After more than three years in office, the Obama Administration still is blaming the Bush Administration for its own difficulties.
On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden made yet another attempt to pass the buck, claiming that the Bush Administration’s Iran policy was flawed and left the U.S. in an isolated position before the Obama Administration rectified the problem:
By going the extra diplomatic mile, presenting Iran with a clear choice, we demonstrated to the region and the world that Iran is the problem, not the United States.… When we took office, let me remind you, there was virtually no international pressure on Iran. We were the problem, we were diplomatically isolated in the world, in the region, in Europe. We were neither fully respected by our friends nor feared by our opponents. Today it is starkly, starkly different.
Biden’s amateurish effort to rewrite history ignores the fact that the Bush Administration pushed four resolutions through the U.N. Security Council calling for Iran to halt its nuclear program, and the last three ratcheted up sanctions against Iran. Two of the resolutions were passed unanimously, while one passed 14–1 and another passed with only one abstaining.
The one resolution on the Iran nuclear issue that the Obama Administration was able to extract from the Security Council passed by a vote of 12–2, with formerly close allies Turkey and Brazil voting against and Lebanon abstaining.
Biden also glosses over the fact that Iran froze its nuclear program in 2003, undoubtedly because it feared that the U.S. might resort to military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear program after it overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi also agreed to dismantle his nuclear and chemical weapons programs, telling Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that he feared that he would be next.
Biden has a long history of making the wrong calls on foreign policy issues. He proposed an unworkable plan for a “soft partition” of Iraq that would have amplified and perpetuated sectarian strife. He opposed the Bush Administration’s surge of U.S. troops in Iraq in 2007 and declared it a failed policy, but he later claimed that Iraq’s improved security, made possible by the surge, was a victory for the Obama Administration.
On Afghanistan, Biden proposed an under-resourced counterterrorist strategy that would have abandoned the fight against the Taliban to focus only on al-Qaeda. He flatly declared, “Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.” This skewed view ignores the fact that the Taliban harbored al-Qaeda before 9/11 and will do so again if it returns to power.
Biden publicly claimed that Brussels—the home of the EU—rather than Washington, D.C., should be considered “the capital of the free world.”
But his worst error of judgment was his opposition to the special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year. He admitted that he told the President: “Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.”
Given Biden’s dismal record on foreign policy and national security issues, it is no wonder that Osama bin Laden reportedly ordered his followers not to target Biden for assassination. Bin Laden wrote that if the President were killed, “Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.”
Based on Biden’s past performance, it is difficult to dispute that conclusion.