Cheney defends Iraq policy

Oct. 30, 2006 at 3:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney suggested Monday that Iraqi insurgents have stepped up violent attacks to influence next week's U.S. congressional elections.

In an interview on Fox News, Cheney said he believes the U.S. public is more willing to take military casualties since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"They specifically can't beat us in a stand-up fight," Cheney said in the Fox interview. "They never have. But whether it's al-Qaida or the other elements that are active in Iraq, they are betting on the proposition they can break the will of the American people. They think we won't have the stomach for the fight long-term. Osama bin Laden says as much. He talks about this."

Cheney did not mention the Shiite militias and the sectarian violence that has killed hundreds of Iraqis in Baghdad.

The vice president defended the Bush record on the economy and suggested that if the Democratic Party wins control of Congress its leaders would try to roll back the Bush tax cuts, Fox reported.

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