We've seen the video. If you haven't, it's easy to find ...just search Google for "Cheney, 94". One shot, one continual take, and Cheney paints a US occupation of Iraq as nothing but a bad thing. It's clear that in 1994, Cheney recognized how Iraq would fragment if we pushed in to occupy it.
The only trouble for us is: it's exactly what he planned.
The 2004 video, taken by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), is telling. In it, Cheney says:
Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off...
It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.
The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?
Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.
It wasn't the first time Cheney had said something like this. There are quotes from 1991 too, easy to find with a simple search.
Which makes the events of 2002 all the more surprising.
The Conservative-leaning WorldNetDaily site still has a StratFor press release that states:
An idea to unite Jordan and Iraq in a pro-U.S. Hashemite kingdom after a U.S. war is being floated in diplomatic and opposition circles, reports Stratfor, the global intelligence company...
The plan, authored by US Vice President Dick Cheney, was first discussed at an unusual meeting between Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and pro-US Iraqi Sunni opposition members in London in July.
Benefits for US: The fact that the Western-based Iraqi opposition completely depends on Washington will help the "Hashemite Plan". The US favours the plan because the current goal of replacing Saddam Hussein with a pro-US Iraqi government still would not guarantee long-term US control over the territory and its oil.
I'm going to say again: this is from a Right Wing News Source, stating the contents of a Right Wing think-tank's press release.
The more observant among you might have noticed something more telling: this press release was from 2002, before we even had troops on the ground in Iraq.
Bush was still saying war was the last option on the table, months before the invasion, yet Cheney had already organized a London meeting between Crown Prince Hassan and Sunni Iraqis to discuss the "Hashemite Plan". The spoils after the nation fragmented...
...and the only way to get any country to fragment is obvious: a Civil War.
The article goes on to say Sprinzak stated that the authors of a "Hashemite plan" are U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Both are American Enterprise Institute think-tank members, hawkishly right-wing, and the AEI is not only the source of the 1994 video. It's also the center base for many neo-conservatives. Wolfowitz and Cheney are joined in the AEI by Bork, Gingrich, and most telling, Perle. Cheerleader for the war.
LOGICALLY - Cheney recognized, on numerous occasions, that Civil War in Iraq would be a foregone conclusion if we invaded. That it would be bloody and Iraq would "fly off", it would split into pieces. Then he made sure that people met to discuss a civil war in Iraq, even as the President was giving platitudes that war was the final option.
Why would Cheney do this? I think I have an answer that's easy to demonstrate. War = Profit. All I need are two graphs that I generated in October of last year. I used the Finance section of Yahoo.
First, we see how Halliburton (HAL) stock has done since the 1980s. I'll compare HAL to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York, and the Financial Times Stock Exchange in London. How did it do?
OK, not too well (as we see). Halliburton has done about as well as the 100 companies in the FTSE in London, but the 30 companies in the DJI completely trounced it. Mathematics don't lie. The benchmark of American companies was twice as good as Halliburton, an American company.
But now we're going to change the search parameters a little bit. Let's get rid of everything but a five year period (you can tell I did these graphs last October, but seeing as I have them I'll use them). First, some history: The Dow rose over 250% under Reagan (Republican) and over 300% under Clinton (Democratic), but let's keep this totally Cheney and G.W.Bush.
How did a company that barely keeps up with the FTSE do with friends in high places?
This is not some trick of mathematics. This is not 'spin'. We took the value of the DJI, the FTSE, and HAL. Rated them all at their 2001 (October 20th) closing price, and said "you're at the same starting line now, so let's see how much you make for investors..."
Those low points in the red line was when Halliburton was at $10 a share or so. The 2006 high was $41.99.
A share that 'kind-of kept up' with the market but underperformed it for decades suddenly shot off like a bottle rocket. A company that usually gave 50% suddenly went and gave its investors eight times that performance in a few years. And it all seems to be concentrated just before that yellow line.
See that yellow line I have on the second graph?
That yellow line is March, 2003. The start of the American invasion of Iraq. War is profit, if your ex-chairman is now Vice President of the invading country. Not spin, not bullshit. Fact. Mathematical, easy to see, no doubts at all.
Fact. War is profit. And there's the proof. And Cheney knew about the death and the quagmire and the civil war.
But money trumps life for Republicans in power.