Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Senator Biden's Foreign Policy Judgment

It’s interesting to see that the Gallup Poll survey has found no significant “vice presidential” bump-up in Senator Obama’s polling numbers after his selection of Senator Biden as a running-mate. The poll found that 72% of the registered voters interviewed believed Senator Biden had no effect, positive or negative, on their decision whether or not to vote for the Democrat ticket.

I’ve criticized Senator Obama’s judgment on this blog before. I really don’t think he has any, and it appears his choice of vice presidential candidates supports my opinion. A lot of the political pundits (especially in the mainstream media) seem to think that Senator Biden is a great choice; since he’s the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he must have foreign policy experience in order to bolster the Democratic ticket’s admitted weakness in that area. BUT . . .

Look at Senator Biden’s IDEAS on foreign policy. It quickly becomes apparent that Senator Biden gets it wrong more times than he gets it right. For example, an article by Amir Taheri in the New York Post documents some of Senator Biden’s lack of judgment in the foreign policy arena:

** In 1979, Senator Biden agreed with President Carter that the fall of the shah in Iran represented progress in the area of human rights. He agreed with the President that we shouldn’t use force, or react strongly, to the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy and the parade of blindfolded hostages. Carter’s namby-pamby response is the reason we had so many days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis on late-night TV.

** Senator Biden opposed President Regan’s “hard line” stance against the Soviet Union. He believed that we should continue the failed policy of “détente.” President Reagan’s policies won the Cold War. If we had taken Senator Biden’s approach, we may still be paying subsidies to the “Evil Empire.”

** After Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Senator Biden voted against the use of force to kick Iraq out of Kuwait in what became known as the Gulf War.

** Although Senator Biden did vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he has since been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq. He’s stated that the war has been lost and opposed the surge strategy.

** Senator Biden proposes to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home by partitioning Iraq into three separate, semiautonomous regions; one for the Shi’ites, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Kurds. He calls it the “Biden Plan.” He apparently got the idea for partitioning a sovereign country, despite their wishes, from the partitioning of Bosnia in the 1990’s something he was also involved with. (Look how successful that’s been. The US military is still there.)

** In 2004, Senator Biden spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and trashed the US as a democratic country. In his speech he claimed the US had no moral authority to preach democracy in the Middle East. He said, “We don’t have much of a democracy ourselves. Remember our own presidential election; remember Florida!”

** Senator Biden, like Senator Obama, supports entering into a dialog with the leaders of Iran, without preconditions.

I agree with Mr. Taheri when he says that “experience is no substitute for judgment” and I question Senator Biden’s judgment like I question Senator Obama’s. In my opinion, neither man has the judgment to be President, or vice president. As Mr. Taheri says, “had Biden had his way, ‘the Evil Empire’ would still be around and Saddam Hussein still in power. The US would still be begging the mullahs of Tehran for forgiveness of unspecified ‘past sins’ – and more American hostages would be seized in the Middle East while the mullahs celebrate their first atomic bombs. . . . By choosing Biden, Obama, the candidate of hope, has transformed his promise of change in to a back to the future pirouette – back to Jimmy Carter.”

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