Like many of you, my interest was piqued when Joe Biden essentially promised his Seattle audience last week that Barack Obama would be challenged by foreign enemies, sometime during the first six months of his administration. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.” As a young and callow politician with no record of resolve, Biden expects that America’s enemies will start probing for weakness as soon as Obama is inaugurated.
As one pundit noted, Biden may have been trying to put lipstick
on the Bay of Pigs. The Bay of Pigs was a catastrophic failure of President John F. Kennedy’s resolve that nearly led to nuclear war when the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev judged the young American president spineless and deployed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Biden, who during the same speech modestly boasted that he has forgotten more about foreign affairs that anybody else has ever known, indicated that Obama’s youth and inexperience would invite a similar test.
But perhaps even more disturbingly, Biden promised that Obama’s response would not go over well with the American public: “[H]e's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right.”
Note that he’s asking Americans to stand with Obama even if he follows an unpopular course, which is precisely the opposite of how Democrats have behaved toward the Bush administration.
In that same speech, Biden identified himself as the foreign policy expert to whom Obama would turn for expertise. So, it’s worth examining Joe Biden’s record so that we might have some idea what this unpopular response to a crisis might be.
Perhaps we should have a look at Joe’s response to the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks for guidance. Biden’s initial instinct was to show some gesture of conciliation toward Arab countries: “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.
That’s what you get from the man considered his party’s brightest light in foreign affairs – someone who doesn’t know that Iran is not an Arab country. But of course, he’ll fit right into an Obama administration. Until relatively recently, Barack Obama believed
that Afghanistan was an Arab country too.
So, if we’re attacked in 2009, will vice president Joe Biden recommend that we cut our enemies a big check? I’m pretty confident that it will not be immediately apparent to most Americans that paying tribute is the right course of action.
But frankly, it would not be out of character. Joe Biden has a lengthy history of coddling Iran
. For more than a decade, Biden’s insistence upon “engagement” with Iran has consistently undermined US efforts to pressure Iran into more civilized behavior. Joe Biden’s opposition to diplomatic sanctions has enabled Iran’s nuclear ambitions and has certainly given Teheran cause to root for an Obama victory.
This is quite a different fellow from the Biden whom Obama described as a man who has “stared down dictators.” His cold war history is that of a man who shrank
from Soviet expansionism and opposed aid to allies. I’m half expecting Barack Obama to declare that, “that is not the Joe Biden I knew.”
But, hasn’t Barack Obama has already had his Bay of Pigs moment? Surely his spineless response to Russia’s invasion of the Georgian Republic already has the world’s despots, terrorists and dictators salivating. In fact, just this week the speaker of the Iranian parliament made it clear that, “We are leaning more in favor of Barack Obama...
” Obama treated Russia’s aggression and Georgia’s self defense are morally equivalent
: “I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war.”
He next proposed that we invite the United Nations Security Council
to straighten things out, forgetting (if he ever knew) that Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and wields veto power over any Security Council action.
If, as Joe Biden assures us, Obama “has steel in his spine,” it must be spring steel. Are these really the guys we want answering 3 AM phone calls?
Labels: 3 AM Phone Calls, Barack Obama, Crisis, Joe Biden