To anyone who really believed Barack Obama’s candidacy represented “hope” and “change,” the selection of Joe Biden as his running mate should put that illusion to rest. Antiwar activists point to Biden’s vote in favor of authorizing Bush to go to war with Iraq, but even worse was his behavior in the run-up to the invasion.
NOTE: Raimondo heavily hyperlinks inside the original article (as he does with all of his articles for antiwar.com).
And this is a surprise? From a candidate who threatens Pakistan? Who threatens to expand the military? From a candidate who will leave a residual military presence in Iraq (IE, continue the occupation)? From a candidate who’s bellicose toward Russia? From a candiate who says everything’s on the table (nukes included) against Iran?
Today he wails that he didn’t know, that nobody knew the truth about Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction,” but it cannot be said that Biden was all that eager to discover the truth, either. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee in 2002, Biden was in a position to ensure that a real debate took place on the issue. Yet, in the hearings held by his committee, not a single antiwar “expert” was called: all were spear-carriers for the War Party.
It show’s a particular lack of judgement for someone concerned about going to war. For someone who’s supportive of war…well, what would you expect? Keep this in mind as you go to the polling booth in November: There are alternatives to the war party (as Raimondo calls it)!
Raimondo then points out that Biden floor managed a funding request for the Iraq war, and Joe proudly defended his work:
“Remember the $18.4 billion that Congress appropriated at the urgent request of the president of the United States in the fall of ’03 for which I helped floor-manage and took on the responsibility along with others to push hard because I believe there is a nexus between the reconstruction and the physical safety and possible success of our military in the region. Just $6 billion of that $18.4 billion has been spent.”
If you’re against the war, you don’t help to fund it. You most certainly don’t floor manage a funding request for said war. Biden’s actions belie any thought that he would have been against the war. There were others in the Congress (Dennis lead amongst them) who were able to discern what was going on. Joe didn’t.
As Americans began to grumble about the war, and some Democrats started talking about an immediate withdrawal, Biden stepped into the breach as the voice of maturity and responsibility:
To Joe’s quote in a moment. The question is will we be able to expect Joe to lead in ending the debacle in Iraq. BO says he want’s someone who can say no to him. On our military misadventures, I don’t trust what Joe might decide to say ‘no’ to.
“Many Americans have already concluded that we cannot salvage Iraq. We should bring all our forces home as soon as possible. They include some of the most respected voices on military matters in this country, like Congressman Jack Murtha. They’re mindful of the terrible consequences from withdrawing. But even worse, in their judgment, would be to leave Americans to fight – and to die – in Iraq with no strategy for success. I share their frustration. But I’m not there yet. I still believe we can preserve our fundamental security interests in Iraq as we begin to redeploy our forces.”
The frightening thing is we may still end up with Joe in a position of power in the next administration even if the Dems manage to lose to the Repugs:
Biden has been one of the War Party’s most reliable servants, endorsing as “absolutely correct” then-President Clinton’s attack on hapless Yugoslavia – like Iraq, another example of a war in which the “enemy” represented no danger to the U.S. and whose crimes were vastly overstated. This earned him the approbation of John McCain, who, on April 11, 1999, declared to Tim Russert on Meet the Press: “We need Joe Biden for secretary of state.” An astounded Russert asked: “Is that an offer by President McCain?” McCain replied: “Absolutely!”
Blech! Blech, blech, blech!
McCain wasn’t joking, and his comments underscore the essential unity of Washington’s bipartisan foreign policy consensus, which is firmly anchored in an interventionist outlook, a militarist mindset that assumes unlimited American power and a position of unchallenged preeminence. Yet reality – economic reality – is setting in, and even the most stalwart advocates of America’s role as the world’s policeman are losing their pretensions. Not, however, Sen. Biden, whose most recent noteworthy contribution to the Iraq war debate was a proposal to divide Iraq into three separate quasi-independent nations, one for each of the three main ethnic-religious factions. The problem is, he didn’t bother consulting with the Iraqis before floating this idea, and the Iraqis were apoplectic.
And don’t think BO doesn’t know this is Joe’s position (meaning the splitting up of Iraq). Hmmmm…something to keep in mind in the polling booth in November. There are alternatives.
By the way, Joe went down to Georgia (the country). He was looking for a war flame to fan:
“‘I left the country convinced that Russia’s invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism. The claims of Georgian atrocities that provided the pretext for Russia’s invasion are rapidly being disproved by international observers, and the continuing presence of Russian forces in the country has severe implications for the broader region. The war that began in Georgia is no longer about that country alone. It has become a question of whether and how the West will stand up for the rights of free people throughout the region.'”
‘Hope’ and ‘change’ were the rocks BO built his campaign upon. Unfortunately, they appear to have been made of paper mache` and placed in a high surf area.
Notes in the margin (with appologies to Justin):
Antiwar.com continues their fund-raising drive for this quarter. Docudharma has had their ad up on the site, so I know that at least some of DD’s readers are anitwar at heart! If you haven’t already, consider donating to antiwar.com. You’ll be helping to keep the antiwar resource on the net! You can donate here.