Biden to Zapatero: Hey, thanks for all that help in Iraq
posted at 9:48 am on March 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Barcepundit catches Joe Biden in Spain doing … well, what Joe Biden does best. Joe Biden remembered to thank Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero for all the help he gave us in Iraq, except that the only thing Zapatero gave us in Iraq was the finger:
MAN, BIDEN IS A GAFFE WITH LEGS: during his meeting with Spain’s primer minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in Chile yesterday, Biden thanked Zapatero for his effort… in Iraq (link in Spanish, haven’t found this detail in any English-language media).
As everybody knows, the first decision Zapatero made after his unexpected win in 2004, right after the Madrid train terrorist attacks, was to abruptly and unilaterally pull out from Iraq. So either Biden made a gaffe, or he was thanking Zapatero for angering Bush…
No, I think Biden would have been blunt enough to just say, “Thanks for ticking off George Bush.” It should be noted that the Spanish Finger to the US didn’t just include pulling out of Iraq, but also refusing to train Iraqi security forces.
Originally, Zapatero explained his abrupt retreat by objecting to a lack of UN mandate for the mission. When the UN finally did give the US a mandate for rebuilding Iraq, Zapatero refused to return to the coalition. In doing so, he earned the (unfortunately) undying gratitude of … Moqtada al-Sadr. So I guess Biden and Sadr share that feeling of gratitide. In the end, of course, the fast retreat Zapatero conducted did nothing to remove the former al-Andalusia from al-Qaeda’s sights. Just six months after announcing their withdrawal, AQ tried bombing their High Court.
Regarding Iraq, Biden should have said, “Thanks for nothing.” But then again, no one but Barack Obama really thought Biden was a foreign-policy expert, anyway.