Biden is a notorious flapjaw. His vanity deludes him into believing that every word that drops from his mouth, even when he has actually plagiarized them from someone else, is minted in the golden currency of Pericles. His "experience" in foreign affairs consists in absolute fidelity to the conventions of Cold War liberalism, the efficient elder brother of raffish "neo-conservatism."
Obama opposed the launching of the U.S.
attack on Iraq in 2003. He was not yet in the Senate, but since having arrived there in 2005 he has voted unhesitatingly for all appropriations of the vast sums required for the war's prosecution. Biden himself voted enthusiastically for the attack, declaring in the Senate debate in October 2002: "I do not believe this is a rush to war. I believe it is a march to peace and security. For two decades, Saddam Hussein has relentlessly pursued weapons of mass destruction. There is a broad agreement that he retains chemical and biological weapons, the means to manufacture those weapons and modified Scud missiles."
In step with his futile bid for the Democratic nomination, Biden changed his mind on the war, and part of his mandate will be to shore up the credentials of the Democratic ticket as being composed of "responsible" helmsmen of Empire, stressing that any diminution of the U.S. presence in Iraq will be measured and thus extremely slow, balanced by all the usual imperial ventures elsewhere around the globe.
Why did Obama choose Biden? One important constituency pressing for Biden was no doubt the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party. Obama, no matter how fervent his proclamations of support for Israel, has always been viewed with some suspicion by the lobby. For half the lifespan of the state of Israel, Biden has been its unswerving acolyte in the Senate.
And Obama also picked Biden for the same reason Michael Dukakis chose Sen. Lloyd Bentsen in 1988: the marriage of youth and experience, which is so reassuring to uncertain voters but most of all to the elites that nothing unexpected will discommode business as usual. Another parallel would be Kennedy's pick of Lyndon Johnson in 1960, LBJ being a political rival and a seasoned senator. Kennedy and Johnson didn't like each other, and surely after Biden's racist remarks about "clean" blacks, Obama cannot greatly care for Biden. It seems he would have preferred Chris Dodd but the latter was disqualified because of his VIP loans from Countrywide.
© Creators Syndicate
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