Dick Cheney on War & Peace

Need leadership and trust to make progress in Mideast

Q: Do you agree with US Middle East policy?

LIEBERMAN: America has a national strategic and a principled interest in peace in the Middle East. Al Gore has played a critical role in advancing that process. These peoples have come centuries forward in the last seven years. I pray that the unrest in the last week will not make it hard for them to go back to the peace table. We’ve been on a very constructive course in the Middle East, played a unique role, and Al Gore and I will continue to do that.

CHENEY: We made significant breakthroughs at the end of the Bush administration because of the Gulf War. By virtue of the end of the Cold War, the Soviets were no longer a factor. My guess is that the next administration is going to have to come to grips with the current state of affairs. I think it’s very important that we have a president with firm leadership who has the kind of track record of dealing straight with people, so that friends respect us and adversaries fear us.

Source: (X-ref Lieberman) Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Serbs deserve credit - Russia and US should support them

Q: If Milosevic prevails, would you support his overthrow?

CHENEY: I hope it marks the end of Milosevic. It’s a victory for the Serbian people. This is a continuation of a process that began 10 years ago all across Eastern Europe, and it’s only now arrived in Serbia. We saw it in Germany, we saw it in Romania, we saw it in Czechoslovakia, as the people of Eastern Europe rose up and made their claim for freedom. We want to do everything we can to support Milosevic’s departure. Certainly, though, that would not involve committing U.S. troops. Governor Bush suggested that we ought to try to get the Russians involved to exercise some leverage over the Serbians and Al Gore pooh-poohed it. But now it’s clear from the press that in fact that’s exactly what they were doing. This is an opportunity for the U.S. to test President Putin of Russia, whether or not he’s willing to support the forces of freedom in the area of Eastern Europe.

Source: Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

US too soft on Iraq

Dick Cheney said yesterday that the Clinton administration had let the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, “slip off the hook” on UN weapons inspections. Cheney said the US had a “very robust” inspection capability under President Bush and after the Gulf War.
Source: Boston Globe, “Campaign Notebook,” p. A28 Sep 21, 2000

Iran: against sanctions; makes oil deals there

Cheney’s oil company has conducted business in Iran and Libya by carefully maneuvering around US sanctions, using foreign-based subsidiaries and workers. Cheney has frequently fought to lift US sanctions against Iran despite concerns about terrorist activity. Just last month, Cheney said that the US should lift sanctions against Iran and allow US oil companies to invest there. “There’s been a decision not to allow US firms to invest significantly in Iran, and I think that’s a mistake,” Cheney said.
Source: Michael Kranish and Walter Robinson, Boston Globe, p. A11 Jul 26, 2000

Gulf War results: stable Arabs; secure Israel; confident US

The situation from the standpoint of our allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, is that they have been saved and Kuwait has been liberated, not just by US forces but by coalition forces as well. And an international coalition that involved the governments that represent a majority of the Arab world, fighting alongside US forces, was a very significant development.

Saddam Hussein’s offensive military capability, his capacity to threaten his neighbors, has been virtually eliminated. This is a very significant development.

Israel, I think, from a military standpoint is more secure today than she’s been at any time in the recent past because of the elimination of Iraq’s offensive military threat. A very significant development.

I think would-be aggressors, not only in the Middle East but elsewhere around the world, have to pause and reflect before they contemplate the possibility that aggression is a course that holds rewards for them. A significant development.

Source: Speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Apr 29, 1991

Critical of Israeli policy which opposes US interests

Throughout his decade-long congressional career. Cheney has been unafraid to criticize Israeli policies he deemed detrimental to US interests.

Cheney noted that he has tried to listen to all sides involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. During one month, he met with [leaders of Israel, Jordan, & Egypt]. Cheney vows to “argue as persuasively as I know how” with his former colleagues on Capitol Hill to adopt a “more balanced policy” in terms of improving relations with Arab nations.

Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Supports balance in supplying arms to both Israel & Arabs

Cheney vows to “argue as persuasively as I know how” with his former colleagues on Capitol Hill to adopt a “more balanced policy” in terms of improving relations with Arab nations. Cheney agreed that congressional opposition to US arms sales to friendly Arab states has hurt American interests in the region. “I think the United States does have a role to play in the area that does involve providing our Arab friends as well as our Israeli friends with the equipment they need in order to provide for
Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Supported 1986 Libya bombing

Cheney supported the Reagan administration’s bombing of Libya in 1986, saying at the time that he hoped Colonel Qaddafi “has learned his lesson” about the danger of sponsoring terrorist acts. But Cheney has also been willing to criticize Reagan administration foreign policy initiatives-or the lack of them-in the region.
Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Israel: Displeased with 1982 invasion of Lebanon

Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Cheney said he was “disappointed that the administration has not been somewhat tougher on Israel. I think we should have expressed our displeasure in no uncertain terms. ” He argued then that Israel had faced no security danger that would have provoked such an attack. “Literally thousands of innocent people have been killed or injured. I find that difficult to accept,” he said then.
Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Outraged that Israel spied on US in 1980s

Cheney expressed outrage at the Jonathan Pollard spy case, saying it demonstrated that Israel had waged a deliberate and successful spy campaign against the US. “I consider it an unfriendly act,” Cheney said in 1987, adding that Israel had betrayed its unique bond with the US. “They, on the one hand, plead for a special relationship with the US-a special relationship that has existed for nearly 40 years now. On the other hand, [they] run a major intelligence operation against us,” Cheney said.
Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Mideast peace process must include Palestinian statehood

On the question of an independent Palestinian state, Cheney had supported leaving that question to be negotiated between the major parties involved. In July 1982, however, Cheney said, “Any resolution in this conflict which has lasted for more than 30 years must include the formation of a Palestinian state. But I am frankly not optimistic about any resolution in the near future. ”

Cheney, whose prognosis then has proven to be correct, is scarcely less pessimistic about the Middle East seven years later. “You’re talking about animosities that go back centuries,” Cheney said recently in Wyoming. “It’s not an area where you can anticipate that overnight there’s going to be some solution and everybody’s going to say, ‘Great, peace has arrived.’ This requires tough, hard, day-to-day efforts to maintain momentum for peaceful resolution of the conflicts in that part of the world. You cannot expect, given the track record, any quick and easy results.”

Source: Scott Farris, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p.8 Jul 2, 1989

Opposed ground troops in Bosnia

Cheney took a strong stand against use of US ground troops in the vicious civil war in Bosnia between Serbs, Croats, and Muslims that began in April 1992. After the collapse of a collective presidency in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the country split into several independent republics, including Bosnia. Whether and how to intervene in Bosnia evoked an emotional debate in the US, but Cheney left office before any firm decisions were made, and his successors inherited the knotty issue.
Source:, “SecDef Histories” Jan 1, 1997

Other candidates on War & Peace: Dick Cheney on other issues:
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
Al Gore
Alan Keyes
John McCain (R,AZ)
Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Colin Powell
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)

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