Was Biden talking about Obama’s plan for unilateral disarmament?

posted at 12:25 pm on October 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Plenty of people have been scratching their heads over Joe Biden’s warning to voters that electing Barack Obama would precipitate an international crisis to “test his mettle”. Investors Business Daily agrees with Biden, and notes that this wasn’t an off-the-cuff gaffe; Biden repeated the warning in two different venues. IBD points to this early Obama campaign video, in which Obama pledges unilateral disarmament on several fronts, as evidence supporting Biden’s hypothesis:

But there’s another angle to this, based on what Biden the senator knows — that Obama’s defense policies, once it’s obvious how they’ll undermine us, are likely to be very, very unpopular. In this case, Biden may be calling on his party’s hard, pacifist core — Moveon.org, Code Pink and the like — to stand by their man.

He’ll need their support. Like Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, Obama’s policies often sound good on the surface, but will in fact materially weaken America’s ability to defend herself. That’s not just our opinion, mind you; it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. …

Such policies will create a vacuum that our foes will be only too happy to exploit.

In response to seeing a weakling in the White House, will Russia do something rash in Eastern Europe, like invade Ukraine? Will South Korea develop a bomb, knowing the U.S. won’t stop it? Will Iran attack Israel, as it has promised, thinking America has become a paper tiger? We don’t know, but maybe Joe Biden does.

Indeed. This video had been largely forgotten since its appearance early in the primaries, when Obama sought the support of the Kucinich Left in his party. Obama deliberately positioned himself to the left of Hillary Clinton in the hopes that he could wrest support from people like Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd and emerge as the alternative to the Restoration. Only after he beat Hillary in the primaries did he move back towards the center on issues like the FISA reform bill, long after he had locked up enough support to gain the nomination.

Since then, though, Obama has tried hard to position himself as a Scoop Jackson Democrat. He has dropped all mention of the missile defense system or of unilaterally cutting back nuclear weapons. Obama worked hard over the summer to project himself as a traditional strong-defense candidate, and it seemed to have worked … until Biden inadvertently undermined him this week. It eliminated any help the Colin Powell endorsement gave him in terms of national security, and gave John McCain and Sarah Palin a gift on the campaign trail in reopening the national-security issue.

But did Biden mean to warn that unilateral disarmament would be unpopular, or that Obama would initially alienate the Left by demonstrating military strength in an international crisis? One could argue it either way, but I don’t think he meant to worry about the Left leaving Obama. I think Biden wanted the Left to remain activist to support a retreat philosophy in the face of aggression from our enemies. Obama has consistently fronted that policy, in Iraq and elsewhere, both as a Senator and as a presidential candidate.

Biden knows Obama will need the Left to support the consequences of its Kucinich vision for American foreign policy. That’s what the warning meant, and this video is ample evidence of the direction Obama will take in national security.


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We are in deep doo doo if this SOB gets elected. I believe Israel will be attacked from Iran. God help us all.

sheebe on October 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM

It’s a bit more complex than that. Israel will go after Iran’s nukes at some point, probably between the election and swearing in, if Obama wins. Iran, or/and it’s surrogates could conceivably retaliate against Israel and Obama could turn it over to the UN, if the conlect is still active when he takes office, rather than give Israel direct support. Any way you cut it, Israel is in for a tough time if he wins. However, the arguments made above that he is talking about the U.S. disarming unilaterally also make sense. With Biden, Powers, and Rice giving him advise, anything is possible.

a capella on October 23, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I believe Israel will be attacked from Iran. God help us all.

sheebe on October 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM
He’ll help Israel…but not iran and russia…Ezekiel 37…

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 1:54 PM

I believe he’ll provide nothing more than lip service to it. I believe Israel will always prevail because it has been written. I believe it will be the last land standing.

Another thing I believe… BO is BAD news. So extremely dangerous.

Oink on October 23, 2008 at 2:22 PM

He’ll help Israel…but not iran and russia…Ezekiel 37…

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Careful. There’s also Revelation 3:9.

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 2:24 PM

It would appear that Obama, while stumbling more than I’m used to seeing him now after months of practice (“fissionable”, B), is more at home and more open when campaigning within his own party, where this sort of pacifist and Pollyana bilge sells.

…the Democrat Obama…the Lefty Obama…the disarmament Obama…honest Obama….

…I wonder if this’ll sell in Tehran?

Puritan1648 on October 23, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Careful. There’s also Revelation 3:9.

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 2:24 PM

and what does this have to do with the nation of Israel, and God’s promises to her?

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Kill the whites. Lovely…I believe Israel will be attacked from Iran. God help us all.

sheebe on October 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM

…well…Obama is on record as wanting “change”…this’ll all be change…the sands of the Middle East will all be turned to glass, but that’s a change….

Puritan1648 on October 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM

It is really unfortunate because we’re on the cusp of transforming our military into a new era of energy directed weapon systems. Moreover, when combined with new surveillance capabilities we can operate a much more flexible force with near dial-to-strike lethality.

The unfortunate part is that each weapon “system” is so expensive that the value return is crippling. Imagine having to spend 2-3 million USD to take out a single safe house with known terrorists inside. Over time, the need to kill “safely” (less civilian casualties) will become cost prohibitive. So, the military will either be forced to deal with a (more) negative reputation or fore go military operations of this nature.

Geministorm on October 23, 2008 at 2:37 PM

and what does this have to do with the nation of Israel, and God’s promises to her?

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Nothing, of course. I just posted it to see if I could.

Seriously, try not to be dense. This is clear language in Revelation – not so clear in Ezekial.

Ezekial talks about supernatural reclamation of the Ten Lost Tribes of Hebrews and the joining of them together with Judah so that there are no longer two kingdoms.

The Messiah (the real one, not the poser) already accomplished this. The establishment of the Hebrews as the Kingdom of God here on earth is in progress now.

Israel is more than land, more than Jews, and more than ancient history. My caution was to assist you in avoiding a biden (foot-in-mouth) moment.

We are all on the right side here, correct?

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 2:42 PM

If Iran attacks Isreal and Obama says Israel (like Georgia) should show restraint, just accept what the messiah says. Jews in America should not complain since they prefer Obama to McCain. Jews get what they wish for and if the US does not help that’s just too bad.

Birdseye on October 23, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Seriously, try not to be dense. This is clear language in Revelation – not so clear in Ezekial

are you serious? please. this verse in revelation refers to a small group of people, not the nation of israel.

Ezekial talks about supernatural reclamation of the Ten Lost Tribes of Hebrews and the joining of them together with Judah so that there are no longer two kingdoms.

huh?

The establishment of the Hebrews as the Kingdom of God here on earth is in progress now.

huh????? are you a preterist?

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 2:46 PM

This thread is beginning to sound like a DK or DU board. As much I fear what an Obama administration might bring I think many of the “scenarios” being kicked around are nonsense.

That said, I think the most likely crisis will be in the Middle East and not South America or the Ukraine. For one thing, the Ukraine is a big place and the Russian Army outside of few select units is not combat capable. If Hugo attacks Columbia, the Columbian armed forces have actual combat experience while Chavez’s forces are only good a beating up unarmed civilians.

It will be the Middle East because there are many indications that Obama will flip US policy in the region to support of Iran and Iran-backed groups. Remember, the Obama campaign trashed the anti-Iran rally in New York while at the same time some of his surrogates met with Ahmednijhad at the Hyatt. Governor Palin’s appearance was just an excuse. There is not much you can say beyond that. However, everybody, posters and Obama advisors alike, keep forgetting that Israel doesn’t need the United States to defend it against an actual existential threat. If they their backs are pushed against the wall then they will strike with the full force of their arsenal. Israel may be no longer exist but neither will Syria, Lebanon or Iran.

jerryofva on October 23, 2008 at 2:48 PM

its plain and simple, what ezekiel talked about, which is israel reforming as a nation, and Iran being its primary enemy, and leading an invasion where Russia is drawn in reluctantly, is being played out before our eyes.

I know of no other time in history when this scenario has existed. and it does now.

I can’t have foot-in-mouth, unless Iran decides to love israel…really doubtful…or they invade, and Israel is destroyed. then I would question the entire validity of the bible…..

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 2:49 PM

There is little doubt that Israel would retaliate with nuclear weapons for any major strike on it by Iran and/or its proxies. The US standing by idly or worse – Obama suggesting that Israel must acede to demands to withdraw from the occupied territories to placate the anti-Israeli nations – while tensions rose before a strike would just embolden Iraq to attack. The Israelis know they will have one chance to decimate their enemies and they will maximize the totality of their destruction.

The tipping point will be reached and Russia, North Korea, China and others will act beligerantly in the aftermath – warning the US to standdown to avoid a first strike on US soil.

Obama will appeal to the UN to intervene.

in_awe on October 23, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Color me cynical, but I still think the “wrong” comment is about calling for support for Obama simply expressing Grave Concern to the UN when Israel is nuked – and also deferring to the UN to deal with hundreds of thousands of cases of radiation poisoning.

eeyore on October 23, 2008 at 2:55 PM

With all due respect, I am always biased in favor of those who lean toward Scripture. That said, the flame war a few days ago between several members of this thread made me pay closer attention to my bias.

Right4life is his own authority with a non-constructive attitude. He’s looking for a fight. Therefore, I will not give him one nor will I try to educate him.

I will say this – there is nothing in the words of Revelation 3:9 that talks about quantity of persons. Right4life is seeing what he wants to see, and that is the most dangerous practice on earth.

I’m not playing this game, sir. Enjoy your life.

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

I’m not playing this game, sir. Enjoy your life.
platypus on October 23, 2008 at 2:59 PM

apparently you just cannot explain what you are talking about.

and no, I wasn’t looking for a fight, just wondering where you get that at?

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 3:00 PM

I do agree that the Middle East is the most likely flashpoint for a crisis in the early days of an Obama administration and I do think Obama would take an anti-Israeli–pro-Iranian/Hezbollah/Hamas stance.

If I were to sketch out a likely scenario it would probably go something like this…

Obama wins the election and soon thereafter, and overtures are immediately made either by the Iranians to Obama or vice versa with Obama declaring a new and “balanced” American outlook towards the Middle East. Israel, fearing Iranian nukes (and rightly so) will decide that it cannot rely on US backing under an Obama administration–quite the contrary, it might have to consider an Obama administration as potentially hostile to its interests, and so it will set into motion its plans for a preemptive strike. The timing of the strike is crucial. Ideally, Israel will want to hold off until it can be assured that it has made all necessary preparations for Iranian retaliation and that it can weather the economic sanctions that will be imposed at a minimum by Obama. So, it will try to get as much as it can from the lame-duck Bush administration as possible before striking. It will also want to give Obama as short a time frame as possible between the strike taking place and his taking office to take maximum advantage of his indecisiveness and poor leadership abilities. Ideally, such a strike would take place in early January before inauguration, but, events might force an earlier strike in December or even late November.

Such events could include, but are by no means limited to: decisions on the part of the Bush administration to cut off supplies in an effort to hamstring the Israelis, intelligence information that calls for immediate action, or the possibility of an Iranian preemptive preemptive strike with the Iranians figuring that Bush does not have the popular support to retaliate and Obama won’t.

In any event, it don’t look good…

Matt Helm on October 23, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Iran will attack Israel and Obama will caution Israel to “show restraint”.

csdeven on October 23, 2008 at 3:08 PM

and no, I wasn’t looking for a fight, just wondering where you get that at?

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 3:00 PM

I accept that and I apologize if I was too strident or too quick in my response. But I think it would be best if I keep my mouth shut for the time being. So I will.

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 3:10 PM

That went from ‘chillin’ to chilling! If Obama were to be playing that advert today when he is trying to capture moderate votes, I could see a 50 state landslide for McCain, though I admit that Obama might carry the District of Columbia.

Doug on October 23, 2008 at 3:12 PM

But I think it would be best if I keep my mouth shut for the time being. So I will.

ok, honestly I’d never heard that. I was just curious, I wasn’t going to flame you.

I don’t mind the preterist interpretation…if thats what yours was…I’ve noticed they get very upset by the premillenialists interpretation…

but regardless of the interpretation, Iran is itching to attack israel…all they need is the bomb, and us out of the way…

thats why I think we’ll get an EMP attack, and then Israel will be attacked by Iran…and perhaps before that, israel will destroy damascus…

right4life on October 23, 2008 at 3:13 PM

OT, sorry: Ayers’ republished his communist manifesto dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan in 2006, according to LGF.

I think if I were a moderate Democrat, I’d want to know about that.

Just. Wow.

capitalist piglet on October 23, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Matt:

Good analysis. I think the Bush Adminstration will go silent after November 4th. My best bet for an Israeli attack would be between Christmas Eve and New Years. Things get a bit slack around the Pentagon during that week and it will be worse during a transition to the Obama adminstration. Virtually all the senior decision makers will have the left the building and DoD will be left to the caretaker civil servants who won’t make decisions. When Israel goes the will be prepared to go all the way if it is necessary.

Perhaps Obama isn’t as stupid as he seems. Maybe he is counting on Israel to solve the Iran problem without involving the United States. Afterall, he will be able to claim that he was shifting US support to Iran for just this reason but heah, it was on Bush’s watch. It’s his fault.

jerryofva on October 23, 2008 at 3:32 PM

I commented on Sweetness and Light blog that I figured that Biden slipped after the nat sec briefing, similar to the slip obambi made when he talked about bombing Pakistan. Each of these slips proves that neither one is qualified to be in the White House but I digress.

The real issue is exactly what was it that Bush told them.

I think Bush told both of them that Israel was convinced that obambi was not their friend and that he would not defend them so Israel was determined to launch a first strike before the end of the year.

Obambi and SlowJoe decided that the only way to deal with the coming domestic storm (Israel bombs and Obambi sits back) is to pre-empt the outcry. Slow Joe was the designated hitter.

What Bush did not tell them (because Bush is a friend of Israel) is that the first strike was not necessarily going to be after the inauguration. After the election, sure.

IMO, obambi and slowjoe heard what they wanted to hear because they see the election as the turning point rather than January 20th. Remember the yellow cake fiasco? The “sixteen words” fiasco? The “imminent threat” fiasco?

Well, I think they’ve gone and done it again. And Bush has extremely plausible deniability plus Israel finishes the “Bush Doctrine” which always included surrounding Iran with the American military and then overthrowing the government. Sadly, because of Clinton, our military needed practice at taking over a country so Iraq went first.

That’s how I see it. No matter who’s elected, Israel is going after Iran. They’ll just do it sooner if obambi wins.

platypus on October 23, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Who knows. One thing is Iran will getting in a mix with someone, either they into Iraq or Isreal at them or something. The world cant just build on peace for some reason.

johnnyU on October 23, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Yeah,, we get attacked again and Obama declares martial law, shuts down all radio and internet to control the “masses,” puts Rush and Hannity and a host of others under house arrest or worse,,,, then tells our enemies he understands why they did what they did,, promises change and hope for the future,, promises world peace, that never again will the world be threatened by an out of control America,,, and then announces deep cuts or the elimination of all our nuclear weapons and pulls back what military we have left from around the world.

JellyToast on October 23, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Barry the Weak.

Sounds like a medieval loser.

For want of a nail…

profitsbeard on October 23, 2008 at 8:05 PM

The biggest threat to AMerica right now is not China, Russia or Al-Qaeda; its is Europe, who are at this very moment, planning to overthrow American dominance (in their words “hegemony”) of cpaitalist system and replace it with their own quasi-socialist system. And Obama will bow down to this subversion as in his eyes, American power is supect but Europeans have somehow done a better job of protecting this world.

promachus on October 23, 2008 at 11:37 PM

Any way you cut it, Israel is in for a tough time if he wins.

Agreed … but then again … clue me in as to why any American Jew would vote for Obama or … any Democrat this year. Seems to me the party has been taken over by Anti-Israeli Anti-Semites.

So why does the Jewish population stand behind these guys? I’ve never understood this.

HondaV65 on October 23, 2008 at 11:37 PM

Europe breathing AMerica’s neck to create a Bretton Woods 2(short hand for socialism), Russia aggresively usurping half a dozen former USSR states, Iran developing a nuke, N Korea devleoping a nuke,China doing soemthing rash, Al-qaeda getting strong….

In the midst of it all, barry yanking missile defence, troops from Iraq, filling up CIA with left wing cronies making it more dysfunctional than usual, disarming unilaterally, surrendering to the world court, giving up rights to terrorists……

promachus on October 24, 2008 at 12:22 AM

But did Biden mean to warn that unilateral disarmament would be unpopular, or that Obama would initially alienate the Left by demonstrating military strength in an international crisis? One could argue it either way

It seems clear to me that Biden meant the latter. I can not see the “argue it either way” at all as it was clear that he was concerned about the left not turning on Obama.

MB4 on October 24, 2008 at 2:53 AM

Can anyone check on the itinerary of Obama foreign policy advisor retired Maj Gen Jonathon Gration? He wasn’t at the Messiah’s foreign policy press conference the other day (at least I didn’t see his fat butt on the tube), and I hear that he and/or his staff was in Belgium telling the US side of NATO that the “nuclear umbrella” over Europe would unilaterally end within 6 months of an Obama administration-something that Gration had argued for while on active duty. Coupled with O cancelling missile defense as he’s promised, this would throw the NATO alliance into a tailspin, which no doubt, Russia, Iran and the Taliban would take quick advantage of.

rotorhead on October 24, 2008 at 6:21 AM

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