Biden: Obama’s inexperience will prompt nations to test us

posted at 11:05 am on October 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Joe Biden continues to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for Barack Obama.  In a stunning statement, Biden acknowledged that Obama’s lack of foreign-policy experience will provoke America’s enemies into creating an international crisis.  Biden apparently thinks this is just terrific:

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in power and he will need supporters to stand by him as he makes tough, and possibly unpopular, decisions.

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Isn’t this an argument for electing someone with more experience?  Why should we elect a man who will embolden our enemies and push us to the brink of disaster?  Biden seems convinced that electing John McCain will make our enemies abroad much less sanguine about provoking us — which is one of the best arguments yet heard for electing McCain.

Even worse, Biden admits that an Obama administration will likely fumble the ball.  “It’s not going to be apparent that we’re right.”  Really?  Why not?  I’d say that Biden admits that Obama will deviate from long-held principles of American foreign policy and diplomacy, and expects to reap a whirlwind of disapproval because of that.  Where will that be most likely to occur, given Obama’s previous political alliances with people like Rashid Khalidi?

Let’s not forget the example that Biden himself uses here.  John Kennedy got tested because he met with Nikita Khrushchev with “no preconditions”.  Kennedy acknowledged afterwards that it was an “unmitigated disaster“:

Kennedy’s aides convinced the press at the time that behind closed doors the president was performing well, but American diplomats in attendance, including the ambassador to the Soviet Union, later said they were shocked that Kennedy had taken so much abuse. Paul Nitze, the assistant secretary of defense, said the meeting was “just a disaster.” Khrushchev’s aide, after the first day, said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.” Khrushchev agreed, noting that the youthful Kennedy was “too intelligent and too weak.” The Soviet leader left Vienna elated — and with a very low opinion of the leader of the free world.

Kennedy’s assessment of his own performance was no less severe. Only a few minutes after parting with Khrushchev, Kennedy, a World War II veteran, told James Reston of The New York Times that the summit meeting had been the “roughest thing in my life.” Kennedy went on: “He just beat the hell out of me. I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas we won’t get anywhere with him.”

What resulted?  The Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis.  Kennedy wound up trading strategic intel and missile installations in western Asia in exchange for Soviet withdrawal of the nuclear missiles from Cuba.  The entire Kennedy administration turned out to be a foreign-policy disaster that was only overlooked because of the tragic assassination of Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

I agree with Biden.  Obama is exactly like Kennedy in this regard, and our enemies will test us by threatening our interests around the globe if we elect Obama.  I’d rather avoid the problem altogether and elect a man who puts enough fear into the minds of our enemies to keep them from testing us at all.

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