Joe Biden (!) Obliterated Every Administration Argument About Iraq
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That was a very significant moment at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings with Amb. Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus. Joe Biden asked Amb. Crocker where it would be better for American national security interests to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq or Al Qaeda along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Crocker had nowhere to hide with that question. Spencer Ackerman describes the outcome.
Crocker, in an impossible political position -- give the correct answer and humiliate the Bush administration; give the administration's answer and look like a fool -- dodged as much as he could. Then Biden forced him down. Crocker: "I would therefore pick Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border."
Every single argument that the Administration and their lapdogs like John McCain have made or are making break down after that answer. The Ambassdor to Iraq just admitted that Iraq is not the central front in the war on terror. He just admitted that the potential for Al Qaeda to gain a beachhead in Iraq should the United States withdraw is miniscule compared to the already-established beachhead along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He admitted that the global fight against terror is currently misdirected.
Whether the military is lowering casualties in Iraq or not, or whether political reconciliation is occurring or not, or whether Prime Minister Maliki won in Basra or Muqtada al-Sadr did, none of this is germane given the new information we just received here. We invaded Iraq to attack a group that did not attack us on 9-11, and we are continuing in Iraq and continuing to ignore the group that did attack us. So our policy is being held captive to developments inside Iraq while the terrorist threat that was supposed to be the impetus for this war and occupation in the first place goes on literally unabated.
(Biden's other great achievement was his strong statement that Congressional PERMISSION is needed to make any long-term commitment to Iraq. There were actually cheers in the hearing room after that one.)
You can actually end this hearing right now. We have all the information we need. Joe Biden made the entire Administration policy for 6 years look foolish.