Friday, September 14, 2007
"GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 14 (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday accused critics of the administration's war strategy of ignoring the bloodshed and chaos he said would follow a premature U.S. troop withdrawal.
Speaking shortly after President George W. Bush announced a limited withdrawal of about 20,000 U.S. troops by next July, Cheney pounded home the argument that the United States must stay in Iraq for the long haul to combat terrorism.
"In all the calls we've heard for an American withdrawal from Iraq, these negative consequences haven't really been denied, they've simply been ignored," he said.....
If U.S. and coalition forces left Iraq before Iraqis could defend themselves, moderates would be "crushed," extremists would push the country into "chaos," and competing factions including groups backed by Iran "would unloose an all-out war, with the violence unlikely to be contained within Iraq," Cheney said.
"The ensuing carnage would further destabilize the Middle East and magnify the threat to our friends throughout the region," he said. "