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Sen Joe Biden at Center for American Progress Action Fund May 20, 2008



“Because of the policies George Bush has pursued and John McCain

would continue, the entire Middle East is more dangerous. The United

States and our allies, including Israel, are less secure,” said Sen.

Joe Biden (D-DE) at the Center for American Progress.


McCain “does not have a plan” for Iraq, said Biden. McCain’s plan is “the

same as President Bush’s plan: Stay, Stay in Iraq until the very last

of Iranian influence is eliminated. Stay in Iraq until the last member

of Al Qaeda is killed. Stay in Iraq indefinitely.”


Sen. John McCain said he has soaring hopes of

accomplishing the plans that have been set forth in regards to Iraq,

and that he hopes to see the war ended by 2013. Sen. McCain and

President Bush both also have insinuated that it would be a large

mistake to leave before Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated.


Biden challenged their plan, saying that it is imperative to bring

home our troops without leaving chaos behind in Iraq. “We are spending

$3 billion a week on this war, while losing 30 to 40 U.S. soldiers and

personnel a month.”

“John continues to cling to the failed strategy of this

administration, which is that it is possible to have a Shia-dominated

central government, strong enough that it in fact controls the whole

country, and has the support and confidence of the Kurds and the

Sunnis. I wish that were true but I don’t believe in the lifetime of

anyone in this room that will happen,” said Biden.


Biden argued that the costs of our involvement in Iraq have

outweighed the benefits and have ironically strengthened the greatest

challenge to U.S. interests in the region: Iran. But “the idea that we

can wipe out every vestige of Iran’s influence in Iraq is a fantasy,”

Biden said. “Even with 160,000 American troops in Iraq, Prime Minister

Maliki, our ally in Baghdad, greets Iran’s leader with kisses—Iran is a

major regional power and it shares a long border—and a long

history—with Iraq. Right now, Iran loves the status quo, with 140,000

Americans troops bogged down and bleeding, caught in a cross fire of

intra-Shi’a rivalry and Sunni-Shi’a civil war.”

Biden explained that by “drawing down, we can take away Iran’s

ability to wage a proxy war against our troops and force Tehran to

concentrate on avoiding turmoil inside Iraq’s borders and instability

beyond them.”


“We are no closer to the President’s stated goal of an Iraq that can

defend itself, govern it and sustain itself in peace,” Biden said, and

“we can’t keep treading without exhausting ourselves and doing great

and permanent damage to our vital interest around the world.”

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Taken on May 20, 2008