Cheney Distorts Views of Arab Leaders, Version 2.0

| Fri May. 18, 2007 10:32 AM PDT

When Dick Cheney was trying to drum up support for the Iraq War in 2002, he visited capitals in the Arab world and spoke with various heads of state. The message he got from them, he said upon his return, was that they all "shared our concern" about Iraq.

That was a lie. Arab leaders both publicly and privately opposed the war, and even warned about the disastrous after-effects that we are seeing now.

Well, Cheney just got back from another trip around the Arab world, and he's saying that leaders there agree that Iran is a "major source of concern." While that's closer to the truth than his statements about Iraq, it's still overselling their position. In private interviews, Arab leaders urge the United States to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's belligerence and nuclear ambitions. They do not advocate the hard line Cheney and his pals are taking.

One gets the sense that the real danger in the White House is Cheney, not Bush, because Cheney refuses to be humbled by the administration's spectacular failures. Read more about this situation from Time's bureau chief in Cairo.

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