DICK CHENEY'S WORDS OF WISDOM, CIRCA 1992
Vice President Cheney is in the news today. First, Paul Krugman, in Patriots and Profits, mentions Cheney in connection with Halliburton and crony capitalism. No surprises there. Even the liberal Krugman admits that"worries about profiteering aren't a left-right issue. Conservatives have long warned that regulatory agencies tend to be 'captured' by the industries they regulate; the same must be true of agencies that hand out contracts." I talked about this phenomenon in"Mixed Economy 101."
But the best Cheney reference today, by far, is this one, in Todd S. Purdum's NY Times article,"After 12 Years, Sweet Victory: The Bushes' Pursuit of Hussein." Purdum writes:
There were ample reasons for the first President Bush not to go after Mr. Hussein. The current vice president and then the secretary of defense, Dick Cheney, outlined some of them in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1992, when he said:"If we'd gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein — assuming we could have found him — we'd have had to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground someplace. He would not have been easy to capture. Then you've got to put a new government in his place, and then you're faced with the question of what kind of government are you going to establish in Iraq?"
"Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shia government or a Sunni government?" Mr. Cheney continued."How many forces are you going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you going to take through the course of this operation?"
Purdum adds:"Most of those questions remain as relevant today as they were a decade ago..."
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