On Fox, Dick Cheney invokes "weapons of mass destruction" to advocate for indefinite American presence in the Middle East
Cheney: "It's not a popular position to take, everybody thinks we've been there 17 years and we need to get out kind of thing, that's not the way I look at it"
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From the May 10 edition of Fox Business' Mornings with Maria Bartiromo:
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MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): Isn't that why many of our friends in the Middle East were alienated? I'm talking about the Saudis, the Israelis, they were upset after we pulled out of Iraq, isn't that right?
DICK CHENEY (FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES): That's true. And it left a vacuum, and the Iranians have tried to fill it.
BARTIROMO: Should we pull out of Syria? Because a lot of people are saying, if we were to pull out of Syria, then that just strengthens ISIS that much more. It creates the vacuum that we saw created in Iraq.
CHENEY: I am a firm believer, and it's not a popular position to take, everybody thinks we've been there 17 years and we need to get out kind of thing, that's not the way I look at it. I think we have to be present in that part of the world.
You look at 9/11, how did 9/11 come about? Well, you had Osama Bin Laden operating in that part of the world, ultimately putting his team together in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's important to us, who controls Afghanistan. It's important to us how those other nations fall out there, and we can't afford to turn our back and walk away and say, "well, it's nasty business, we're not going to be involved anymore."
I think that's a dead end for us and I think we cannot afford, given the importance of the United States, the importance of that part of the world, we have to been engaged, we have to be involved, we have to know who our friends and allies are, we've got to work with them, and we need to make certain that we don't have the kind of proliferation of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, the kind of problems that are potentially ours if we withdraw.