Hoping Biden is right for a change

Contributed by Warren Mowry

Fox News is reporting today that Vice President Biden is declaring today that al Qaeda in Iraq has “utterly failed” and that Iraqis are ready to take charge of their own country as US troops withdraw.  Given Biden’s almost unerring wrongheadedness on Iraq, this claim might be of considerable concern to most Americans.  Let’s review the last 20 years or so of Joe Biden on Iraq for proof.

First, in 1990, Biden voted against the First Gulf War (with a Republican in the White House), even though Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, his second incursion against a neighbor in barely a decade.  Then, in 1998, with a Democrat now ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Biden intoned that the U.S. needed to “dethrone” Saddam Hussein, announcing Saddam as a long and short term threat to our national security.  Biden said that the U.S. had “no choice” but to eliminate the threat, arguing that Saddam had biological and chemical weapons and was seeking to obtain nuclear ones.  Sound familiar?  Seems President Bush said exactly the same thing in 2002, based on the same intelligence, and was accused of “lying.” But back to Smilin’ Joe.  After reluctantly voting in favor of the Iraq War in 2003, Biden almost immediately reversed himself and began rapidly regretting his vote in public.  In 2006, at the height of the violence brought about by al Qaeda in Iraq, Biden urged the partitioning of Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni zones.  Leaders of those groups may not have seen eye to eye on much, but they were united in denouncing that harebrained idea.

At least Biden did better than Harry Reid by waiting until after the surge had been implemented before declaring it a flop, but declare it he did.  In April, 2008, he averred that the surge was “killing us” and called it a failure.  Nor did he admit he was wrong as the violence was quelled and Iraq fell off the front pages.

But, lo, once Barack Obama became President, Biden saw Iraq in a whole new light.  In February, 2010, Biden now declared that Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”  And now, his latest, avowing that al Qaeda, not the surge, was a “failure.”

So, let’s sum up.  Here we have two men, Obama and Biden, who were anvils tied to the wheels of progress in Iraq, now claiming responsibility for the success there.  It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

I have a good friend, a Republican of unimpeachable credentials, who has suggested I go easy on Biden, that he was a chum of Senator Thurmond and a eulogizer at his funeral.  I would, if I could do so.  I am sure Joe Biden has his good points.  But I see him more as I have described here, even if perhaps I don’t go so far as Clarence Thomas described him in his autobiography.  Thomas said, in essence, that the grinning Biden patted him on the back looking for a soft spot to stick the knife in.  I prefer to see him rather as the hack politician who made his way through life being wrong at the top of his voice.  Let us all hope that his latest statement is the correct one.  On Iraq, it would be his first.

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