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Bush's Troop Initiative Doomed, Biden SaysInvade Darfur:
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said yesterday that the Bush administration's "surge" strategy in Iraq is doomed to fail and criticized Gen. David H. Petraeus for offering what he called an overly optimistic assessment of the situation on the ground.
Biden, in an attempt to separate himself from the crowded Democratic presidential field, also asserted that none of his principal rivals for the nomination has offered a viable plan for success in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate, called yesterday for the use of military force to end the suffering in Darfur.From reading Biden's own words on his declaration of American defeat in Iraq, his main problem with "the surge" is that it hasn't accomplished it's goals yet - violence is only down where the surge troops have deployed. Apparently the other half of the troops shouldn't even bother deploying.
"I would use American force now," the Delaware Democrat said at a hearing before his committee. "I think it's not only time not to take force off the table. I think it's time to put force on the table and use it."
In advocating the use of military force, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could "radically change the situation on the ground now."
Biden's key point - that the media is telling all the "good news" possible from Iraq - is an absurdity. But it could seem plausible to the casual observer for the simple reason that they aren't. While he himself may or may not know the "rest of the story", his best hope is that Americans remain woefully uninformed.
He claims that the media accurately reports that Sadr has gone "to ground -- for now", (while Sadr is indeed in hiding, his call for his troops to attack American soldiers and our ongoing battles with them must be ignored to fully embrace this point), dismisses the Coalition work with the Anbar Salvation Council as "purported", and uses the recent suicide bombing in Tall Afar as al Qaeda intended it to be used. There's a "rest of the story" there too, but it didn't make the papers.
The harsh reality is that once we abandon Iraq we're going to have to put all the newly available troops in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda certainly will, and their recruiting is going to soar. Ultimately we'll lose that one, too, because they won't quit knowing full well that we will.
Then we can go to Darfur.
Behind much of the absurd talk of the impact of Iraq on military "readiness" there's a Democratic talking point: "Because we are in Iraq, we aren't capable of waging a war somewhere else." That's valid to an extent (but absurd to a greater one), but a more complete translation is that "because we are in Iraq we aren't capable of executing a war that Democrats could hypothetically support, because Democrats are tough on national defense, by golly, and there are plenty of wars in places other than Iraq we'd prosecute to prove it".
That's disturbing, I'm concerned they would do so a bit too eagerly given the opportunity. Biden seems to be going that route - but he could just be paying lip sevice to it to earn the "hawk" (or "tough guy realist") appellation the media bestows on guys like Murtha. (The actual "go to guy" for Dems when it's time to cut-and-run. See Somalia, for example.)
Excellent post. On the one hand I salute Biden for proposing actual action regarding Darfur. On the other I too think that if by some miracle he becomes president this will be the first promise he renegs on.
As you point out, if we abandon Iraq the enemy will send their troops to Afghanistan, meaning that we'll have to reinforce our units there too. Given that this will mean increased casualties, how long before Democrats want us to abandon Afghanistan too? And when they do, it will all be "for the children", something along the lines of "the money is badly needed for a school lunch program"Posted by Tom the Redhunter at April 12, 2007 03:13 PM
Do the folks who support action in Darfur support Regime Change, or will they be content with a never-ending police-action sort of thing, a "quagmire" if you will? I've never seen an in-depth report on Darfur that details things like "achievable goals" and "exit strategies."Posted by rastajenk at April 12, 2007 03:42 PM
Can't we elect someone that isn't either an idiot or a moron?
Joe Biden just likes to hear himself talk. Does anyone take him seriously? Fortunately, he won't last through the first round of primaries.For
Unfortunately that will leave us with Billary or Osama.
Run Fred, Run!Posted by ProudMarineDad at April 12, 2007 03:43 PM
Darfur's just a stalking horse. If Biden cared about the well-being of the Fur, he'd be incapable of announcing "Screw the Iraqis, I don't care whether the jihadis kill them and the Iranians oppress them." And likewise, if he cared about the Sudan's importance to national security, he'd also care about Iraq's.
However, if Bush woke up tomorrow morning, summoned the press, and announced that after consultation with various allies, a coalition of American, British, Australian, and Tanzanian forces would be deployed with the mission of interdiction of the janjawid and protection of relief organizations, Biden would be among the first to stand up and condemn the "warmongering" and announce that we had no place in Northern Africa.
I'm sure everyone realizes this. So why treat his comments about Darfur with any seriousness? (Not that this matter isn't serious, but it's not because Biden's tender solicitude for Darfur is to be taken literally.)Posted by jaed at April 12, 2007 05:23 PM
Darfur is really just another face of the global war against Islamic radicals. It's just not currently on the top of the list of fights of immediate threat to the U.S. Does Biden realize this? Does he admit that the bad guys in Darfur are ethnic Arab Muslims that are committing genocide against ethnic Africans (who, mostly, as I understand it, AREN'T Muslim??)?Posted by Miss Ladybug at April 13, 2007 02:19 AM
Take the last paragraph of the excerpt on Iraq, and you can see exactly what Darfur means to Biden--it's nothing but a way to differentiate himself from the crowd.Posted by clazy at April 13, 2007 03:00 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(6) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)