...we have to decentralize, not centralize this government. We’ve got to get the world community in on owning part of this, by calling an international conference to put pressure on the regional powers.
If we don’t do those two things, I don’t see a happy ending to this whole undertaking. We may be forced into a position where there’s no option, at some point, to withdraw and try to contain the chaos.
Vice President Joe Biden, April, 2007
The surge is not working.
Barack Obama campaign website, July, 2008
I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.
I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months, three months. I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.
Biden on Larry King Live, Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Biden's latter remarks fit squarely in the "You've GOT to be kidding!" category. He couldn't spare a word of praise for or acknowledgement of President George W. Bush's steadfast pursuit of a peaceful, democratic Iraq. Instead Biden shamelessly credits the Obama administration for the impending achievement of that outcome.
Biden isn't taken seriously by anyone outside of the editorial staff at Newsweek (and those who take that publication seriously) so his comments can be dismissed as typical claptrap. But Biden was backed up yesterday by WH press secretary Robert Gibbs who said that it was the current administration that fixed what was broken in Iraq. [Gibbs, of course, is a fool in his own right. Witness the recent terrorist-friendly revelation that the would be Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is talking again, providing (doubtlessly obsolete) information. This after Gibbs claimed that five weeks earlier interrogators got all they could from Abdulmutallab in 50 minutes of questioning].
Biden and Gibbs ignore that it was the Bush administration that guided the nascent Iraqi government through its early stages of existence - its drafting of a constitution and its holding of national elections. It was the Bush administration that negotiated the Status of Forces agreement between the U.S. and Iraq which outlined the conditions of American withdrawal and the Strategic Framework Agreement which detailed areas of future cooperation between the two countries. And it was George W. Bush who made the singularly courageous decision to commit to a surge in 2007 - a decision almost universally opposed and derided, with Messrs. Biden and Obama joining with the naysayers. Had we followed the advice of the cut-and-run crowd, Iraq would now be in a state of violent chaos. Bush rejected that advice, the surge succeeded and Joe Biden is free to preen gracelessly.
Still, Biden's mendacious boasting can be viewed as progress of a sort. That he claims to be "impressed" by events in Iraq is an oblique admission of the success of the war. Even Gibbs, in his defense of Biden, spoke of the "debate" as to whether the Iraq project was a diversion from the "real" war on terror in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Previously, there was no "debate" in the minds of Democrats. The Iraq war was clearly a mistake. Over time, as the far reaching benefits of Iraq's liberation are realized, only the anti-American left, the isolationist right, and the most intransigent Bush haters will cling to that view.