Vice President Cheney made a striking claim a few minutes ago at the American Enterprise Institute:
Those who advocate a sudden withdraw from Iraq should answer a couple simple questions. Would the United States and other free nations be better off or worse off with Zarqawi, Bin Laden and Zawahiri in control Iraq? Would we be safer or less safe with Iraq ruled by men intent upon the destruction of our country.
Cheney didn’t provide any evidence supporting his claim. The suggestion is that if the U.S. leaves, Iraqi forces would be completely incapable of defending the country against terrorists. Yesterday on ABC, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said people who doubted the capabilities of Iraqi security forces were “flat wrong”:
People who denigrate their competence and capability are flat wrong. They’re making a mistake. They either don’t understand the situation or they’re trying to confuse it, but the Iraqi security forces are well respected by the Iraqi people. They’re doing a very good job.
So Cheney either doesn’t understand the situation or is trying to confuse it. Take your pick.
[UPDATE: Video of Cheney at Crooks & Liars.]