Today in a speech at the National Press Club, Vice President Dick Cheney claimed that no one predicted the violent insurgency that has now taken root in Iraq:
MODERATOR: Do you think that you underestimated the insurgency’s strength?
CHENEY: I think so. I guess if I look back on it now, I don’t think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we have encountered.
But Cheney’s statement isn’t true. Many analysts did anticipate extensive violence.
– “The longer a U.S. occupation of Iraq continues, the more danger exists that elements of the Iraqi population will become impatient and take violent measures to hasten the departure of U.S. forces. … The impact of suicide bombing attacks in Israel goes beyond their numbers, and this fact will also capture the imagination of would-be Iraqi terrorists.” [Army War College, Feb. 2003]
– “But if we’re going to invade, we need to prepare for a worst-case scenario involving street-to-street fighting, with farmers like Mr. Khal taking potshots at our troops. Is America really prepared for hundreds of casualties, even thousands, in an invasion and subsequent occupation that could last many years?” [Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, Sept. 2002]
– “We must be prepared to occupy the country and stay there for a very long time at very great expense in treasure but also in risk to lives. There can be no question that the military cost of this option will be enormous.” [Morton Halperin, Council on Foreign Relations, July 2002]
It’s not that no one predicted intensity of Iraq’s post-war violence. It’s just that no one in the Bush administration wanted to listen.