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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Biden’s Iraq Speech

I know some Democrats are still mad at him for criticizing Howard Dean, and some, indeed, are still mad about his vote on the bankruptcy bill, but I tell you what, nobody can quite unload on the administration’s foreign policies like Senator Joe Biden.He did a major speech on Iraq over at Brookings yesterday, and here’s what he had to say about Dick Cheney’s “last throes of the insurgency” line, by way of talking about his own recent trip to Iraq:

When you arrive in Baghdad, you’re in a C-130. You do a corkscrew landing to make it more difficult for an enemy ground-to-air launched missile to take you down. When you land, you immediately have body armor placed on you. You are hustled quickly into a Black Hawk helicopter. In the helicopter, there are two brave young soldiers with 30-caliber machine guns hanging out the bays of those doors. You travel from the Red Zone to the Green Zone. The Green Zone is the supposed safe zone. You travel roughly 150 miles per hour, not a whole lot over 100 feet off the ground so as not to provide those on the ground with a profile [so they can shoot you down].You get off the Black Hawk in the Green Zone, which has redundant great cement blocks and walls to keep it secure. You are hustled in your armor into a beefed up Chevy van….

In short, I did not come away with the impression that the insurgency was, as the Vice President of the United States suggeested, in its last throes. And unlike the President of the United States, I am not, quote, “pleased with the progress,” end of quote, we’re making as I recently saw it.

You should read the whole speech, including Biden’s unhappy but honest assessment of our future options if the Iraqi government cannot soon get control of the country.

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