Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cheney, logic & Democrats

Our vice president is not well liked by the media establishment, or the public. He doesn't try to pander to anyone, most noticeably the Washington press corps. I remember how giddy they all were when John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate in 2004. More than a few harumpffed how Edwards was going to clean Dick Cheney's clock in a debate. As usual, the pundits were wrong. Cheney whipped the whipper-snapper trial lawyer, but good.

Today, Cheney captured the essence of why Democrats are dead wrong on Iraq. This is part of a transcript of an interview he gave Fox News (via the Tribune's Swamp website).

But I also have strong feelings about the cost if we don't act, about the cost if we allow the United States to be run out of town, so to speak, by al Qaeda. We saw what happened on 9/11. 9/11 had a lasting significance in my mind because it was a watershed event where what was going on in a country thousands of miles away in Afghanistan, where training camps had been established in the late ‘90s, where al Qaeda had been trained, put together the attack that came to New York and Washington on 9/11 and killed 3,000 of our fellow citizens armed with airline tickets and box cutters.

The real threat we face today is the possibility of an al Qaeda cell in the midst of one of our cities armed with a nuclear weapon, and if they ever were to achieve that, and we know they're trying, but if they were ever to pull that off and detonate a nuclear weapon in one of our major cities, it would rival all the casualties we've suffered in all the wars in over 200 years of American history. So this question of saying, you know, we're suffering casualties, isn't the cost too high, I don't think it is when you lay it over against what it is we need to prevent.

And one of the lessons we learned on 9/11 was that we can't hide behind our oceans and ignore what's going on in the Middle East and be safe and secure; we have to be actively and aggressively involved there. We've got to go after the terrorists. We've got to go after states that sponsor terror. We've got to go after people that can provide them with that kind of deadly capability.

Right now, Iraq is the centerpiece in that global war on terror. Al Qaeda has made it that way. Osama bin Laden has said that. That's where, in fact, we're operating now against al Qaeda on a consistent basis. It's not the only issue that's involved in Iraq by any means, but we need to get it right in Iraq. We need not to fold our tent and go home. If we do that, all we do is validate the al Qaeda strategy.
Dick Cheney ain't pretty like Edwards, hopeful like Barack Obama, or well-coached like Hillary Clinton. But his logic in the above four paragraphs far exceeds the cumulative logic the Democratic trio have exuded in months on the campaign trail when it comes to national security.

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