Monday, March 13, 2006

Joe Biden Talks Tough, But Tells The Truth (Part I)

RUSSERT: Senator Biden, if they don’t get a government together, and we do get out, and we leave chaos behind, is that not a foreign policy disaster for the U.S.?


BIDEN: It is an absolute foreign policy disaster. What I said was that we’re going to have to have a different deployment of the troops. We’re going to have to figure out a containment policy, Tim. You may find a debate begins to ensue: Do we help the Badr Brigade and the Peshmerga deal with the Sunnis? Do we decide to cordon off the north? Do we decide -— it’ll be a different policy. We’re not going to just be able to walk away. It will be a disaster. I -— when I got back from Iraq a little while ago, I went down to see the president, and I sat with the president, and he kept talking about terrorists. And I said, “Mr. President, if every single al-Qaeda personality, every single al-Qaeda operative or anyone like him tomorrow were blown away, you still have a war, Mr. President. This is well beyond terrorists.”

There’s an insurgency, Tim, a gigantic insurgency that has nothing to do with terrorists. It’s a big deal. And there’s no serious — we put these military guys so far behind the eight ball, because we didn’t go in with the 5,000 police trainers that I talked about on your show two and a half years ago and others did, because they said we didn’t need it, because we said we had all the oil we needed when in fact the oil companies told us we needed $30 billion dollars in. These guys are about two years behind the curve. The civilians have done a disservice, in my view, to the military on the ground. We said we needed more troops. Remember on your show, I called for more troops the year we went in? Then John McCain called for more troops. What were we told? “No, the folks on the ground don’t want the troops.” Now what’s coming out, including Bremer? “Yeah, we needed more troops, we wanted more troops.” This has been a debacle. This has been a debacle. The president, literally, this is a test of his leadership. He’s got to unite the international community to bring every pressure possible on these guys or it’s not going to get done.

-- Sen. Joe Biden, NBC's Meet the Press, March 12

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