03/28/2008 02:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney Cited UAE-Saddam Relations As A Reason US Might Need To Invade Iraq In 2000...


MR. SHAW: This question is for you, Mr. Secretary. If Iraq's President Saddam Hussein were found to be developing weapons of mass destruction, Governor Bush has said he would "take him out." Would you agree with such a deadly policy?

MR. CHENEY: We might have no other choice. We'll have to see if that happens. The thing about Iraq, of course, was at the end of the war we had pretty well decimated their military. We had put them back in a box, so to speak. We had a strong international coalition raid against them, effective economic sanctions and a very robust inspection regime that was in place. So that the inspection regime under U.N. auspices was able to do a good job of stripping out the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction -- the work that he'd been doing that had not been destroyed during the war on biological, chemical agents as well as a nuclear program. Unfortunately, now we find ourselves in a situation where that's started to fray on us, where the coalition now no longer is tied tightly together.

Recently the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two Gulf states, have reopened diplomatic relations with Baghdad. The Russians and the French now are flying commercial airliners back into Baghdad and sort of thumbing their nose, if you will, at the international sanctions regime. And of course the U.N. inspectors have been kicked out. And there's been absolutely no response.