The Dark Lord speaketh:
SCHIEFFER: Wouldn’t it have been better, on reflection, to have a better and larger force [going into Iraq]?
DICK: Well, um, we could debate that forever and we may well. I think that the original campaign was masterfully done in terms of the small, fast moving force as you say, that achieved our initial objectives in taking down the regime and capturing Baghdad, that was a masterful performance.
I think the thing that we underestimated, at least I underestimated, was the damage that had been done to the Iraqi population by all those years of Saddam’s rule, so that there weren’t any Iraqis early on who were willing to stand up and take responsibilty for their own affairs. Anybody who had that kind of get up and go in earlier years had had their head chopped off.
There’s of course no use in arguing with Dick Cheney, but one of the most irritating memes in defense of the Iraq War is the insistence that there were, in fact, two wars — one victorious for the US, the other victorious for Democrats — that could be distinguished from one another. This claim was especially popular before everyone decided that we won the second war, too, but Cheney revives it here with his customary mendacity. The “small, fast-moving” force that Cheney heralds may have been successful at zipping its way to Baghdad, but it was wholly insufficient for controlling the scores of alleged WMD sites that were perched along the route — you know, the weapons for which the US was presumably going to war in the first place. Failing to secure non-existent WMD also meant failing to secure untold quantities of ordinary weapons that were soon enough fueling the “second” war that, so far as Cheney is concerned, wouldn’t have happened if the Iraqis hadn’t been such incompetent cowards.
Once again, the dude from Gulfport speaks for all of us.