Dick Cheney: Funding American troops should not be complicated

From a speech by the US Vice-President at Dwight D Eisenhower High School, in Yakima, Washington
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The Independent Online

It's now official: Senator John Edwards has accepted the nomination for vice-president. I have an opponent. People keep telling me Senator Edwards got picked for his good looks, his charm, and his great hair. And I say, "How do you think I got the job?"

This election could not come at a more crucial time in our history. Today we face an enemy every bit as intent on destroying us as the Axis powers were in World War II, or the Soviet Union was during the Cold War. This is not an enemy we can reason with, or negotiate with, or appease. This is an enemy that we must vanquish. And with President George W Bush as commander-in-chief, that is exactly what we will do.

The President and I have some important differences with the folks you saw in Boston, and there's a story that makes this as clear as could be. It starts with senators Kerry and Edwards voting 'yes' when the President asked the Congress to authorise the use of force against Saddam Hussein. But then, when it came time to vote for funds to provide our fighting men and women with body armour, ammunition, and jet fuel, and spare parts, Senators Kerry and Edwards voted 'no'.

At first Senator Kerry said that he didn't really oppose the funding. He said: "I actually voted for the $87bn before I voted against it."

That sure clears things up. But lately he's been saying he's proud that he and John Edwards voted 'no', and he explains that his decision was "complicated". Funding American troops in combat should never be a complicated matter.

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