Q The Democrats will put on the floor of the Senate today a proposal -- they don't have the votes -- but they say this administration's policy in Iraq has failed. And the leading Democratic proposal would say, let's have a partial withdrawal -- they call it a redeployment -- and then require the administration to put forward a plan. Now, they say this is not cut and run, it's not retreat, but they say three years and three months later, it is time for the administration to tell the Iraqi government you cannot have this indefinite American security blanket. You need to do a better job of preparing your own people to take over security, what's wrong with that?Ah, two:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it's wrong in many respects, John. First of all, they're wrong. We are making significant progress.
Q Jack Murtha, an old friend of yours, with whom you have sparred recently in the House, he says, look, when President Reagan realized the policy in Beirut was failing, he withdrew the troops. Call it cut and run if you will. When President Clinton realized the policy in Somalia was failing, he withdrew the troops. Again, some might say cut and run. He says this war is costing $8 billion a month, $300 million a day, there's no end in sight. And forgive me, but he says, you don't have a plan, so let's not have more kids killed.Ah, three:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: He's wrong. I like Jack Murtha. He's a friend. We did a lot of business together...
Q Well, you disagree with the Democrats' plan, but they are stepping into a political environment in which the American people -- clearly, some have anger, some have dissatisfaction, some have doubts about this war and the administration's plan for this war. Fifty-four percent of the American people say it's a mistake; 55 percent say things are going badly in Iraq; 53 percent in our polling say the American people actually support a timetable. Why is it that the administration has failed to articulate to the American people then? The American people don't think you have a plan, sir.Ah, three...do you believe him?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, they're wrong. We do have a plan. It's there for anybody who wants to take a look at it. The Democrats have repeatedly made this charge. It's simply not the case. There is a good plan in place.
Incidentially, I found a bright spot of humor in this "interview," at which point the Big Dick Cheney reveals the name for the Korean Missile presently aimed possibly at the West Coast (Vandenberg AFB, maybe?), which I think is rather ironic:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we -- this is the first test of this particular type No Dong II missile. We believe it does have a third stage added to it now, but, again, we don't know what the payload is.
I think it's also fair to say that the North Korean missile capabilities are fairly rudimentary. I mean, they've been building Scuds and so forth over the years, but their test flights in the past haven't been notably successful. But we are watching it with interest and following it very closely.