"Literally, virtually every exchange illustrates the hard-core, deliberate deceit which has driven this war -- the Vice President's capacity to insist on obvious falsehoods without blinking is unparalleled even for this administration, which is really saying something -- but I think this exchange is the most significant in terms of underscoring the core incoherence and real danger to the U.S. posed by the invasion of Iraq:MR. RUSSERT: Have we, have we created a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iraq?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
MR. RUSSERT: The prime minister of Iraq is going where tomorrow? Iran.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Mm-hmm. It’s a neighbor.
MR. RUSSERT: If, if you go to southern [Iraq], Richard Engel, our correspondent, has been there for three years, they answer the phone in the hotels in Persian. Iran has built an airport in Najaf. They built a railroad in Najaf in Iraq. Who has more influence with Iraq? Iran or the U.S.?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think the U.S. does today, but there’s no question but what the new government of Iraq has to get along with its neighbors. It also visits the Saudis. It also has had sessions with the other governments in the region. Their people need to work with the Turks, with the Syrians, with the Jordanians and with others. We have encouraged the states in the region to come together to help the new government in Iraq. It is a Shia government, no question about it. They’ve got close ties. Iran was the place where most of the leadership took refuge during the period of time when Saddam Hussein was in power, because it was the only place they could go.
But the fact of the matter is, you’re a lot better off today. You don’t have a government in Baghdad that’s pursuing weapons of mass destruction, you don’t have a government in Baghdad that is a state sponsor of terror. You don’t have a government in Baghdad that is doing all those things that Saddam Hussein did for so long. So we’re safer.
MR. RUSSERT: But you’ve also lost—you’ve also lost a buffer to Iran, and that’s what I’m going to come back and talk about, if I could.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Mm-hmm.
At this point, that is the most incomprehensible and just tragically stupid aspect of this war. Just last week -- last week -- the administration's newly released National Strategy for Combating Terrorism claimed that "Iran remains the most active state sponsor of international terrorism." But the government in Iraq which we are struggling and fighting to stabilize and strengthen is already one that has -- to use the Vice President's own words -- "close ties" to Iran, our arch enemy. And those ties with Iran are obviously only going to strengthen if and when we ever reduce our presence there, let alone if we ever leave ("'Who has more influence with Iraq? Iran or the U.S.?' VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think the U.S. does today'").
That means that we are essentially fighting for Iran. And the longer we stay and the more we fight and drain all of our resources in order to stabilize the Iraqi Government, the more we do to promote the interests of the country which the administration says is the greatest threat to American interests. Every time the administration or its supporters talk about the dangers posed by Iran, Democrats ought to immediately point out that nothing has strengthened Iran more than our invasion of Iraq, which has replaced a regime that was hostile to Iran with one that is subservient to it.
It's actually unfathomable -- for a country to fight a protracted and bloody war where the sole beneficiary is that country's worst enemy, where the principal result is to depose a government that was extremely hostile to that enemy and replace it with a government that is extremely sympathetic to -- actually controlled by -- that enemy. Without hyperbole, it is difficult to imagine anything more disastrous and counter-productive to American national security."
You won't be surprised that I'll again quote my interview with Larisa (and quoting her July 05 interview with Joe Wilson):
Luke: One of the things that jumped out of me in one of your articles was in your interview in July of last year with [former Ambassador to Gabon] Joe Wilson - when you asked him about whether the goal of the Iraq invasion was to have a “fundamentalist military conglomerate in Iran” and there was a curious dance there between the two of you - trying to see whether he agreed with that, and whether that was the actual purpose, or an unintended consequence - can you shed any light on that?
Here's the exchange I'm referring to:
-----------------------Raw Story: And now we see that Iraq and Iran have just signed a military treaty. Is that what we wanted?-----------------------
Wilson: Iran is the big winner in this.
Raw Story: Is the goal a fundamentalist military conglomerate? Is that what we wanted?
Wilson: Sitting right on the border of the Kuwait and eastern Saudi oil fields...
Raw Story: Right, if that is what we wanted…
Wilson: Then we have achieved it.
Larisa Alexandrovna: Well, I can only speak for myself and I think he answered that for himself in the conversation where he says 'then we've succeeded'. Again, I cannot really speak for him outside of what he himself said in the interview.
In my view, one only needs to look at the real big winner of the Iraq war and there is no doubt that it is Iran. So if one argues that the goal was somehow to the benefit of Iran, then that has in fact been achieved.
For some factions both in the US and abroad, that has always been and still is a goal to be sure.