Dick Cheney has come under criticism for is comment on Larry King that the Iraq insurgency was in its "last throes". On Thursday, June 23, Cheney went Clintonian, discussing the meaning of "throes".
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Chaney said "If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period, the throes of a revolution". Cheney went on to predict a huge defeat for the insurgents.
General John Abizaid, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing otherwise.
Senator Carl Levin: General Abizaid, can you give us your assessment of the strength of the insurgency. Is it less strong, more strong, about the same strength as it was six months ago?
General Abizaid: Senator, I'd say… In terms of comparison from six months ago, in terms of foreign fighters, I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago. In terms of the overall strength of the insurgency, I'd say it's about the same as it was.
Levin: So you wouldn't agree with the statement that it's 'in its last throes'?
Abizaid: I don't know that I would make any comment about that, other than to say there's a lot of work to be done against the insurgency.
Levin: Well, the Vice-President has said it's in its last throes. That's the statement that the Vice President. Doesn't sound to me from your testimony, or any other testimony here this morning, that it is in its last throes.
Abizaid: I'm sure you'll forgive me from criticizing the Vice-President.
Levin: I just want an honest assessment from you as to whether you agree with a particular statement of his, it's not personal. I just want to know whether you agree with that assessment. It's not a personal attack on him, any more than if he says that something is a fact and you disagree with it, we would expect you to say you disagree with it.
Abizaid: I gave you my opinion of where we are.