Tony was just asking for it. He makes this ridiculous argument to try and downplay the significance of the NIE and Matthews nails him on it before Franken even gets a shot. Tony says we shouldn't expect to see results because we're not "at the end of the war" and argues it's only natural to see more enemies now. Franken reminds him that we were repeatedly told before the start of the war that this would be a quick in and out, greeted as liberators, etc.
From Meet the Press March 16, 2003:
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is, we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.
MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly and bloody battle with a significant American casualties?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don't...I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators.
MR. RUSSERT: The army's top general said that we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there for several years in order to maintain stability.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I disagree. We need, obviously, a large force and we've deployed a large force. To prevail, from a military standpoint, to achieve our objectives, we will need a significant presence there until such time as we can turn things over to the Iraqis themselves. But to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement.
(Guest Post: Mike L)