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

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    “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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