When challenged during Friday's debate on his foreign policy experience, Obama responded: "Look, I'm very proud of my vice presidential selection, Joe Biden." In another words, "I don't know jack, but Biden will handle foreign policy."
I'm surprised this comment has not drawn more attention, not only because it was an admission by Obama that he's unqualified for office, but also because of the terrifying prospect of Joe Biden actually running U.S. foreign policy. To start with, Biden is dumb as rocks (he ranked 506 out of a class of 688 at the University of Delaware, and 76th out of 85 at Syracuse Law), and his problems with plagiarism and honesty are legendary. But one can just imagine Obama intoning: "Look, Joe may not be book smart and he's made mistakes in the past, but on foreign policy, he's my guy."
The problem is that Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy issue of this generation. In particular, Biden (i) opposed Reagan on defense spending, which is generally credited with helping to win the Cold War; (ii) opposed the 1991 Persian Gulf war, which would have left Saddam in charge of Kuwait (and possibly Saudi Arabia); (iii) supported the 2003 Iraq war, which Biden now says was a mistake; (iv) called for a partition of Iraq into 3 largely-autonomous states, which now looks pretty foolish; and (v) opposed the surge, which -- had Biden gotten his way -- would have ensured defeat in Iraq.
But perhaps the most striking example of Biden's poor instincts on foreign policy was his reaction to 9/11. This New Republic article from 2001 recounts the disturbing story of what Biden told his staffers a mere three weeks after the 9/11 attacks:
At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: "I'm groping here." Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran," Biden declares.
Where to begin? Biden -- the foreign policy "expert" -- apparently thinks Iranians are Arabs, not realizing that Iranians and Arabs have been arch-rivals since the beginning of time. But worse still, Biden's comment evidences a "touchy-feely" mentality that says, when your enemy punches you in the gut, the best response is to give them money so that they know you still care.
Can you imagine if FDR had suggested that we respond to Pearl Harbor by cutting a check to Imperial Japan? Lord help us if Obama and Biden are elected.