Cheney to Troops: Mideast Needs Freedom

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Balad Air Base, Iraq (AP) Vice President Dick Cheney has told troops in Iraq that the middle east will remain a place of “stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export” as long as freedom is suppressed.

The comments come from air base, where the vice president and his wife spent the night.

Cheney is also praising President Bush's decision on the Iraq troop surge. He says sending the 30,000 extra troops has led to “more effective raids” to root out enemies and better intelligence.

Cheney will meet with Iraqi leaders before continuing his Middle East tour today. The vice president is also slated to stop in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Palestinian territory and Turkey.