Cheney at AIPAC - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Cheney at AIPAC

I’m at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, where I just saw Dick Cheney speak. It’s probably one of the few remaining places in DC outside of CPAC where the VP still gets a standing ovation.

Speaking before a crowd of about 6,000, Cheney began by reiterating the Bush administration’s steadfast support for Israel and commitment to a Palestinian state if its leaders renounce violence and recognize Israel. But Cheney focused most of his remarks on defending the Iraq policy. He did so within the context of outlining the four biggest myths of the war on terror.

The first myth, he said, was that Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror. He pointed to statements by bin Laden to make the case that Iraq was not only not a diversion from the war on terrorism, but, in fact, the central front. “If you support the war on terror, it only makes sense” to support the war in Iraq, he said. The second myth was that you can support the troops without giving them the tools to get the job done. He took aim at Democrats who unanimously approved Gen. Petraeus, and yet voted against the increased troop levels that he said would be neccessary to get the job done. The third myth Cheney identified was that it would make us safer to pull out of Iraq. He said that it would, in fact, be a “full validation of the al Qaeda strategy,” which is based on the idea that though they cannot defeat us militarily, they can inflict enough casualties on us so that we lose our nerve and give up. The fourth myth he mentioned was that we can withdraw from Iraq without it having adverse implications on the broader Middle East. He said that U.S. withdrawal would broaden the conflict throughout the region among different nations and religous sects. Iran would aid Shiites and the Gulf states may be forced to come to the aid of the Sunnis. If the Sunnis win, then al Qaeda would have a base in Iraq as well as access to the oil wealth. If the Shiites win, the radical Iranian regime will be able to expand its own influence in the region.

“Either we are serious about fighting the war on terror, or we are not,” Cheney said, as he was wrapping up his remarks.

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