Cheney on the Quagmire

I started rereading Maureen Dowd’s Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk a couple of days back and came across this jaw-dropper (pp. 18f):
Back in 1991, as Bush I defense secretary, Dick Cheney defended the decision not to go into Baghdad, saying that America would simply have installed a “puppet regime.” “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 commitment, what I would describe as a quagmire. We have absolutely no interest in getting U.S. military forces involved inside Iraq.”
[No, Dowd doesn’t cite a source. Cuss her, not me.]

sigh I think Bush’s Spleen should have stuck with his first impulse.

That’s flip-floppin’ Dick for you!

Over at Dog Snot Diaries, the quote is presented thusly:

Maybe both Cheney and Kerry said this, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion that someone is not being entirely truthful in their attribution.

Actually, I remember a FrontLine on the Gulf War. Collin Powell was being interviewed and said something very simular. Anyone remember this?

As if Kerry’s not evil enough, now he’s plagiarizing Cheney? (or Powell) When will the madness end?

Well, here’s Secretary Richard Cheney’sSoref Symposium from 4/29/91

The lead-in to that quote is also of interest, stpauler.

Too bad they didn’t ask themselves those all-important questions this time, eh?

So what? Clearly the thinking has shifted since 9/11. Back then, there didn’t seem to be a good reason to pro-actively unseat regimes that harbored and/or supported terrorists, because letting them do that stuff in their own backyard was preferable to an American army quagmire. Now, there does (to Cheney and others in the Bush administration), and quagmire is preferable to another 9/11.

NOTE: I did not say “al-Qaeda”, I said “terrorists.” I know the evidence for links between Saddam and al-Qaeda is weak, and links between Saddam and 9/11 non-existent. But the shift in thinking is to target ANY places where ANY terrorists are turning to for support.

So what? Are you serious? So what?!

So the answers to those questions are just as critically impotant now, even after 9/11, as they were 13 years ago. The proof of that is in the pudding – look at the damn MESS we’ve made over there!

So what.

G-d, I love it.

<shakes head in despair>


I thought this thread was about Dick Cheney’s comments about GLENN Quagmire, the character from “Family Guy.”

Giggity-giggity-giggity! All right!


Of course they’re important. The difference is that 13 years ago, rather than trying to find an answer, it was deemed more prudent to just avoid having to even look for one, by leaving Saddam in power. Now, after 9/11 (according to the Bush admin’s thinking), it’s important to actually find the answer…by trial and error, if need be.

Sure, I’ll admit it’s messy. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. But it’s not inconsistent for someone who, 13 years ago, was willing to settle for raw, well-contained eggs, to decide, after 9/11, that an omelet is necessary after all.

Now where have I heard that before . . .

by cmkeller

Well, I must say it’s comforting to know that our Commander-in-Chief is devising policy based on trial and error that, incidentally, puts millions of lives at risk and costs the American people billions. All this time I’ve been saddled with the frightening notion that maybe, you know, Bush had gone in with a plan for all this. Good to know I was just overestimating the ole feller.

Let’s add some more ingredients and make an even tastier omelet:
Turkey Signals Possible Military Action Against Kurds in Iraq

Error’s Chains How Forged and Broken


Is there something specific you’re thinking of? It’s a common enough phrase, I wasn’t intentionally parroting anyone.

you with the face:

Well, of course there’s a plan that he started out with. But unforeseen complications can easily come up. And one has to decide if something is important enough to get done, even if the process isn’t as smooth as projected.

Trial and error doesn’t mean having no plan.

Depending on who’s doing the trial and error, the results can be indistinguishable from having no plan:
Iraqi oil still flowing, barely

Powell defends US plans to shift billions in Iraq aid to security

Militias control key routes to Baghdad

I haven’t seen a reference in weeks that lists which cities we, or Allawi, actually do control. Are there some?

Its called the softly softly approach, the British have employed it in Basra, either that or you’re right.

Everything is just Ducky in Basra :wink:

Ok <slight hijack> if the puppet regime is the way to go, how come this wasn’t implemented in Germany and Japan? They were in close proximity to the Soviet Union, a hostile state with intent on spreading a dangerous ideology, just like some or most of the Islamic terrorists.

Go right ahead and use all the euphemisms you want. We’re still talking about killing thousands of people for… umm, well, it hasn’t yet been explained why they had to be killed. The first explanation was a lie. The current explanation, the “liberation” bit, will turn out to be a lie, and I would be glad to bet you money on it. But I’m sure Bush plans to spend the next four years trying to come up with a new reason.

Jesus, you know, non-Americans are human beings. They’re not “trial and error.” And trial and error for what, exactly? What was the point of this, aside from getting Bush re-elected and his buddies rich?