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September 6th, 2011
04:51 PM ET

Cheney on Iraq: "I think we made exactly the right decision."

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer sat down with former Vice President Dick Cheney to discus the former vice president’s new book, his legacy, issues facing America at home and current events around the globe. A highlight from the interview is after the jump and a full transcript will be posted on CNN.com

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Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Highlight from Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM":  But I'm concerned that when all the dust settles in Iraq and the U.S. troops pull out, supposedly by the end of this year, although there may be a residual number of some troops left.  They're negotiating that.  When all the dust settles, the Shiite-led regime in Iraq, of Nouri al-Maliki, is going to be a partner of Iran and Syria, for that matter.  In recent days, Nouri al-Maliki's government has supported Bashar al-Assad in his crackdown on - on peaceful protesters in Syria, together with the Iranians, one of the few countries to do that.

Is that why the U.S. went to war, so that Iraq would become a strategic partner...

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well...

BLITZER:  - of Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

CHENEY:  First, you're constructing the - a worst case scenario there, Wolf.  I don't think it's going to happen that way.

BLITZER:  You think there's going to be democracy...

CHENEY:  I think the...

BLITZER:  - a pro-American...

CHENEY:  - I think the the Iraqis...

BLITZER:  - government...

CHENEY:  - I think the Iraqis will, in fact, be somebody we can work with on a regular basis, that they will have a rudimentary democracy, if you will.  And I think it will be a success.

BLITZER:  So when they support...

BLITZER:  - Bashar al-Assad, what goes through your mind?

CHENEY:  Well, you know, I think Bashar al-Assad is not long for this world either.  It looks to me like he's - he's on his way out, because of the unrest that's been occasioned by his own people inside Syria.  He's one of the least popular leaders in that part of the world. it's - it's the Middle East.  And stuff happens in the Middle East.  You know it.  You've covered it for years.  But you cannot - I don't think you can make a case that the world would be better off today if Saddam Hussein were still in power.

BLITZER:  So no regrets about Iraq?

CHENEY:  I think we made exactly the right decision.

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BLITZER’S BLOG: Cheney refuses to admit any mistakes as vice president
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