining that trying to take over Iraq would be a "bad idea" and would lead to a "quagmire." "How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our view was not very many, and I think we got it right," Cheney said.
CBS5 contacted the Vice President's press office Wednesday, where a spokesperson reacted to the video by saying: "He was not Vice President at the time, it was after he was Secretary of Defense. I don't have any comment." Former U.N. Ambassador Richard Sklar told CBS "A number of us in discussions knew that it existed. None of us have seen it on tape before, and Cheney's office has always just poo-pooed and refused to discuss it," As secretary of defense Cheney had helped direct the Gulf War under Bush 41. Some criticized the first Bush administration for pulling out too soon and allowing Saddam Hussein to retain power in Iraq. Cheney had to explain the reasoning for this in the years to come, one reason why the neocon cabal was hell bent on invading Iraq, and had drawn up the plans before regaining power in 2000. Cheney's office goes one better than Donald Rumsfeld who explained away the infamous video of him warming shaking Saddam Hussein's hand by asserting that he had no recollection of the meeting.
Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad? A: No. Q: Why not? A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. 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, 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 of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.
It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact 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, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.