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US - Iraq War Home Page > Source Biographies > >Dick Cheney, MA
Dick Cheney, MA Biography
||Former Vice President of the United States
||Pro to the question "Should the US Have Attacked Iraq?"
"Interview of the Vice President by Tim Russert," NBC News, Meet the Press, Sep. 10, 2006
"You regret every single casualty. I visit with the families. We spend time with the wounded when they come back. I visit with the troops every chance I get. It's the toughest thing the President has to do. But it is absolutely the right thing to do, Tim, because if Saddam Hussein were still in power, the situation would be far worse than it is today.
You'd have a man who had a demonstrated capacity for violence, who'd started two wars, who had, in fact, been involved with weapons of mass destruction, who had every intention of going back to it when the sanctions were lifted. And by this point, especially with Ahmadinejad, living next door in Iran, pursuing nuclear weapons, there is no doubt in my mind that if Saddam Hussein was still in power, he would have a very robust program underway to try to do exactly the same thing. The world is better off because Saddam Hussein is in jail instead of in power in Baghdad. It was the right thing to do, and if we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing."
[Editor’s Note: On Apr. 15, 1994, prior to the Pro statement made above, Dick Cheney argued against a U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq during an interview with someone from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Although the 1994 statement does not appear to be clearly pro or con to our core question, we felt that its significance was apparent and worth highlighting so we have included a link to the video footage and a transcript of the quotation (see below) and for our readers benefit. Please note that we contacted Richard Cheney and the American Enterprise Institute on Aug. 16, 2007 to verify the accuracy of the statement below and the authenticity of the video from which it came. As of Nov. 17, 2007 only AEI has responded to our inquiries. AEI spokesperson Veronique Rodman netiher confirmed nor denied the video's authenticity and encouraged us to contact Cheney's office directly.]
Interview with Bruce Collins of the American Enterprise Institute, Apr. 15, 1994
"Q: Do you think that U.S. or U.N. forces should have moved into Baghdad?
Q: Why not?
Cheney: 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 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."
|Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with PhD's, JD's, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the US - Iraq conflict. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the US - Iraq conflict.
|Involvement and Affiliations:
||US Vice President, 2001-2009
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Halliburton Company, 1993-2000
Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, 1993-1995
Secretary of Defense, 1988-1993
US Congressman (R-WY), 1978-1989
Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff, 1975-1977
Deputy Assistant to the President, 1974-1975
Vice President, Bradley, Woods & Co., 1973-1974
Assistant Director, Cost of Living Council, 1971-1973
White House Staff Assistant, 1971
House Minority Whip, 1988
Chairman, House Republican Conference, 1987
Chairman, Republican Policy Committee, 1981-1989
||MA, Political Science, University of Wyoming, 1966
BA, Political Science, University of Wyoming, 1965
||Co-founder, Project for the New American Century
Member, Advisory Board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Former Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Former Board Member, Proctor & Gamble
Former Board Member, Electronic Data Systems
Former Board Member, Union Pacific
Recipient, Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1991
Legal name Richard Bruce Cheney