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Cheney Says War Criticism Is Misguided

The advance of U.S. troops into Baghdad is proof that early criticism of the war's plans was misguided, Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday.
Apr 9, 12:21 PM EDT

Cheney Says War Criticism Is Misguided

Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The advance of U.S. troops into Baghdad is proof that early criticism of the war's plans was misguided, Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday.

The war is "one of the most extraordinary military campaigns ever conducted," Cheney said, speaking to the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

"With every day, with every advance of our coalition forces, the wisdom of that plan becomes more apparent," Cheney said.

He dismissed critics as "retired military officers embedded in TV studios."

Cheney said the war has sent a clear message to all violent groups that the United States has the capacity and the will to wage war on terrorism and win decisively.

Cheney's comments came shortly after U.S. Central Command in Qatar declared that Baghdad had been added to the list of areas that the Saddam regime no longer controls. Marine and Army units, welcomed by clapping Iraqis, were seizing and destroying buildings in Baghdad, despite sniper fire from roving bands of holdout fighters.

But Cheney cautioned that Saddam Hussein's regime still controls a lot of territory in northern Iraq and fierce fighting may lay ahead.

Cheney said he expected the United Nations, as well as war opponents such as France, to have humanitarian involvement in the postwar efforts in Iraq.

However, the key role in the reconstruction of Iraq and the creation of a new Iraqi government "has to reside with the U.S. government," Cheney said.

"We don't believe that the United Nations is equipped to play that central role. It will play a very important role, but I think the central role will reside with the coalition," Cheney said.

In Afghanistan, Cheney said, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a U.N. representative to be involved in creation of a government. "That may be the right way to go" in Iraq, he said.

Cheney said a meeting is scheduled for Saturday in Nasariyah with different Iraqi groups to discuss the future government in the country. He said he did not know which groups would attend the meeting.

Cheney was asked about criticism from Arabs that American troops had deliberately targeted Arab journalists in the fighting. Early Tuesday, a reporter for al-Jazeera television was killed when U.S.-led forces bombed his office, and nearby, coalition artillery battered the office of Abu Dhabi television, trapping 25 reporters. Also Tuesday, two cameramen, one from Ukraine and one from Spain, were killed when a U.S. tank fired into the Palestine Hotel, where hundreds of journalists are based.

"The suggestion that the U.S. would have deliberately attacked journalists is obviously completely false," Cheney said. "You'd have to be an idiot to believe that."

Cheney said the soldiers believed they were under attack, and the incidents were "simply the acts of troops in a combat zone."

Cheney said the United States would make an effort to convince the Muslim world that it is uninterested in controlling Iraq but merely wants to reconstruct the country and pull troops out as quickly as possible.

"Our record may not be perfect," but the U.S. government has often acted to protect Muslims, not attack them, he said. He cited the 1991 Gulf war, the liberation of Kuwait, and U.S.. intervention in the former Yugoslavia.

Cheney said the United States is committed to ensuring that revenue from Iraq's oil fields go to the citizens of Iraq.

"The oil revenue is not to be diverted to anything but to service the immediate and eventually the long-term needs of the people of Iraq," Cheney said.

Since the United Nations put sanctions on Iraq, the country has lost $100 billion in oil revenue over the past 10 to 12 years.

"What revenues came in, he spent on himself building magnificent palaces around the country" and on weapons of mass destruction, Cheney said.

Cheney said the oil could bring Iraq up to $20 billion annually. He said the United States will set up an organization, made up largely of Iraqis, to oversee the oil industry. Investment is needed in the oil fields since Saddam allowed them to fall into disrepair, Cheney said.

The fields could be pumping 2.5 million to 3 million barrels per day by the end of the year, Cheney said.
a play on words? 09.Apr.2003 11:59


"The oil revenue is not to be diverted to anything but to service the immediate and eventually the long-term needs of the people of Iraq," Cheney said.

so does that mean we take the oil in trade for rebuilding the country that we destroyed?

bethany says cheney is misguided 09.Apr.2003 12:05


Perhaps Mr. Cheney would be a better judge on just how "extraordinary" this military campaign has been if he were on the front lines instead of hiding in his "undisclosed location."

As for his "clear message," I have two things to say. First, the US military is the most violent group there is. I don't think it needs to be said, yet again, that Iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH SEPTEMBER 11, but I will say it again anyway. Half a million Iraqi children who have been murdered by the US can attest to the fact that the true terrorists come from America, not Iraq.

Second, if the US was really interested in stopping terrorism, perhaps they could have taken a lesson from the travails of Israel. Butchering, plundering, murdering people is no way to decrease terrorism. It only pisses people off and gives them no alternative.

Finally, I want to say that Cheney's lies about whether the US would deliberately attack journalists are completely unbelievable. Of course they did. They attacked the al jazeera website, and then they attacked the journalists themselves. I've said it before, I'll say it again. The most important thing for the oppressor to control is the stories people tell.

it ain't over . . . 09.Apr.2003 12:58


there are years--maybe decades--of US military occupation to come.