Cheney plays the blame game

If you want the troops home now, you're validating the al-Qaida strategy.

Published May 14, 2007 4:23PM (EDT)

Dick Cheney, who was busy noting last week that the president, not the vice president, bears the "major part of the burden" of U.S. casualties in Iraq, is now offering his view on who will be to blame for what happens after America withdraws. Hint: It won't be the people who started the war.

Asked by Fox's Brent Baier to say whether he thinks anyone who opposes the war in Iraq -- that would be 65 percent of the American public -- "wants terrorists to win," Cheney says: "I think they have to be responsible for the consequences of the policy recommendations they make. If, in fact, they advocate complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, then they are, to some extent, accountable for what would happen when that policy [is] followed, what happens inside Iraq, what kind of encouragement that might give to al-Qaida."

The vice president says that breaking Americans' will is the key to al-Qaida's strategy. "So if you're going to be a public official advocating withdrawal from Iraq, you, in fact, are also saying that what you're recommending is validating the al-Qaida strategy," he says. "There are consequences to all of these decisions and all of these actions, and a responsible public official has to accept the responsibility for the consequences of what they recommend."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Dick Cheney Iraq War War Room