Friday, August 29, 2008

Joe Biden: Obama's Latest Attempt to Lose the Election

Pop quiz: who should a candidate who promotes bipartisan unity and change in Washington pick for Vice President? Apparently, an aging, 3-decade long and bitterly partisan Washington insider, that's who.

If you heard anyone chuckling at the announcement of Obama's pick for veep, it was probably just John McCain and his entire campaign staff. Obama is really showing off his naivety and his lack of commitment to his "unity" and "change" rhetoric. Biden's voting record is almost identical to Obama's (meaning extremely partisan and liberal), and he brings no expertise to the table whatsoever.

Maybe it's because of the lavish praise Biden gave Obama in an interview with Jason Horowitz of the New York Observer: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

And he's not too uppity, either! Classy.

One must wonder what advantage Obama sees in Senator Biden being his Vice Presidential pick; and one can only surmise that it was supposed to make up for Obama's utter lack of experience. In other words; "Joe Biden: Obama's foreign policy."

But he's a poor pick for this end as well. Quick snapshot of his foreign-policy ineptitude:

The Hill reported of Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention this week: Biden “got confused about some very simple military terminology” stating that Obama advocated for “two additional battalions in Afghanistan” when “in fact, Obama called for two extra brigades – a small verbal slip, but a significant numerical one. A brigade is composed of a varying number of battalions.” Although an embarrassing mistake for a man hailed for his national security knowledge, that slip of the tongue was probably just that, a verbal slip. The same cannot be said for some of Biden’s past statements.

October 2001: Shortly following the September 11 attacks, Michael Crowley reported of Biden in The New Republic: “At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: ‘I'm groping here.’ Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. ‘Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,’ Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.”

And more recently:

April 2007: Biden told reporters “"The surge is not succeeding, and the president refuses to see that."

July 2007: Biden said he had been “shot at” in the Green Zone in Iraq, but later had to “revise” that claim .

September 2007: Just before Gen. David Petraeus was scheduled to report to Congress, Joe Biden said President Bush's war strategy is failing and that Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, is "dead flat wrong" for warning against major changes. "The reality is that although there's been some mild security progress, there is in fact no security in Baghdad or Anbar province where I was dealing with the most serious problem, sectarian violence.” Biden claimed that Bush’s purpose for the surge was to buy time long enough to push the burden of the war onto the next president. Biden said, "I will insist on a firm beginning to withdraw the troops and I will insist on a target date to get American combat forces out.”

On the result of Biden’s statements and actions, Michael Rubin recently wrote:

“The November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate …found that Iran had pursued a nuclear weapons program until 2003. Although Biden's embrace of engagement coincided with Iran's nuclear warhead work, he acknowledged no error. He told reporters on Dec. 4 that Bush had "misrepresented" the intelligence in a drive to war and declared the same day, "You cannot trust this president." Such poor judgment was not lost on Iranian leaders. Indeed, one of Khatami's top aides suggested that they came to count on it…Biden’s political games have made him Tehran’s favorite senator. As Gen. David Petraeus struggled to unite Iraqis across the ethnic and sectarian divide, Iran’s Press TV seized on Biden’s plan for partitioning Iraq and featured his statements with the headline “US plans to disintegrate Iraq.” Biden’s attack-dog statements about U.S. policy failures emboldened Iranian hard-liners to defy diplomacy. In the Dec. 7, 2007, official sermon, Ayatollah Mohammad Kashani speaking on behalf of Iran’s supreme leader, declared, “This Senator [Biden] correctly says Israel could not suppress Hizbullah in Lebanon, so how can the U.S. stand face-to-face with a nation of 70 million? This is the blessing of the Guardianship of the Jurists [the theocracy] . . . which plants such thoughts in the hearts of U.S. senators and forces them to make such confessions.” The crowd met his statement with refrains of “Death to America.”

In April 2008 Biden remained convinced the surge was a failure. As an early rebuttal to upcoming testimony by Gen. David Petraeus Biden said, "The purpose of the surge was to bring violence in Iraq down so that its leaders could come together politically… Violence has come down, but the Iraqis have not come together." He later added, "There is little evidence the Iraqis will settle their differences peacefully any time soon."

By July 2008, Iraq had “met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” According to a report this week, “The U.S. military will hand over responsibility for the security of Anbar Province, once a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency and one of the most violent regions in Iraq, to the Iraqi government as early as Monday, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.”

Between Obama's spineless response to the Russia/Georgia conflict and both his and Biden's refusal to acknowledge that the surge has been a smashing success, their combined foreign policy ineptitude gives McCain an amazingly good opening as the real presidential battle begins. Hopefully his campaign sees this gift that Obama has offered them and takes advantage of it to its fullest.


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