Saturday, May 18, 2013

"[Iraq] One of the great achievements of this administration?” Really? (Reposted from Café Magazine, May 2012)

Dictionaries now have a face to go with the word duplicity. It is the face of Vice President Biden.
It is well known that candidate Biden’s solution for Iraq was the partion of that country in three parts. It is also well established that he vehemently opposed the sending of additional troops to Iraq, in what was called “the surge”.

It is also well known that the current adiministration blames every problem we are facing as problems inherited from the previous administration. There is one exception,  “I am very optimistic about, about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration”, said VP Biden on Larry King (2/10/10)!!
Both VP Biden and President Obama opposed the surge, and not only that but constantly threatened to halt "the war" and any effort in Congress toward its success. According to both, the war was one “of choice” and a distraction. According to leading Democrats Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Biden the war in Iraq was “Bush’s War”.
But let us let words speak for themselves.
“I’m going to actively oppose the president’s proposal (the surge)…I think he is wrong”, Sen. Obama, July 21, 2008.

About Saddam:
"We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world", Sen. Biden, April 4, 2002.

"He is a long-term threat and a short-term threat to our national security", Sen. Biden, April 13, 2002.

"He must be dislodged from his weapons or dislodged from his power", Sen. Biden, September 26, 2002.

"When the inspectors left, after Saddam kicked them out, there was a cataloging at the United Nations saying he had X tons of… X amounts of...and they listed various materials he had. He had these stockpiles. Well it turned out that he didn't but everyone in the world thought he had them, weapons inspectors SAID [Biden's emphasis] he had them. He catalogued them, they catalogued them. This was no Cheney pipe dream. This was in fact catalogued. They looked at them and catalogued. What he did with them...?", Biden with Tim Russert, 2008.  Well, that is a question that rational people would have.

Given all this, it is most likely that whether with Gore or Kerry the US was going to attack Iraq unilaterally—even though, and people forget, the US was still part of a UN coalition that had approved the removal of Saddam by force from Kuwait.

Perhaps some generals were right. In 1991 the UN should have allowed the coalition to go all the way to Baghdad and arrest Saddam for war crimes (initiating a war of aggression and conquest). The rest, were we ended up at, would have been avoided.

The fact is that the policy of regime change in Iraq was a Clinton policy that had been in place prior to Bush and had the support of all the top leadership of the Democrats. The policy of unilateral action was also a policy of the Clinton administration, and it was put in practice in Bosnia.

The policy of regime change in Iraq was the policy of the Clinton administration to its last days. It was supported and parroted by Sen. Biden. After the Bush administration came to power and after 9/11 all that changed. Biden, for one thing, turned against the surge.

On December 26th, 2006, we saw this Associated Press story: "Biden Vows to Fight Any Iraq Troop Boost."  This was prior to the surge.  Anne Flaherty, AP writer, "Sen. Joseph Biden, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he will fight President Bush if the administration decides to send more US troops to Iraq.” 

Sen. Biden, who then had his eyes on the Democratic presidential nomination, also warned “I just think it's the absolute wrong strategy.”

Later referring to Gen. Petraeus, and the effect of the surge on military and political success in Iraq, Biden said On Meet the Press, September 9th, 2007: 

“Petraeus is dead wrong. He's dead, flat wrong.  The fact of the matter is that there is -- that this -- uh -- this idea of the security gains we made have had no impact on the underlying sectarian dynamic. None. None whatsoever. Can anybody envision a central government made up of Sunni, Shi'a, and Kurds that's going to gain the trust and respect of 27 million Iraqis?  There have been some tactical gains, but they have no ultimate bearing at this point on the prospect of there being a political settlement in Iraq that would allow American troops to come home without leaving chaos behind.” Biden proposed dividing Iraq into three separate countries.

Before, and during the primaries, Sen. Obama went from immediate withdrawal, to appease the “anti-war” left, in less than 16 months to "I will evaluate the situation and listen to what commanders on the field have to say".

On September 15, 2008, while campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama was at the same time trying in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence. During a BBC television interview of November 5, 2008 Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari confirmed the reports, “Obama has "reassured us that he would not take any drastic or dramatic decisions."

Obama opposed the U.S. intervention in Iraq from the beginning. His promise to pull U.S. troops out of the country was a cornerstone of his campaign.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional in Iraq is gonna solved the sectarian violence in there in Iraq. In fact, I think it will do the reverse. I think it takes pressure off the Iraqis to arrive at the sort of political acommodation…so I’m going to actively oppose the president’s proposal (the surge)…I think he is wrong”, Sen. Obama, July 21, 2008.

But in his speech of February 27, 2009 in Camp Lejeune he said:

Thanks in great measure to your service and sacrifice and your family's sacrifices, the situation in Iraq has improved. Violence has been reduced substantially from the horrific sectarian killing of 2006 and 2007.

Al-Qaida in Iraq has been dealt a serious blow by our troops and Iraq's security forces and through our partnership with Sunni Arabs. The capacity of Iraq's security forces has improved, and Iraq's leaders have taken steps towards political accommodation.
The relative peace and strong participation in January's provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process.
But there should be no disagreement on what the men and women of our military have achieved.”
During the presidential campaign, according to Obama, Iraq was a distraction and had no strategic or national defense relevance. The popular “anti-war” demagoguery was that we sent our troops for oil, not for any strategic, national defense, much less altruistic humanitarian goals.

But in the same speech at Camp Lejeune:

“The future of Iraq is inseparable from the future of the broader Middle East, so we must work with our friends and partners to establish a new framework that advances Iraq's security and the region's.
And so I want to be very clear: We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein's regime, and you got the job done.

We kept - we kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government, and you got the job done.

And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life. That is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.

The starting point for our policies must always be the safety and security of the American people. I know that you, the men and women of the finest fighting force in the history of the world, can meet any challenge and defeat any foe.

Iraq is a sovereign country with legitimate institutions.”

To this day the partisan left, from Democracy Now to the Huffington Post, etc., insist we are occupying Iraq, and for oil.  “Bush lied people died.”

But important questions remain for history.

One question is, (as then Sen. Biden stated) what happened to the stockpile of Saddam's WMDs which the world catalogued and Democrats thought he had?

Two, after 9/11, and knowing that Saddam was indeed harboring terrorists in Iraq, and the fact that prior to Bush the White House and the New York Times had documented the connection between Osama bin Laden/al-Qaeda and Saddam, and knowing he had and was capable of using weapons of mass destruction, what was any American president supposed to do?

Three, why did the Democrats made a u-turn on everything they believed about Saddam and left on the table for a post-Clinton coming administration? And why they are now doing another u-turn and claiming the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam’s as "one the greatest achievements of this administration"?

Fourth, if, according to all these acknowledgements Bush didn’t lie, who is lying now?

During a press conference then Sen. Biden claimed that during a meeting with then President Bush he told him “Mr. President, this is your war."  

Now, VP Biden wants to claim that war on President Obama’s behalf.  Why?  Duplicity, simple duplicity.


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