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Biden Takes Credit for Iraq Success

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw asked Joe Biden if the troop surge in Iraq had made possible the increased security and reconciliation we now see in that country. Here is Biden’s answer:

SEN. BIDEN: No. The surge helped make that–what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I’d suggested two and a half years ago: gave local control. They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, “We promise you, don’t worry, you’re not going to have any Shia in here. There’s going to be no national forces in here. We’re going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda.” And that you–what you had was the awakening. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.

So according to Joe Biden, the troop surge played a bit part in the turnaround of the Iraq War. The real catalyst? Joe Biden (with some help from the Sunnis). Let’s revisit Biden’s war plan and give the great military sage his due, shall we?

On May 1, 2006 Biden and Leslie H. Gelb wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled, “Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq,” in which the authors proposed to

establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security. The central government would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues. Baghdad would become a federal zone, while densely populated areas of mixed populations would receive both multisectarian and international police protection.

Three segregated regions with their own laws? Sure, that sounds exactly like what we see in Iraq today. It’s not as if success in Iraq has come from Sunnis turning on Sunnis in al Qaeda, Shias turning on Shias in the Mahdi Army, and Kurds keeping Kurdish PKK terrorists in line. You’re right, Senator. We haven’t witnessed the Petraeus plan in action; it’s the Biden plan. To think, some people still believe Iraq is one whole country with some Sunni neighborhoods, some Shi’ite neighborhoods, and some mixed neighborhoods, and that security forces are increasingly mixed affairs with both Sunnis and Shias fighting Sunnis and Shias, and that one set of laws apply to all citizens. Like Barack Obama recently said, “They must think you’re stupid.” But not me. I know we owe it all to Joe Biden. Thanks, Senator!



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