Atrios points us to this mystery quote today which turns out to have been by Dick Cheney back when he was Secretary of Defense for Bush the Elder:
“Well, just as it's important, I think, for a president to know when to commit U.S. forces to combat, it's also important to know when not to commit U.S. forces to combat. I think for us to get American military personnel involved in a civil war inside Iraq would literally be a quagmire. Once we got to Baghdad, what would we do? Who would we put in power? What kind of government would we have? Would it be a Sunni government, a Shi'a government, a Kurdish government? Would it be secular, along the lines of the Ba'ath Party? Would be fundamentalist Islamic? I do not think the United States wants to have U.S. military forces accept casualties and accept the responsibility of trying to govern Iraq. I think it makes no sense at all.”
And you know what? Cheney was right! Also remember that the vast majority of human rights atrocities credited to Saddam - and which now make up our only reason for being there at this point - happened prior to Cheney making the above statement. Cheney was apparently so unbothered by Saddam’s cruelty at that time that he set out during the next several years to cash in on the Iraq situation as the CEO of Halliburton, raking in millions helping to rebuild Saddam’s oil infrastructure that was damaged during the first Gulf War.