Cheney says Iraq not in midst of civil war
The US Vice President said Iraq has not plunged into a civil war despite efforts by terror outfits like Al-Qaeda to foment trouble in the country.india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 11:49 IST
Iraq has not plunged into a civil war despite "serious efforts" by terrorists like Al-Qaeda leader Al Zarqawi to foment trouble in the country, US Vice President Dick Cheney has said.
Cheney joined issue with the former Prime Minister of Iraq Iyad Allawi, who was quoted in a BBC interview as saying that his country is nearing the "point of no return" and that it had fallen into sectarian civilian war.
"What we've seen is a serious effort by them (terrorists) to foment civil war, but I don't think they've been successful," Cheney said on Sunday.
Bush has repeatedly made it clear that America is in for complete victory and that troops will not return home before that event.
"We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq. And a victory in Iraq will make this country more secure and will help lay the foundation of peace for generations to come. And a victory in Iraq will make this country more secure, and will help lay the foundation of peace for generations to come," Bush said on Sunday.
The top US commander in Iraq Gen George Casey disagreed with the notion that Iraq was in the midst of a full-blown civil war. "That situation in Iraq was a long way", he said.
But "I don't want to sugarcoat it, either. This is a very fragile time, and there are people getting killed," Casey said.
"I think political leaders in Washington have failed when it comes to our policy in Iraq. They misled us into believing there were weapons of mass destruction and connections between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. None of that existed... Here we are, on the third anniversary, with no end in sight," Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois said.
Cheney said it was critical that America succeed in Iraq not just for the sake of Iraq but also for the entire region of the Middle East
According to Cheney the Bush administration's "aggressive, forward leaning strategy" against terrorism since September 11, 2001 has paid off in the sense that America has not been hit again.
"I think we are going to succeed in Iraq, I think the evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said.
First Published: Mar 20, 2006 11:49 IST