View Full Version : Cheney to visit troops at Camp Pendleton

07-28-04, 06:51 AM
Cheney to visit troops at Camp Pendleton

07-28-04, 06:52 AM
Weakness invites terror, Cheney tells Democrats <br />
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By Adam Entous <br />
REUTERS <br />
2:06 p.m. July 27, 2004

07-28-04, 05:08 PM
Did he tell those Marines how much he is making off the war in Iraq? I would have skipped seeing the war profiteer.

07-28-04, 05:18 PM
Cheney thanks Marines during Pendleton visit

By Philip J. LaVelle
10:01 p.m. July 27, 2004

CAMP PENDLETON Vice President Dick Cheney thanked Marines yesterday for their service in Iraq while using a martial backdrop here to bluntly reiterate the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war in the struggle against terrorism.

"To win this war, America is applying a doctrine that is clear to all," Cheney said from a podium draped in camouflage netting, flanked by howitzers and armored vehicles, with combat helicopters parked in the background.

"Every person, group or regime that harbors or supports terror is equally guilty of terrorist crimes and will be held to account," Cheney said.

The vice president repeated his belief that deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein posed a gathering threat to the United States, despite the failure to date to unearth weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or confirm clear ties between Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Cheney's remarks, enthusiastically received by more than 2,500 Marines and naval personnel assembled at a parade ground, came during a trip that marked a break with campaign tradition.

Presidents and vice presidents traditionally keep low profiles during the opposition party's national convention. Cheney wedged his Camp Pendleton stop, with its focus on war and terrorism, into a high-profile West Coast fund-raising trip as Democrats entered the second day of their presidential nominating convention in Boston.

After leaving Camp Pendleton, Cheney flew to Bakersfield to campaign with Republican Senate nominee Bill Jones. Their schedule included a Bakersfield fund-raiser for Republican congressional candidate Roy Ashburn and a Riverside fund-raiser for Jones.

At Pendleton, Cheney played to national security themes that Republicans hope will underscore stark differences with presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Democrats hope the cheery exuberance of Edwards, a first-term senator from North Carolina, will provide an attractive contrast to the often-dour demeanor of Cheney, whose favorable rating in a CBS News/New York Times poll last month was 22 percent. But Republicans calculate that Cheney, already popular with the party's conservative base, will project maturity and gravitas on national security in the face of Edwards' youth and relative inexperience.

Cheney's hawkish credentials were on full display in remarks meant as much for a national audience he was trailed by a traveling band of Washington reporters as for the Pendleton Marines.

Accompanied by his wife, Lynne, Cheney was introduced by Gen. James L. Williams, deputy commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

"It's a privilege to stand before so many who have served our country so well, and I'm honored to bring personal regards from our commander in chief, President Bush," Cheney said.

Recounting his experiences in the White House on Sept. 11, Cheney said the attacks "changed everything for our country."

"In a span of a few hours, we lost 3,000 of our fellow citizens, we saw the violence and the grief that terrorism can inflict, we saw a foe whose hatred for us is limitless," he said.

"This is an enemy, as the 9/11 Commission reported last week, whose purpose is to rid the world of religious and political pluralism. They want to impose their way of life on the rest of us, and in pursuit of this goal, they are prepared to slaughter anyone who stands in their way.

"This is not a foe we can reason with or negotiate with or appease. This is, to put it simply, an enemy that we must vanquish, and we will vanquish this enemy," Cheney said to hearty cheers and applause.

Cheney said the invasion of Afghanistan left America safer, and he raised the grim specter of terrorists acquiring chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

"If terrorists get their hands on that deadly technology, there can be no doubt they will inflict catastrophic damage on America and our allies," he said.

"President Bush is determined to remove threats before they arrive, instead of simply waiting for another attack on our country, so America acted to end the regime of Saddam Hussein," he said.

Later, Cheney said: "Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength. They are invited by the perception of weakness. This nation has made a decision that we will engage the enemy, facing him with our military in Iraq and Afghanistan today, so we do not have to face him with armies of firefighters, police and medical personnel on the streets of our own cities."

Marines who shook his hand afterward came away energized.

"I'm excited, I'm ready to serve my country," said Lance Cpl. Steven Berry, 21, of Oceanside, an aviation electronics technician who ships out to Iraq soon. "He said, 'Good job, keep up the good work.'"

"It helps morale tremendously," said Master Sgt. Bob Beyer, a Marine Corps spokesman who served in Iraq last year. "Marines don't do this for money or any other gain. They feel they serve a higher purpose. A thank you is all a Marine needs."

After his speech, Cheney awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to helicopter pilot Maj. David R. Goodell III, for heroism during support of an armored assault, and a Purple Heart to Cpl. Nathan T. Coutts, for wounds suffered June 1. Later, he met privately with about two dozen wounded Marines.