Friday, January 05, 2007

kick the can

i'm not a fan of senator biden, even though for a while he was one of my senators (i even went to school with his sons. i was hunt biden's 9th grade math tutor once). i particularly haven't liked biden's various positions on the iraq war, from his initial support for the invasion, to his current proposal to divide iraq into three semi-autonomous ethnic/religious enclaves. but i think biden is right on the mark when he said this:
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.

"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."
i have no doubt that biden is right. bush will not withdraw from iraq on his watch and, years from now, when another president is in office and some kind of drawdown finally occurs, bush loyalists will argue that future president is the one who "lost" iraq. "things were starting to come together until X" they'll say. X being some iraq-related action the new president did after bush left office.

it's interesting that biden is bringing it up now. biden, of course, wants to be president himself. he doesn't stand a chance, but in his own mind he probably thinks he can pull it off. so by predicting that the bushistas will blame a future administration (i.e. biden's administration) for losing iraq, biden is planting the seed to say "see? just as i predicted" when that time comes.