Cheney warns against early Iraq pullout

By TOM RAUM

A quick withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq could allow victorious Muslim extremists to fan out into other countries, with some militants going to Afghanistan to fight alongside a resurgent Taliban, Vice President Dick Cheney says.

The vice president, just back from a trip that included unannounced stops in Afghanistan and Pakistan, addressed a conservative conference Thursday night where he sharply criticized efforts by some Democrats to restrict funds for President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq or to place restrictions on their deployment.

While noting that the House already had passed a nonbinding resolution voicing opposition to Bush’s Iraq policy, Cheney said that “very soon both houses of Congress will have to vote on a piece of legislation that is binding.”

The legislation would, among other things, help pay for the additional 21,500 troops Bush is sending to Iraq.

“I sincerely hope the discussion this time will be about winning in Iraq, not about posturing on Capitol Hill. Anyone can say they support the troops, and we should take them at their word. But the proof will come when it’s time to provide the money and the support,” Cheney said. “We expect the House and the Senate to meet those needs on time and in full.”

The vice president spoke at an annual dinner of the Conservative Political Action Conference. The audience included conservative activists, leaders and policymakers.

Earlier on Thursday, Democratic officials said House Democratic leaders had coalesced around legislation that would require troops to come home from Iraq within six months if that country’s leaders fail to meet promises to help reduce violence there.

The plan would retain a Democratic proposal prohibiting the deployment to Iraq of troops with insufficient rest or training or who already have served there for more than a year. Under the plan, such troops could only be sent to Iraq if Bush waives those standards and reports to Congress each time.

The proposal is the latest attempt by Democrats to resolve deep divisions within the party on how far to go to scale back U.S. involvement in Iraq. Rep. James Moran said the latest version has the support of party leadership and said he believes it is final and has the best chance at attracting broad support.

“We’re going to report out” a war spending bill “that’s responsive to the will of the voters last November and brings our troops home as soon and safely as possible,” Moran, D-Va., said in an interview.

During his visit to Pakistan, Cheney expressed concern to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf over al-Qaida’s regrouping inside Pakistan’s tribal regions and an expected Taliban spring offensive in neighboring Afghanistan.

“If our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves, radical factions would battle for dominance. The violence would likely spread throughout the country and be very difficult to contain. Having tasted victory in Iraq, the (militants) would look for new missions. Many would head for Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban,” Cheney said.

He said others would head for capitals across the Middle East and work to undermine moderate governments. “Still others would find their targets and victims in other countries on other continents. Such chaos and mounting danger does not have to occur. It is, however, the enemy’s objective,” Cheney said.

“In these circumstances, it’s worth reminding ourselves that, like it or not, the enemy we face in the war on terror has made Iraq the primary front in that war,” he added. Then, to laughter and applause, Cheney said, “To use a popular phrase, this is an inconvenient truth.”

It was a play on the Academy Award-winning environmental documentary featuring former Vice President Al Gore, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“If you support the war on terror, then it only makes sense to support it where the terrorists are fighting us,” Cheney said.

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Associated Press writer Ann Flaherty contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press

11 Responses to "Cheney warns against early Iraq pullout"

  1. Doubtom  March 3, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Cheney, listen up–shut the fuck up! No one believes a damn word you utter. Understand? Now please go in search of another bomb, only get closer to it this time. Have a nice day asshole!

  2. Pauly  March 3, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Cheney is why we are in the fix we are in today. They>> Bushit and him will go down as the worst leaders of this country in history.

  3. KayInMaine  March 2, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Apparently Cheney forgot about all the terrorist bombings in England, Spain, and other areas of the planet over the last few years. Thanks to Cheney and his Wonder Boy Bush…they’ve created more terrorists than ever before! America is more hated now than it was on 9/11/01 at 8:45am!

  4. KayInMaine  March 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Also…the ‘war on terror’ is really a war on a tactic which can’t be won. Of course, Bush & Cheney’s base believe everything they say and think this is a war that can be won. It’s no different than exclaiming one day, “We’re going to fight the ‘war on applying lipstick with your left hand’!”. Say what? How do you find the people that apply their lipstick with their left hand? Oh that’s right you can’t. You’d have to bomb large areas and hope you killed at a least a couple of ‘left handers’ to make your war seem like it’s winnable and the right thing to do!

    John Kerry was right when he said terrorism should be treated as a nuisance by luring the thugs in with the carrot they want, which is exactly what our police/FBI do with drug deales and prostitutes.

    Can’t drive this point home though to the people who believe:

    WAR IS PEACE,

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

    They truly believe there is a ‘war on terror’ and forget to take into account that Bush & Cheney have been funding al-Qaida through the Saudi government and other low level thugs to keep this ‘war’ going and to show the world that only Bush & Cheney can save the day!

    Spit.

  5. Bill Jonke  March 2, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Come on everybody; can anyone guess what specific time warp cheney’s brain is in today?

  6. Sonorous Pest  March 2, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    I have news for Cheney the man with the mechanical heart. Terrorist are already all over the world and two of them are in the White House right here in Washington D.C. U.S.A.

  7. Wayne K Dolik  March 2, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Cheney and his minions continue to argue for their failed policy. They desire to loot our Treasury for as long as possible. To the victor belong the spoils. Follow the money. So far we have seen oil companies and government contractors continue to give the shaft to the American Citizen. If Cheney and company were really interested in halting terror in the rest of the World, they would stop funding it. The real truth is Cheney is playing the fear card to his base. They are just not getting it, that they’ve been had. Be afraid? Heck no! Terror is state sponsored. Were even sponsering terrorists with American dollars in Iran.The sooner we all realize that terror is state sponsored, the faster we can get control of World Governments and rein the crazies in. America’s founders knew inherently that Governments could be used for evil. That is why we were given a Constitution. We must question everything that has been done by the Bush crime family in the name of the war on terror.

  8. Nick  March 2, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    The Guy should be put in the cage

    and shown children as a MONSTER

  9. Bill Jonke  March 2, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    He is pretty ugly with his bad teeth and that weak side of his face.

    “The Man With the Mechanical Heart” should be made into a horror movie.

  10. Ray  March 3, 2007 at 12:56 am

    What a load of crap. Snake oil salesman,and total asshole.

  11. Carl Nemo  March 3, 2007 at 4:10 am

    Cheney is evidently “spring-loaded” in the stupid position. Our forces are sitting in the middle of a religious- based civil war; i.e., Sunni’s vs. Shiites, plain and simple! No Dick, neither their oil, or their land is ours to have! Your questionable mission has been accomplished; i.e., Saddam has been neutralized, brought to justice, then executed. A new government has been established via free elections, and no massive supplies of WMD’s were discovered…”Mission accomplished”! We need to exit Iraq, immediately if not sooner. These factious ragheads need to slug it out as they’ve done for the past 1400+ years. Whoever wins…wins, and that’s it! If they hate the West’s guts and want to play games with the price of oil, then that’s their business too! That being their only product for export, limits what they can accomplish playing that game. At this point in U.S. history, we are virtually bleeding white on the sands of Iraq, not only in terms of blood spilled, but even more importantly in terms of finances. The U.S. is broke for all practical purposes. The Dems have demonstrated they have absolutely no spine to do what’s necessary, so they are complicit in destroying this once great Republic. America in harms way with these continuing policies. If you need a plan, then I have one, free of charge! We need to re-deploy Special Warfare troops to Kuwait and Jordan, a contingent of 20,000 should be sufficient. The rest of our troops need to come home. We need to secure the greater border of Iraq via a no-fly zone, along with satellite and drone surveillance, supported with border tracing flyovers with reconnaisance aircraft and the aforementioned drones. If insurgent supplies are detected being brought into Iraq then we need to surgically destroy them in a summary fashion, no questions asked. If contingents of insurgents intrude upon it’s borders then we can swat them with Special Op force insertions, followed by a hasty exit; otherwise we need to stand back and let them slug it out, regardless of the bloodshed and possible theatre based consequences; but, we as a nation can no longer afford to be mucking about in either the sands nor the cities of Iraq. That’s the plan, I say execute the plan…make it so! If you do this now, there’s a chance of the Republicans somewhat redeeming themselves and salvaging their party’s image;i.e., what little is left.

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