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Cheney visits Metro East to make case for war

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Cheney talks to members of the military assembled in a hangar at Scott Air Force Base. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Vice President Dick Cheney visited Scott Air Force Base Tuesday to make the case for a continued military presence in Iraq.

Inside an airplane hangar, Cheney told a military audience that the situation in Iraq is still tense, but an early exit would bring certain defeat.

"Recently there have been some prominent voices advocating a sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq," Cheney said. "Some have suggested that the war is not winnable. A few seem almost eager to conclude that the whole struggle is already lost. But they're wrong. The only way to lose this fight is to quit, and that is not an option."

Cheney acknowledged misgivings many Americans have about the war strategy. But he ruled out withdrawal based on what he called an artificial timeline.

The Vice President also defended the Patriot Act and the president's authority to eavesdrop on enemy communications.

Cheney's visit was part of a Bush Administration plan to bolster public support for the war.

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