Dick Cheney's Bendy Brain

In this week's speech reminding the nation of the folly of early withdrawal from Iraq, Vice President Cheney--speaking at the aptly named location of Fort Drum, in upstate New York--again reminded us that any faltering in the US war effort will embolden the terrorist foe. "To leave that country before the job is done," he announced, "would be to hand over Iraq to car-bombers and assassins."

We've always admired this particular rhetorical stunt, since it directs attention away from the apparently nonexistent imminent threat that produced the American invasion of Iraq, and substitutes the mortal hazards to Iraqi citizens that the American invasion helped drag into the country.

Nothing new here, of course: We have come to expect that Cheney regularly announces to Lynne at home that unless she changes the station from "Desperate Housewives" to "The Best Damn Sports Show Ever," the terrorists will win. But then there's this, when Cheney tries snarling out of the other side of his mouth at critics who claim a protracted US occupation will foment global terrorism:

Some have suggested by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq in September 2001 and the terrorists hit us anyway.

Wah-huh? So let's get this straight: If you suggest any policy in Iraq other that the administration-approved "Stay the Course" you are handing a nation over to terrorist control. But if terrorist activity, or the threat thereof, seems sufficiently worrisome to contemplate another policy then. . .it doesn't matter, because the terrorists will attack us anyway? Withdrawal from Iraq is appeasing the terrorist enemy--but 9/11 demonstrates the mindset of that enemy is irrelevant. Wouldn't the logic of the latter claim suggest that the terrorists simply might not notice we had withdrawn and/or attack us no matter what? Are they all-powerful evildoers, or Ritalin- deprived ADD cases? Also: There were all sorts of things we weren't doing in 2001. We hadn't yet thrilled to the magic of Gigli, or whatever the name of that sucky Coldplay record is. Does this mean if there's no Gigli sequel, the terrorists win? Please make our head stop hurting like this, Mr. Vice President, Sir!

Cheney: Terrorists Win if U.S. Loses 'Nerve' in Iraq [AP, via CNN]


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