Cheney’s last visit to Iraq: ‘We’ve turned the corner.’

Today was Vice President Cheney’s second trip to Baghdad. Dan Froomkin reminds us of his first, in December 2005, when a Marine corporal told Cheney during a Q&A session: “From our perspective, we don’t see much as far as gains. I was wondering what it looks like from the big side of the mountain — how Iraq’s looking.”

“‘Well, Iraq’s looking good,’ Cheney responded. ‘It’s hard sometimes, if you look at just the news, to have the good stories burn through. Part of it is that what we’re doing here, obviously, takes time. From our perspective, looking back, as I say, to a year and a half ago, I think it’s remarkable progress. I think we’ve turned the corner, if you will. I think when we look back from 10 years hence, we’ll see that the year ’05 was in fact a watershed year here in Iraq.

“Cheney…also discussed the possibility of American forces eventually withdrawing ‘to a few locations’ in Iraq, which would ‘reduce the total number of personnel we need here.’

“‘I think you will see changes in our deployment patterns probably within this next year,’ he said.”