Biden’s foreign-policy chops
posted at 10:30 am on August 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Many believe that Barack Obama chose Joe Biden for his running mate to address a profound weakness on foreign policy. Power Line points out an example of the Biden prowess on foreign relations that first appeared in The New Republic’s profile of Biden from October 2001. In a vignette at the end of the article, Biden ponders mightily over how the US should respond to 9/11:
At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.
The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: “I think they’d send it back.” Then another aide speaks up delicately: “The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.” Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.
First, Iranians aren’t Arabs. They’re Persians, as both Arabs and Iranians would quickly point out to anyone ignorant of the distinction. They have no relation linguistically or culturally, except that both are predominantly Islamic. One would expect a foreign-policy expert to know at least that much. Team Obama ridiculed John McCain when he inadvertently mixed up Sunnis and Shi’ites, but this is much more fundamental.
Beyond that, what would a check for $200 million have bought us with the Iranians? We know what it would have bought for the Iranians — more resources for the nuclear-weapons program already in progress in Tehran. Bear in mind that this was shortly after the attacks on New York City and Washington had caused billions of dollars in damage and perhaps trillions in economic impact, not to mention the 3,000 lives that terrorists ended on that day. If Biden wanted to spend $200 million, maybe he would have thought to spend it on Americans, and not the nation that even then was the acknowledged leader in financing terrorism around the world.
I’m sorry, but a man who thinks it appropriate to send hundreds of millions of dollars — “no strings attached” — to a terror-sponsoring regime in order to make America a supplicant of radicals is no foreign-policy genius. (via Power Line)