CHENEY: ...There will be democracy in Afghanistan, make no doubt about it. Freedom is the best antidote to terror....
Twenty years ago we had a similar situation in El Salvador. We had -- guerrilla insurgency controlled roughly a third of the country, 75,000 people dead, and we held free elections. I was there as an observer on behalf of the Congress.
The human drive for freedom, the determination of these people to vote, was unbelievable. And the terrorists would come in and shoot up polling places; as soon as they left, the voters would come back and get in line and would not be denied the right to vote.
And today El Salvador is a whale of a lot better because we held free elections.
The power of that concept is enormous. And it will apply in Afghanistan, and it will apply as well in Iraq.
No reason to rehash these arguments. But I have to say that it was news to me that 75,000 people were dead by the time of the 1982 elections. (Also, at the time, did the Administration ever admit that a third of the country was under rebel control?) But maybe facts simply aren't the VP's strong suit.
Like when he said he'd never met Edwards before tonight:
Hat tip to Daily Kos
UPDATE: Factcheck.org (not factcheck.com, as Cheney said, which actually links to the site of George Soros--try it!) has this and more to say about previous Cheney/Edwards encounters:
Cheney claimed Edwards has such a poor attendance record in the Senate that he was just meeting Edwards for the first time during the debate, even though Cheney visits the Senate every Tuesday. But the Kerry-Edwards campaign quickly documented at least two instances in which Cheney had met Edwards previously. Edwards escorted Elizabeth Dole when she was sworn in as North Carolina's other senator on January 8, 2003, according to Gannet News Service. Cheney administered the oath.
Cheney also was present with Edwards at a National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 1, 2001, when a transcript shows Cheney acknowledged Edwards among those at the gathering:
Cheney: (Feb. 1, 2001): Thank you. Thank you very much. Congressman Watts, Senator Edwards, friends from across America and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world, Lynne and I are honored to be with you all this morning.