AFP: US Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday bluntly dismissed congressional objections to increasing US troop levels in Iraq, telling CNN television: “It won’t stop us.” WASHINGTON, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) – US Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday bluntly dismissed congressional objections to increasing US troop levels in Iraq, telling CNN television: “It won’t stop us.”
“It won’t stop us, and it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops,” he said in an interview conducted before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a measure condemning the new strategy.
“The Congress has control over the purse strings. They have the right, obviously, if they want, to cut off funding. But in terms of this effort, the president has made his decision,” said the vice president.
The vote and Cheney’s comments came a day after US President George W. Bush, without giving ground to Iraq war critics, pleaded with skeptical lawmakers and a wary US public to give his unpopular policy “a chance to work.”
“We are moving forward. We are moving forward,” said Cheney. “We’ll continue to consult with the Congress. But the fact of the matter is, we need to get the job done.”
Asked whether the White House bore responsibility for the bloody chaos in Iraq, Cheney mounted a full-throated defense of the March 2003 invasion to despose Saddam Hussein, who was executed in late 2006.
“Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would, at this point, be engaged in a nuclear arms race with (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, his blood enemy next door in Iran,” the vice president said.
“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,” said Cheney.
“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,” he said.