Cheney tells AIPAC that Congressional antiwar strategy is 'undermining' US troops
During an address to the 2007 policy conference held by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington DC, Vice President Dick Cheney said that Congressional members who are pursuing an antiwar strategy aren't "supporting the troops; they are undermining them."
After joking that "if Karl Rove finds out about this, he won't let me out again," Cheney told AIPAC members that they "play a vital role in making the strategic and moral case for America's friendship with Israel."
The vice president then spoke of the "mind-set" of terrorists.
"Civilized, decent societies will never fully understand the kind of mind-set that drives men to strap on bombs or fly airplanes into buildings, all for the purpose of killing unsuspecting men, women and children who they have never met and who have done them no wrong, but that is the very kind of blind, prideful hatred we're up against," Cheney said. "And their aim ultimately is to acquire the means to match that hatred and to use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons to impose their will by unspeakable violence or blackmail. An enemy that operates in the shadows and views the entire world as a battlefield is not one we can fight with strategies used in other wars."
After referring to 9/11, Cheney said that it was time to tackle some "myths" that have arisen regarding the war in Iraq.
"In fact, five and a half years into the struggle, we find ourselves having to confront a series of myths about the war on terror, myths that are often repeated and deserve to be refuted," Cheney said. "The most common myth is that Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror.
Opponents of our military action there have called Iraq a diversion from the real conflict, a distraction from the business of fighting and defeating bin Laden and the al Qaeda network. We hear this over and over again, not as an argument but as an assertion meant to close off argument."
According to Cheney, "critics conveniently disregard the words of bin Laden himself," adding, "This leader of al Qaeda has referred to Baghdad as the capital of the caliphate. He has also said, and I quote, 'Success in Baghdad will be success for the United States. Failure in Iraq is the failure of the United States. Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars,' end quote."
"Obviously, the terrorists have no illusion about the importance of the struggle in Iraq," Cheney said. "They have not called it a distraction or a diversion from their war against the United States. They know it is the central front in that war, and it's where they've chosen to make a stand. Our Marines are fighting al Qaeda terrorists today in Anbar province. U.S. and Iraqi forces recently killed al Qaeda terrorists in Baghdad who were responsible for numerous car bomb attacks. Iraq's relevance to the war on terror simply could not be more plain."
Cheney added, "Here at home that makes one thing above all clear. If you support the war on terror, then it only makes sense to support it where the terrorists are fighting us."
"The second myth is the most transparent, and that is the notion that one can support the troops without giving them the tools and reinforcements needed to carry out their mission," Cheney said.
Cheney said that "when members of Congress pursue an antiwar strategy that's been called 'Slow-Bleed,' they're not supporting the troops; they are undermining them...and when members of Congress speak not of victory but of time limits -- when members speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they're telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out."
According to Think Progress
, "The right-wing has begun a coordinated effort to smear Iraq war critics by describing their legislative plan as a 'slow-bleed strategy.'"
"The phrase was first used in an article Wednesday by John Bresnahan of The Politico; within hours, the Republican National Committee issued a release falsely claiming that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) "call their plan the â€™slow-bleed strategy,'" Think Progress noted. "In fact, as Bresnahan clarified in a subsequent article, 'slow-bleed' was 'not a term used by any Democrats or the anti-war groups supporting their efforts.'"