Seems John Key’s not the only politician who’s had his previous statements on Iraq come back to bite him recently. Here’s Dick Cheney in 1994 explaining why the invasion and occupation of Iraq would not be the smartest course of action and would quickly become, in his own words, “a quagmire”.
Interestingly, even in 2000 Cheney was still saying that if the US invaded Iraq:
Instead of being the leader of international coalition that came and reversed aggression and risk toward civil order, if you will in that part of the world, we shift and become the imperial power coming in from willy-nilly occupying national capitals, taking down governments we disagree with that we don’t like.
Quite how this morphed into “we will be greeted as liberators” is puzzling, but my guess is it happened for much the same reason John Key’s position that New Zealand should “commit any support requested by the United States for a war against Iraq, including SAS and combat troops” quickly became “We wouldn’t have sent troops to Iraq” – sheer political expediency.
Hat tip: Martin Hirst