Is Cheney Right About the Democrats?
by Ray McGovern
April 17, 2007
The rhetoric over recent days and this morning makes it clear that Vice President Dick Cheney is still in charge of Iraq policy. He seems supremely confident that the Democrats can be intimidated into giving the White House the only thing it really wants – enough money to stave off defeat until President George W. Bush and Cheney are safely out of office. That, of course, is also what lies behind the "temporary surge" in troop strength.
Was Defense Secretary Robert Gates being naive or disingenuous on Jan. 11, when he appeared before the Senate Armed Forces Committee and addressed the "surge?"
"I don't think anybody has a definite idea about how long the surge would last. I think for most of us, in our minds, we're thinking of it as a matter of months, not 18 months or two years."
I know Gates; he is not naive. And whatever the relative merits of positions on a policy issue, neither he nor anyone else in the small coterie of presidential advisers is likely to stand up to Cheney. The $64 question is whether the Democrats will. To me, that appears a long shot.