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July 02, 2009

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Elizabeth Miller

Here's a great link for the Senate and House debate on the October 2002 authorization for the use of US military force in Iraq (AUMF)

The debate surrounding the Levin amendment is particularly instructive and speaks to the fact that Senator Biden, and some other enlightened members of the Senate, understood this authorization as it was meant to be used...to avoid war instead of rushing into it.

http://authforce.liberatedtext.org/

Elizabeth Miller

Chris,

There is no US official who understands more intimately than VP Biden what will be required to get US troops out of Iraq without leaving a disaster behind.

The Biden strategy was NEVER about a US imposition or about telling Iraqis how to determine their political future or about dividing Iraq or about most of the rest of what you can often read in the media.

In a nutshell, Biden was advocating for an inclusive process by which representatives of all Iraqis could come together to hammer out their political future through negotiations over political and constitutional reforms. The regional and major powers, including the UN, would be involved in an effort to support and secure whatever power-sharing arrangement the Iraqis are able to achieve.

Senator Biden not only received the unprecedented and incredible support of a majority of Republicans and Democrats in Congress (the vote in the Senate on the Biden admendment to promote political reconciliation in Iraq passed by an unbelievable margin of 75 - 23), but the Biden strategy was also unofficially endorsed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, many of Iraq's sectarian leaders, and Turkey!

Today, with the incredible fragmentation of the political landscape in Iraq, this promises to be a very long and arduous proposition. But, in the absence of such a muscular diplomatic effort, Iraqis have little hope of achieving a stable and united Iraq. And, it is a fact that the Iraqis will not be able to achieve this on their own, without help from their neighbors or the major powers - no nation could, in similar circumstances.

Elizabeth Miller

Susan,

I'm sorry for this delayed response to your post and I'm afraid I don't have enough time right now to reply in great detail, but I just wanted to let you know that I did read that article and it has some errors by implication.

The media have never accurately described the Biden strategy for promoting sustainable political reconciliation in Iraq. But, Biden has met with many of Iraq's sectarian leaders (though, not enough of them or from a broad enough spectrum, including members of the opposition) and they understand that the last thing he is promoting is a fragmented Iraq.

I'm just wondering, have you ever heard Vice President Biden (or Senator Biden) speak about what he has been advocating for US policy and which President Obama has adopted?

Chris

"Joe" seems illiterate on Iraq. First Joe Biden didn't just vote for the authorization for military action against Iraq, he voted for a hawkish Republican amendment that few other Senate Democrats voted for. Then around late 2007, Biden got the Senate to pass a unanimous resolution calling for Iraq to have a weak central government, something he called federalization or something like that. As a result, not just the Iraqi press started condemning the US Senate but influential newspapers in the Middle East also did as well. Since then, the Senate hasn't said a word about how Iraq should run its affairs.

Chris

Biden seems to have deep sympathies toward the Kurds, which may explain his rather odd pronouncements on Iraq. No doubt Iraq's neighbors will probably be skeptical of Biden’s motives, while Obama has to repeatedly correct Biden for saying things he shouldn’t.

Omar

Hey Joe
If there is a reward of the most fool in world, believe me you will get it

Susan

Elizabeth - go read this article:

Iraq declines offer of US help with reconciliation

"Biden, on a three-day visit, offered U.S. help in what he said was a long road ahead in uniting a country deeply split by years of sectarian war and riven by violence.

But Iraq has been forcefully asserting a newfound sovereignty in the week U.S. combat troops pulled out of city centres, a milestone that was feted by flowers and dancing.

"We made it clear that national reconciliation is an Iraqi issue and involvement of a non-Iraqi party won't make it more successful," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh."

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L4525198.htm

It looks like the Iraqi government also does not want Biden telling them how to run their country.

I guess they don't have 'their facts straight' either.... or else you are living in a fantasy land concerning Biden. He happens to be one of the major players in making Iraq a fragmented "landscape" or should we say -- he helped destroy the country of Iraq.

Elizabeth Miller

This analysis of Vice President Biden and his comprehensive strategy to promote and facilitate a sustainable political solution amongst all Iraqis underscores everything that is wrong with the media and the blogosphere.

That is to say that the media and blogosphere, in large part, fail to understand the first thing about what Joe Biden has been advocating should be US policy in Iraq due to the incredible levels of ineptitude and incompentence that run rampant through their ranks.

Vice President Biden remains the most knowledgeable US official when it comes to what will be required to move Iraq toward sustainable national political reconciliation by involving ALL Iraqis that make up a hugely fragmented political landscape.

It is my hope that you will learn more about Vice President Biden and how he hopes to promote and facilitate Iraq's movement toward a stable and united nation. I would also hope, at the very least, that you get your facts straight before making further comment.

Susan

Average Joe - Iraq had wars with Iran and Kuwait in the last 30 years, but no sectarian strife to speak of, until long after the US military invaded.

Average Joe

it is very unforunate that sectarian ideaology has kept this part of the world in unending WARS for hundreds of years, with no apparent end in sight ! I'm an average American-with average knowledge about the middle east. What we see is so much suffering and death because of religious beliefes Fanatics who see nothing else but their own points of view without taking into consider the suffering of others!!!!

Susan

Here's hoping the US does not give any other countries "a great chance"!!

I'm sure Joe would agree (at this point in time) that doing so has cost the US a lot of wasted money..... although he probably thought it was a swell idea back in early 2003.

Susan

Joe - you were right the first time.

Joe

Correction: It should say "The US DIDN'T make Iraqis kill each other, you ignorant wench" instead of "The US did make Iraqis kill each other, you ignorant wench?

Joe

Susan and the writer of this blog post, like most McClatchy blog posts, are ignorant. Biden didn't do anything to destablize Iraq except vote in 2002 to allow Bush to invade is he so chose.

The US did make Iraqis kill each other, you ignorant wench. Iraqis didn't need any motivation . . . they've been doing it since the nation was created by a bunch of Brits with crooked teeth.

The reason why the sectarian violence "disappears" when they move to Syria or Jordan is because the know if they start doing it, the security forces in both those countries will stop it, because let's face it, Jordanians and Syrians are a lot smarter, harder working, and more disciplined than your average Iraqi, and if an Iraqi was honest with you, he would say the same.

The US gave the Iraqis a great chance, which Iraqis themselves screwed up becuase of their laziness, dishonesty, and victim mentality.

And so you know, Iraq is a fake country. The Kurds don't want to be a part of it and never did. And the Sunni's and Shia's both want to be in charge and will use violence to do it. The violence is mainly by the political parties, but the average person on the street allows it and they vote sectarian.

So in short, Susan, you're a fool.

Susan

About 99% of Americans are too stupid to realize that Biden did a great deal to destabilize Iraq. And even more Americans are dumb enough to support Biden's idea of diving up Iraq! They are completely oblivious to the reality that the US occupation fostered a lot of the sectarian violence (which, it seems, completely disappears when Iraqis move to Syria and Jordan).

Biden is so stupid.

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"Inside Iraq" is a blog updated by Iraqi journalists who have worked for McClatchy Newspapers. They are based in Baghdad. These are firsthand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names are withheld for security purposes.

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