In an interview with Politico, one of the architects of the Iraq mess, then Vice President Dick Cheney, December 2007:
Cheney, who has been widely criticized for overly optimistic — and sometime flat wrong — projections in the past, sounded as confident as ever that the Bush administration will achieve its objectives in Iraq.
“I am fairly confident we’ll have [Iraq] in a good place, where we’ll be able to look back on it and say, 'That was the right decision. It was a sound decision going into Iraq,'” Cheney told us in a 40-minute White House interview.
Sounding a note of caution, the vice president said: "We've got a lot of work to do. We're sort of halfway through the surge, in a sense. We'll be going back to pre-surge levels over the course of the next year."
But Cheney said that by the middle of January 2009, it will be clear that “we have in fact achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that’s capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that will be a positive force in influencing the world around it in the future.”
All of that by 2009? “Yes, sir,” he replied.