September 08, 2008
Biden Takes Credit for Success in Iraq
Joe Biden claims things in Iraq are getting better. Why? Not because of General Patraeus's "Surge Strategy", but because the Iraqis finally started to listen to the smartest man on Earth--Joe Biden.
It comes in fits and starts, but this isn't a gaffe. He says it over and over again: Iraq is getting better because they are doing exactly what he recommended.
What's so funny is to see Tom Brokaw taking the surge has worked position while Biden argues against it. This comes only days after the Messiah himself proclaimed on Fox News that the surge worked.
I'd like to think this was just pure partisanship--that Biden won't admit that the surge has been an unequivocal success because that might hurt his electoral successes--but it's not. It's sheer ego. Over the years Biden's so-called foreign policy expertise can be summed up nicely as take any current U.S. position and add a bit of nuance to it.
The kind of nuance, I might add, that only himself and his intellectual peers on the editorial board of Foreign Affairs can rightly see. Seriously, you'll remember that his plan to partition Iraq was co-authored by that very editorial board (Foreign Affairs is a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations).
Anyway, it seems that the guy who is smarter than the rest of us never bothered to read the new Counterinsurgency Manual written by General Patreaus and colleagues, because if he had he would realize that the "surge" is nothing more than its implementation. The surge is about numbers, yes, but its also about how those numbers are used.
The "Biden plan" was not what we see in Iraq. It was a reduction of the total numbers of troops and the use of more special forces to hunt down terrorists. The latter part being well and good but you cannot control the streets of Ramadi with Delta Force.
A main factor in the surge success has been smaller units, but many many more of them put in forward positions. And these aren't specialized units led by Chuck Norris.
Anyway, on to the quotes:
SEN. BIDEN: No. The surge helped make that--what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I'd suggested two and a half years ago: gave local control. They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, "We promise you, don't worry, you're not going to have any Shia in here. There's going to be no national forces in here. We're going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda." And that you--what you had was the awakening. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.Okay, partially correct, but mostly an ego induced fantasy.
Part of what made Sunnis willing to stand up and fight was that they became confident that we would not abandon them---the very thing which Joe Biden and Barack Obama have been trying to do since conventional wisdom decided that we could not win in Iraq.
People generally do not risk life and limb in losing causes.
Then Biden goes on with the Big Lie:
Far from--look, the bottom line here is that it's--let's--the surge is over. Here's the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We're in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They're doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops. We're about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that's going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we're going to set a timeline to draw down our forces. The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain's saying no timeline. They've signed on to Barack Obama's proposal.Nuance or lie? I say lie. And Biden knows it. Had Barack Obama's policy been enacted, we would already be out of Iraq and the surge would have never even started.
Then it gets funny with Biden arguing with Brokaw about how his strategy has led to victory in Iraq:
MR. BROKAW: But the surge helped make that timeline possible, did it not?What analysis? Who's analysis? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?????
SEN. BIDEN: Well, it did help make it possible. It did help. But it's not the reason. Look, they also--take a look at the analysis, Tom. They say the reason why there's such success against the, the insurgency is because of now small, very well trained counterinsurgency units. It's not the numbers, it's the type of units that are in there. What I was arguing about before was we have the wrong units in there. We have the wrong kind of force in there. We weren't focused on counterinsurgency.
Anyway, here are some more key ego shots:
Tell me what's happened in Anbar province. There are no Sunnis in Anbar province--I mean, Shia in Anbar province. It is de facto exactly what I said. That's what's working.....You mean the proposal which was, er, the exact opposite of the surge strategy> Yeah, that proposal.
MR. BROKAW: But are you encouraged they're moving toward a political settlement?
SEN. BIDEN: Yes, I am encouraged, because they're doing the things I suggested. They're localizing it, Tom. That's why it is moving toward some mild possibility of a resolution.....
MR. BROKAW: Five years from now, do you think Iraq will have relative stability and democratic principles in a central government?
SEN. BIDEN: If there is an Obama-Biden administration, yeah. If there is a John McCain administration and Sarah Palin, I think it's probably not going to happen....And by the way, that Biden proposal, 75 senators voted for it, including the majority of the Republican Party.
An ego so big that it can simultaneously believe his own rejected proposal is the one responsible for success in Iraq!
Joe Biden has become a parody of his own caricature.
UPDATE: Related---Ask Biden a Question Get a 13 MINUTE response!
The rest of the transcripts can be read here.