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Joe Biden steps up. Who's next?

By now, everyone except Mark Steyn recognizes that the Bush administration has gotten us into a pickle in Iraq. Bush deserves the criticism he's getting, but the Democrats also deserve criticism for failing to propose any serious alternative strategies for dealing with the national security nightmare that Iraq could (or already has) become.

Proposals like these in the Washington Post from Sen. Joe Biden are exactly what we need to see more of from both Democrats and Republicans. Regardless of whether Biden's concrete proposals make sense or not, at least he's going beyond simple Bush-bashing by offering some substantive alternatives to Bush's simple-minded "stay the course."

Comments

Can you please provide a link to the "substantive alternatives" that Sen. Biden has offered? I've only read his column in the Washington Post.

Biden's op-ed in the Post contains several substantive alternatives. It's not just Bush-bashing, and that's the reason I linked to it.

More of Biden's proposals can be found in the documents linked here. Most of them boil down to one thing: internationalize.

That may or may not be a good idea, and it needs to be fleshed out a bit more, but it's certainly more substantive than most of the congressional democrats' criticisms of Bush. It's definitely an alternative to Bush's "stay the course."

Question: has Chuck Hegel made any constructive proposals? I haven't checked, but I'm curious about what he thinks we ought to be doing in Iraq.

I think you're right. Biden's proposing we "internationalize" and provides few details.

So the big idea is to convince those completely opposed to what we're doing to start helping. Great plan.

Everyone acts like "stay the course" is a doomsday scenario. Well, if you're doing something that takes a long time, you need to stay the course or you'll never get there.

Biden says set timetables. And to hold off on the constitution.

And, while we're at it, get a constitution that not only the Sunnis, but also neighboring countries approve of. What's the timetable for that?

Carey, I agee that Biden's recent editorial avoids directly criticizing Bush. But his suggested strategy is just vague prognostication designed to polish his "Anti-Bush's War" credentials. It not a constructive critique - in fact it could endanger our soldiers.

When Biden railed for faster development of Iraq's civil defense forces during the senate confirmation hearings for Condi, he was essentially calling for an acceleration of Bush's strategy. He understood that Bush and Rummy were on the right track. "Faster please!" is constructive politicking

Now that that strategy seems to be working (see Bill Roggio's excellent coverage of Iraqi DF/American joint campaigns along the enemy "ratline" in Western Iraq.) Biden is shifting his advocacy.

His "substantive alternatives" amount to adopting the talking points of the minority Sunni's who are attempting to filibuster the new popular constitution, and outsourcing the pacification of the Sunnis to the U.N. or other so-called "allies." The thrust of his "strategery" is to offer validation for Sunni political grandstanding, and succor for their militants and those of the sympathetic Baathists in Syria.

This can only serve to stall the constitutional discussion in favor of our enemies, and will result in more attacks on our soldiers as well as innocent Iraqi civilians.

In this, Biden's inconsistency is dangerous.
-Steve

RE: "Stay the course"...

If you're driving from New York to Los Angeles, and six hours in the kids start asking "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" do you change destinations because St. Louis is a "substantive alternative"?

I would certainly question the wisdom of starting out for LA with a bunch of screaming kids in the back, and then, yes, unless it was absolutely critical that we got to LA, I would begin to think that Pittsburgh, even, would be a good alternative.

/allegorical

Larry: Well, the kids aren't screaming so much when you set out, though. It's hours into the a long trip that they begin to get restless, isn't it?

And if LA is your vacation destination, with Disney and Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Magic Mountain, Pittsburgh just ain't gonna cut it.

As this is an allegory, you can imagine the kids were screaming when we set out.

the washington post is garbage.

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