In May 2005, Vice President Cheney declared that the insurgency in Iraq was in its “last throes” and predicted “[t]he level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline.” Since that time, violence in Iraq has continued unabated.
Today at the National Press Club, Cheney was asked if he still believed that May 2005 was when the insurgency entered its “last throes.” He said he still did. Watch it:
Cheney tries to spin his previous comments as a prediction of political progress. Cheney now says he meant that May 2005 would be the beginning of a “series of events when the Iraqis increasingly took over responsibility for their own affairs.” Actually, Cheney predicted that violence in the country, from May 2005 on, “will clearly decline.”
REPORTER: About a year ago, you said that the insurgency in Iraq was in its final throes. Do you still believe this?
CHENEY: I do. What I was referring to was the series of events that took place in 1995 [sic — 2005]. I think the key turning point when we get back 10 years from now, say, and look back on this period of time and with respect to the campaign in Iraq, will be that series of events when the Iraqis increasingly took over responsibility for their own affairs. And there I point to the election in January of ’05 when we set up the interim government, the drafting of the constitution in the summer of ’05, the national referendum in the fall of ’05 when the Iraqis overwhelmingly approved that constitution, and then the vote last December when some 12 million Iraqis in defiance of the car bombers and the terrorists went to the polls and voted in overwhelming numbers to set up a new government under that constitution. And that process of course has been completed recently with the appointment by Prime Minister Maliki of ministers to fill those jobs. I think that will have been from a historical turning point, the period that we’ll be able to look at and say, that’s when we turned the corner, that’s when we began to get a handle on the long-term future of Iraq.