What if Cheney had Apologized for Iraq?
Satire alert for the humorless. What would it have looked like if Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney had apologized for Iraq the way he apologized for shooting a hunting buddy?
[Imaginary] Transcript of Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview Wednesday with Brit Hume of Fox News Channel, as released by the White House. Cheney addresses his illegal invasion of Iraq on false pretences, resulting in tens of thousands of dead.
Question: Mr. Vice President, how are the Iraqis?
Answer: Well, the good news is they are doing very well today. I talked to their leaders yesterday after they discovered how many we had killed and tortured . . . But we’ve stopped the very worst torture, so the reporting today is very good.
Q: How did you feel when you heard about that?
A: Well, it’s a great relief. But I won’t be, obviously, totally at ease until there is no torture and no one dies from US bombing raids. They are at home. They’ll be in turmoil apparently, for a few more years. And the problem, obviously, is that there’s always the possibility of complications in a population reduced to a very bad situation by years of sanctons.
Q: How long have you known about Iraq?
A: I first encountered it during the Gulf War, and 2003 was the first time I’d actually invaded the country.
Q: Would you describe Iraq as a close friend, friendly acquaintance, what?
A: No, I knew absolutely nothing about the place.
Q: Tell me what happened?
A: Well, basically, we were conducting an invasion late in the day …
Q: Describe the setting.
A: It’s in south Iraq near Kuwait, wide open spaces, a lot of brush cover, fairly shallow. But it’s wild Iraqi conscripts. It’s some of the best conscript hunting anyplace in the region. I’ve gone there, for years. …
Q: How many?
A: Oh, probably 100,000 troops. We weren’t all together . . .
Q: There was just two of you then?
A: Just two of us at that point. The guide or outrider between us, and of course, there’s this entourage behind us, all the cars and so forth that follow me around when I’m out there. But the Baath Army flushed and went to my right, off to the west. I turned and shot at the soldiers, and at that second, saw them standing there. Didn’t know they were there …
Q: You had pulled the trigger and you saw them?
A: Well, I saw them mown down, basically. It had happened so fast.
Q: What were the Iraqis wearing?
A: They were dressed in orange, they were dressed properly, but they were also … There was a little bit of a gully there, so they were down a little ways before land level, although I could see the upper part of their bodies when … I didn’t see it at the time I shot, until after I’d fired. And the sun was directly behind them — that affected the vision, too, I’m sure.
But the image of Iraq falling is something I’ll never be able to get out of my mind. I started a war, and there’s Iraqis falling in the thousands. And it was, I’d have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment.