Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden: "Obama will be tested"

Joe Biden recently made comments to donors that Obama will be tested by an international crisis within the first 6 months of his presidency. He compared it to Kennedy who – as history shows – was tested in Vienna by the Soviets and apparently failed the test since not long after this meeting the Soviets built the Berlin Wall. So, the comparison was probably not ideal for Biden to make. But I agree with his basic notion. Bush was tested early in his presidency, as was Clinton. So I think it’s safe to assume the same will happen to Obama. Our enemies are no doubt curious to see how Obama responds to certain actions. I don’t think they have any doubt how McCain will respond.

What concerns me is Biden’s other comments. Basically he said Obama’s response won’t seem right initially and it will be important to stick with him through it all. What is Biden saying? Is he suggesting that perhaps Obama will respond in a “weak” manner? If so, then the comparison to Kennedy would be accurate, although this doesn’t bring me much comfort. After Kennedy’s weakness at Vienna, we got the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. These aren’t things that I would be eager to see replayed. It certainly gives voters something to think about.

Which brings up another point about Obama that I’ve been meaning to make for a while. Obama likes to boast that he was right about Iraq. I have a problem with that. First, Obama wasn’t in the Senate at the time so he never had to actually cast an up-or-down vote. He would have us believe that if he were in the Senate, then he would have voted against the Iraq War. Fair enough, but therein lies the problem. Bush was given intelligence that basically said Iraq had WMDs and the potential to use them posed a significant threat to the US, its allies and the surrounding region. The same intelligence was given to Congress. Every major intelligence organization worldwide concurred, and based on that information the Congress voted overwhelmingly for action to protect our nation. Obama says he wouldn’t have done so. Does this concern anyone besides me? What compelled Obama to dissent? Did he not believe the intelligence reports or did he simply not think that action was necessary against the “threat” that was being described? Suppose a similar situation presented itself - this time without the convenient hindsight - and Obama was faced with a threat supported by loads of evidence.

Granted, hindsight showed that the intelligence was wrong, but nobody knew that at the time. All we knew at the time was what we were told, that Iraq had WMDs and was dangerous. Even the most liberal, most dovish of our political leaders voted to take action, yet Obama says he would have ignored this intelligence and opted for something different. Sorry, but I don’t count that as good judgment. It doesn’t bring me comfort to think Obama may be in charge when Iran continues to pursue nukes. Suppose the CIA comes to President Obama and says that Ahmadinejad has succeeded, and he now has nuclear capability. What will Obama do? Will he believe the CIA and take action or will he dissent as he did regarding Iraq? Or will he wait for definitive proof of Iran’s nukes like a test detonation or, perhaps, an actual attack? He says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, would be a “game-changer”, but his judgment on Iraq doesn’t back that up. So is this what Biden is talking about?

Today, discussing Iraq is difficult because that means distinguishing between what we know now and what we knew at the time. Bush didn’t have the luxury of knowing then what we know now and he had a decision to make regarding our national security. I’m certain that he considered the possibility that the intelligence could be wrong; but counting on that and doing nothing carried with it potentially disastrous consequences. Imagine the uproar if he had ignored the reports and Iraq subsequently launched a WMD attack. That would have been an impeachable offense. He opted to trust the intelligence and take action to protect American citizens. I think it was the right decision. Yes, he should have listened to Powell instead of Rumsfeld and ironed out a distinct exit strategy. Yes, he should have reacted faster when evidence of insurgency first developed. There are many things he should have done differently, but the core initial decision was right. And Obama says he wouldn’t have done the same.

Certainly, there were many mistakes regarding Iraq, but the initial decision to go in wasn’t among them. The government’s primary responsibility is to protect its citizens. The government was given significant information that its citizens were potentially in danger and they responded appropriately. Some things were mishandled, but the initial decision was the right one. I’m concerned that Obama would fail in this regard, and Biden’s comments seem to be somewhat prophetic.


Anonymous said...

snake hunter sez,

Doctor, this is a fine summary that should be printed and reread by some of the people that regularly comment on your posts.

Kennedy was 'tested' early in 1960 and again in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis when our high-altitude U-2 photos revealed Russian Intermediate-Range (IRBM) Ballistic (Nuke) Missile Sites, capable of reaching the Eastern Half of the USA, from Fidel
Castro's Cuba! Fat-faced Nikita was "testing" JFK.

I owned a Mobile Home Park in 29 Palms then, and half the mobiles were U.S. Marines stationed at the base. That Town Came Alive that August...

The Entire World Held Its Breath at the possibility of ICBM Nuclear War. It was the three longest weeks
in my adult lifetime, in 1962.

Nikita & Jack Kennedy were to decide this planets fate...it was "crisis time". I think that is what concerns Sen Joe Biden today, and he knows his running-mate, too. Even if Obama's intentions are good (?) this smooth-talking Chicago dude is weak, and totally unprepared to face a serious challenge from our deadly enemies,
and talkative old Joe knows it!

Thanks for your efforts, Dr John.


Anonymous said...


No sale.

Supposing that Presidnet Bush did not know the intelligence was faulty, which is a propostion I have never accepted, the question that then arose was: "Is invading Iraq the best solution to this prolem?"

The answer to that question was never "Yes." I could go on for pages in support of this statement but I have done so in the past and I think you will remember my previous arguments.

The faulty intelligence argument loses much of its luster considered w/ the PR campaign in which teh Bush administration purposefully misled the American people regarding the necessity to invade Iraq.



Loop Garoo can "go on for pages', I can testify to that! But Facts, he avoids, being more interested in repeating the Soros Mantra of..."failed Bush policy in Iraq."

Saddam had the Osiris 'nuke' factory 'til 1981; Saddam had Chemical WMD's, and he used them on the Kurds, and Loop knows it! Loop Garoo is just blowin' smoke again, the TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM!

"Bush Fail Policy In Iraq" blah,

Demonize, demonize, demonize (pages of it) Sen McCain is Just More Bush, then ridicule Governor Sarah!

You Represent Scumbags, Garoo-sum!

Nancy Pelosi: "Bush Failed Policy on Economics" blah, blah, blah...or Biden/Obama "Four More Years" blah, blah.

So, how about "Four More Years Of Pelosi & Reid" BlahBaBlab, Psycho-babble! Out-Spend 4 to 1, Elect, elect, elect! LGK has said it so often, he now believes his own drivel.

We may have achieved a Solid PERMANENT ALLIANCE IN IRAQ, if only Loonies like Loopie would stop pontificating about Military Matters and Foreign Affairs without any background knowledge!
Think about that!

A lawyer's mind is a terrible thing to waste on Repetitive Soros Hate-mantras.

Read "Judging A Man" & "Fannie, Freddie, and the Left". You really need 'De-Programming', Tony. Sad.


Anonymous said...


Listen to yourself. If you want to insult me, help yourself. I will continue to try and be polite to you, not b/c it makes a difference to you, but b/c it matters to me.

"We may have achieved a solid PERMANENT ALLIANCE IN IRAQ."

I guess you haven't been reading the newspappers about how the Iraqi government has not accepted the draft agreemnet regarding the future of U.S. forces in Iraq nor has it offered any counter proposals.

I guess you haven't read about how most Iraqis want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq immediately.

I guess you haven't read any history about Iraq and its peoples b/c if you had, you too would believe that sometime, at the latest, between five minutes and five months of the date the last U.S. troop leaves Iraq, there will be a coup or a civil war or sometime of uncontrolled violence.

That's b/c you don't care about facts reb. You just live in Fantasy Land where George Soros is the boogey man and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are hius arch henchman.

Ah. I just noticed you used my real first name. Shall I return the favor?

I think you should do us all a favor. It would be best if you stop posting completely but if you must, reread your midnight rants in the morning instaed of posting them immediately.

Meqanwhile, so far as the facts are concerned, just ask yoiurelf this question. In 2003 did Saddam Hussein pose a threat to U.S. security that warrasnted invading Iraq?

See reb, it isn't "demonizing." It's just reciting facts. You know, eveidence. Oh, sorry. I keep forgetting that in your Fantasy Land facts and evidence are unimportant.

Well have a nice stay. No need to send a postcard. Just advise us if you return to the real world.


Th Loop Garoo Kid.

NannyKaren said...

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