The View From 1776
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Relying on Senator Biden’s foreign policy judgment is risky. Both he and Senator 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