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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/16/11

Cheney's Unintended Admissions

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"'Once you start,' he said, recalling his experiences with Vietnam, 'the Democrats' demand for more will never end.' The issue would no longer be winning, but how fast we were withdrawing. 'Withdrawals are like salted peanuts,' he said. 'Once you start, you can't stop.'"

If I'm reading that right, Kissinger's message was that one should never start a military withdrawal; that once American troops are committed to some foreign adventure, they must stay until "victory," whatever that's supposed to mean in a place like Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan.

Kissinger's concept would have meant that American troops would still be fighting and killing in Vietnam because "victory" meant there was never a realistic option. Cheney was determined to apply this "never start withdrawing" lesson to Iraq, too.

So, while Cheney's memoir has little value for anyone looking for essential facts about what happened over the past decade -- or for that matter what Cheney witnessed since the days of Richard Nixon -- the book does carry an unintended message: that societies which elevate thin-skinned and close-minded people like Dick Cheney are headed toward destruction.

Cross-posted from Consortium News

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

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