A classic segment from the interview:
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would, at this point, be engaged in a nuclear arms race with Ahmadinejad, his blood enemy next door in Iran --Where to start? Regarding his comment that Saddam would right now be involved in an arms race vs. Iran, who knows? But given the sanctions and inspectors, how could Saddam have "engaged in a nuclear arms race" with Iran? Look at how closely Iran is being monitored (with Israel seemingly set to bomb them at any moment), and Saddam was much more closely watched than Iran. Also, there were no WMD in Iraq, proof the inspectors did their job. And make no mistake, this administration would've LOVED to have found even a remote sign of WMD -- yet zilch found. So when Cheney utters, "the entire sanctions regime had been undermined by Saddam," make him offer proof, evidence, to back up his as-usual baseless claims.
"Q But he was being contained as we all know --
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: He was not being contained. He was not being contained, Wolf.
"Q -- by the no-fly zones in the north and the south.
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: Wolf, the entire sanctions regime had been undermined by Saddam Hussein. He had --
"Q But he didn't have stockpiles of weapons of --
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- corrupted the entire effort to try to keep him contained. He was bribing senior officials of other governments. The oil-for-food program had been totally undermined, and he had, in fact, produced and used weapons of mass destruction previously, and he retained the capability to produce that kind of stuff in the future.
"Q But that was in the '80s.
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: You can go back and argue the whole thing all over again, Wolf, but what we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do; the world is much safer today because of it. . . .
"Q But the current situation there is --
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: But the fact of the matter was -- the fact of the matter was that al Qaeda was out to kill Americans before we ever went into Iraq."
When the VP attempts to explain something that occurred this century with events from well over a decade earlier, Blitzer interrupts, "But that was in the '80s." Cheney desperately tries to revert back to the 1980s, the Reagan era (!), when Saddam was NOT under close scrutiny -- shifting the debate, a classic Cheney tactic. (And never forget The Handshake, the photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam in the early '80s).
Cheney then blurts out, "taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do." When back-peddling and losing the argument, always pull out the "Saddam was bad" and "9/11" cards (in this case, he pulls the former).
Finally, Blitzer tries once again to bring the discussion to the last 3+ years, the current situation in Iraq, only to be cut-off with Cheney's out-of-the-blue "Al Qaeda is bad" statement (duh).
So what starts out as an interview in which Blitzer reiterates the well-known problems in Iraq -- only to be labeled by Cheney as one "embracing defeat" and refusing to recognize the "enormous successes" -- deteriorates into a nonsensical tit-for-tat charade that has Cheney tossing out references and phrases like hurling spaghetti against a wall.
The VP refuses to directly and convincingly answer any of the questions Blitzer is at least able to get out of his mouth, the exchange ending with Cheney blurting Al Qaeda has always wanted "to kill Americans before we ever went into Iraq." What does that have to with the current debacle in Iraq? If anything, Iraq has now become a prime breeding ground for Al Qaeda "thanks" to the invasion. Perhaps Bush I knew this could happen with the first Gulf War, explaining why we pulled back and pulled out.
As for Cheney's Saddam comment, yes, of course Saddam was evil incarnate, but very bad men rule nations elsewhere (North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, etc.) -- are we to invade those countries too?
Bottom line: when pressed, Cheney's got nothing. So he squirms, launches some obtuse ramblings, but ultimately resorts to his familiar zone, meaning the bully tactics take over in the form of personal attacks, verbal abuse, etc.
He's an embarrassment, but more importantly, like his buddy Rumsfeld, he's a failure and a danger.