This op-ed in the Washington Post by Senator Joseph Biden provides a reminder of why Democrats are unfit to direct this country’s foreign policy. Let’s start with this sentence:
Our large military presence [in Iraq] — while still the only guarantor against a total breakdown — is increasingly counterproductive.
But if our military is the only guarantor against a total breakdown how can its presence be counterproductive?
After offering up this initial bit of incoherence, Biden proceeds to explain what must be done to enable us to pull out most of our troops in the next few years without a total breakdown. Over the next six months, the Delaware windbag intones, “we must forge a sustainable political compromise between Iraqi factions, strengthen the Iraqi government and bolster reconstruction efforts, and acelerate the training of Iraqi foces.” And that’s only the beginning of Biden’s laundry list of things we must do quickly enough to adhere to a timetable for withdrawal.
But what if we are unable to do these things as quickly as Biden says we “must?” Or suppose we do them when Biden says we must but, even so, can’t withdraw troops at the pace Biden prescribes without a “breakdown.” This possibility doesn’t seem to have crossed Biden’s mind. For him, like most Democrats, it’s enough to present a Bill Clinton style to-do list and pretend that the problem is solved. John Kerry tried basically the same approach in the last election (albeit with a shorter list and no overt call for a withdrawal timetable). The American people recognized it for what it was — talk masquerading as policy.
What we have in Iraq is an armed conflict, not a government program. In this context, timetables and schedules should not dictate events; rather events must dictate timing. But this reality is beyond the comprehension of clueless Joe Biden and most of his fellow Democrats.