15 Oct 2009

With Friends Like There

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Ariana Huffington invites Joe Biden to follow the illustrious example of arch-wimp Cyrus Vance and resign in protest in the unlikely event that Barack Obama fails to chicken out of Afghanistan.

It’s been known for a while that Biden has been on the other side of McChrystal’s desire for a big escalation of our forces there — the New York Times reported last month that he has “deep reservations” about it. So if the president does decide to escalate, Biden, for the good of the country, should escalate his willingness to act on those reservations.

What he must not do is follow the same weak and worn-out pattern of “opposition” we’ve become all-too-accustomed to, first with Vietnam and then with Iraq. You know the drill: after the dust settles, and the country begins to look back and not-so-charitably wonder, “what were they thinking?” the mea-culpa-laden books start to come out. On page after regret-filled page, we suddenly hear how forceful this or that official was behind closed doors, arguing against the war, taking a principled stand, expressing “strong concern” and, yes, “deep reservations” to the president, and then going home each night distraught at the unnecessary loss of life.

Well, how about making the mea culpa unnecessary? Instead of saving it for the book, how about future author Biden unfetter his conscience in real time — when it can actually do some good? If Biden truly believes that what we’re doing in Afghanistan is not in the best interests of our national security — and what issue is more important than that? — it’s simply not enough to claim retroactive righteousness in his memoirs.

Though it would be a crowning moment in a distinguished career, such an act of courage would likely be only the beginning. Biden would then become the natural leader of the movement to wind down this disastrous war and focus on the real dangers in Pakistan. …

I have no doubt that Joe Biden is a loyal guy — the question is who deserves his loyalty most? His “team” isn’t the White House, but the whole country. And if it becomes clear in the coming days that his loyalty to these two teams is in conflict, he should do the right thing. And quit.

Obama may be no drama, but Biden loves drama. And what could more dramatic than resigning the vice presidency on principle? And what principle could be more honorable than refusing to go along with a policy of unnecessarily risking American blood and treasure — and America’s national security? Now that would be a Whisky Tango Foxtrot moment for the McChrystal crowd — one that would be a lot more significant than some lame, after-the-fact apology delivered in a too-late-to-matter book.

Somehow I am not able to picture Joseph Biden doing the far, far better thing, even for the Left. Nice try, though, Ariana.

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One Feedback on "With Friends Like There"

Scott D

The thought of Joe Biden being the spokesman for the left is rather intoxicating, though.



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