532. 8/14/1992

Following a speech at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington, on August 14, 1992, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney defended not removing Saddam Hussein from power in Operation Desert Storm. He said: ” ‘You probably would have had to run him to ground; I don’t think he would have surrendered and gone quietly to the slammer. Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq. Now what kind of government are you going to establish? Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shia government, or a Sunni government, or maybe a government based on the old Baathist Party, or some mixture thereof? You will have, I think by that time, lost the support of the Arab coalition that was so crucial to our operations over there because none of them signed on for the United States to go occupy Iraq. I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today, we’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home.’ ”

 – Stephen F. Hayes, Cheney, Pages 250-251

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