The day after George W. Bush stood before the US Congress, Vice President Cheney delivered his 2007 State of the Union Address on CNN.
Much of it goes to show that Cheney continues to be committed to his original interest in the Wurmser-Gerecht outlook on Iraq.
Iraq, Great Power Rivalry, & The Collapse of Containment
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: [Saddam Hussein] was being contained as we all know —
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: He was not being contained. He was not being contained, Wolf.
BLITZER: — by the no-fly zones in the north and the south.
CHENEY: Wolf, the entire sanctions regime had been undermined by Saddam Hussein. He had –
BLITZER: But he didn’t have stockpiles of weapons of —
CHENEY: – corrupted the entire effort to try to keep him contained. He was bribing senior officials of other governments. The oil-for-food program had been totally undermined, and he had, in fact, produced and used weapons of mass destruction previously, and he retained the capability to produce that kind of stuff in the future.
BLITZER: But that was in the ’80s.
CHENEY: You can go back and argue the whole thing all over again, Wolf, but what we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do; the world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq, there’s a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government, Saddam has been brought to justice and executed, his sons are dead, his government is gone and the world is better off for it.
The Shiite Option & the Najaf-Qom Rivalry
BLITZER: How worried are you of this nightmare scenario, that the U.S. is building up this Shiite-dominated Iraqi government with an enormous amount of military equipment, sophisticated training, and then in the end, they’re going to turn against the United States?
CHENEY: Wolf, that’s not going to happen. The problem that you’ve got –…
BLITZER: Here’s the problem that I see, and tell me if I’m wrong — that he seems to be more interested right now, the Prime Minister of Iraq, in establishing good relations with Iran and Syria than he is with moderate Arab governments, whether in Jordan or Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
CHENEY: I just think you’re wrong, Wolf. He’s been working with all of them. They’re all in the neighborhood. He’s got to develop relationships with all of them, and he is.
BLITZER: Because he’s a Shia, and these moderate Arab governments are Sunni.
CHENEY: He’s also an Iraqi. He’s not a Persian. There’s a big difference between the Persians and the Arabs, although they’re both Shia. You can’t just make the simple statement that he’s Shia, therefore he’s the enemy. The majority of the population in Iraq is Shia. And for the first time, we’ve had elections, and majority rule will prevail there. But the notion that somehow the effort hasn’t been worth it, or that we shouldn’t go ahead and complete the task, is just dead wrong.