“Greeted as Liberators”

Five years ago today, Dick Cheney appeared on Meet the Press. He made a quote that will go down as one of the great whoppers of the Bush era.

Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. And the president’s made it very clear that our purpose there is, if we are forced to do this, will in fact be to stand up a government that’s representative of the Iraqi people, hopefully democratic due respect for human rights, and it, obviously, involves a major commitment by the United States, but we think it’s a commitment worth making. And we don’t have the option anymore of simply laying back and hoping that events in Iraq will not constitute a threat to the U.S. Clearly, 12 years after the Gulf War, we’re back in a situation where he does constitute a threat.

As we all know, the threat he was referring to has since been proven false and nearly 4,000 American troops are dead. Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead. The Iraqi people have created segregation, but not functional government. By the most conservative estimates, the American people have spent at least 500 billion dollars, and may spend as much as three trillion. There’s still no end in sight and one of the two ’08 presidential nominees has said he’s committed to staying for “100 years”.

Five years to the Sunday, it’s safe to say that “greeted as liberators” will go down as one of the most terrible, tragic predictions in American history.