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Dead wrong

By Thomas E. Brewton
web posted August 25, 2008

Barack Obama and Joseph BidenRelying on Senator Joseph Biden's foreign policy judgment is risky.  Both he and Senator Barack Obama backed the wrong horses in Iraq.

When it was unpopular, Senator McCain stood up for victory in Iraq and pushed for what later became known as the successful Surge.

Senator Obama, of course, put his finger to the wind and followed public opinion down the path of least resistance.  He famously campaigned on a pledge to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq immediately.  He has since failed to acknowledge the effectiveness of the Surge, a denial that demeans the superior performance and valor of our troops.

He was joined in the demand for immediate withdrawal by defeatist Democrat/Socialists including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Congressman John Murtha, who declared Iraq a quagmire of defeat. 

The consequences of an immediate troop withdrawal would have been loss of credibility for the United States, emboldenment of Al Queda to strike us with terror attacks anywhere in the world, and an Iraq in feeble disarray, giving Iran the opportunity unopposed to move into the vacuum and make Iraq a client state.

With his support of immediate withdrawal of troops proven wrong, and implicitly admitting that he is a foreign policy novice, Senator Obama has endeavored to fill the yawning void by selecting as his running mate Senator Joseph Biden, long a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

What measure of solid foreign policy judgment does Senator Biden bring to the table?  With respect to Iraq and the struggle against Islamic jihad, what was the product of Senator Biden's putative foreign policy expertise? 

In a May 1, 2006, op-ed article in the New York Times, Senator Biden and his foreign policy advisor Leslie H. Gelb wrote:

"It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor.

"...The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests...

"Fourth, the president must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008..."

Bear in mind that the Democrat/Socialists have, since Senator John Kerry's 2004 campaign for the presidency, advocated a more sensitive foreign policy.  In general they have viewed foreign policy as an international popularity contest, in which the sole objective is to have all nations like us and never to do anything without the permission of the UN, a policy which effectively precludes  definitive military action to protect our national interests.

In that vein, Senator Obama campaigned on the promise to meet with any foreign leader, friend or foe, for discussions without preconditions.  Such an essay has only one pillar to lean upon: Senator Obama's presumed superhuman ability to calm foreign aggression with honeyed words from his lips.

How well then does Senator Biden's Iraq dismemberment plan measure up?  How effective a foreign policy advisor will he be as Vice President?

VP choice Biden unpopular in Iraq for autonomy plan
Reuters, Sat 23 Aug 2008

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Senator Joe Biden may be one of the only U.S. politicians that can get Iraq's feuding Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish politicians to agree. But not in a good way.

Across racial and religious boundaries, Iraqi politicians on Saturday bemoaned Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama's choice of running mate, known in Iraq as the author of a 2006 plan to divide the country into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.

"This choice of Biden is disappointing, because he is the creator of the idea of dividing Iraq," Salih al-Mutlaq, head of National Dialogue, one of the main Sunni Arab blocs in parliament, told Reuters.

"We rejected his proposal when he announced it, and we still reject it. Dividing the communities and land in such a way would only lead to new fighting between people over resources and borders. Iraq cannot survive unless it is unified, and dividing it would keep the problems alive for a long time."

...[Ezzet al-Shabender, a member of parliament, said,] "Such a person, if he would assume the vice-presidency post, would not serve to improve Iraq-USA relations."

Never lose sight of the fact that, had we followed the Democrat/Socialist plans for immediate troop withdrawal, Iran would have emerged as the dominant power in the Middle East, pulling all of the region's oil producing nations - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, and Iraq - into their power bloc.  Iran could then have used threats of curtailing oil deliveries or raising oil prices to intimidate the Western world in order to isolate Israel and to forestall combatting Islamic jihad.

In other words, the Democrat/Socialists are prepared to have the United States suffer any loss in order to pander to ill-informed public opinion, if that is the price for winning an election. ESR

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is The View From 1776. Email comments to viewfrom1776@thomasbrewton.com.

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