Monday, January 06, 2014

Send the Vice President to Iraq

We should send Vice President Biden to our embassy in Iraq and keep him there until we can work out a deal between Iraq's parties to govern themselves and re-defeat al Qaeda.

Iraq is visibly deteriorating under pressure from al Qaeda in Iraq and in Syria on the west and Iran from the east.

Vice President Biden is our point man on Iraq.

Biden visited Iraq about once every two months, becoming the administration's point man in delivering messages to Iraqi leadership about expectations for the country's progress.

So this situation in Iraq should be embarrassing for him, even if the looming national defeat doesn't move anybody else in the White House.

It should be doubly embarrassing for the vice president given that he said:

"[Iraq] could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government."

So if Vice President Biden is the point man who thought Iraq could be one of the great achievements of this administration (although given that obvious curve on the grading scale, it still might be that), President Obama should point the vice president at Iraq and tell him to get that achievement.

It's a time-honored tradition to send vice presidents to sticky foreign places as a sign of our interest. Nixon was sent to Latin America and Johnson was sent to Vietnam. But a mere drive-by isn't enough.

Vice President Biden should set up his office in our embassy in Baghdad and work the damn problem. Show that Iraq is important to us.

We won't send troops, as our so-called chief diplomat so indelicately stated. But we'll send our second-ranking executive branch official until they start showing real progress.

Message: we care.

With a large local security detail, and troops in high readiness in Kuwait, afloat in CENTCOM region, and in Italy ready to roll, of course.

Because giving up is unforgivable. And Lord, knows, Kerry hasn't a clue. To paraphrase Ann Richards, Kerry was married on third base and thought he hit a triple.

And if it would make the vice president feel better, this is a good thing for our nation that also could benefit him personally. What better way to gain ground on the Hillary juggernaut that could crush his presidential ambitions before this year is even over?

Hillary sends diplomats to unprotected war zones to die? Biden goes to war zones to do what the State Department is failing to do!

How's that for reporting for duty?

UPDATE: Phoning it in isn't good enough:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Monday to express support for Iraq's fight against al Qaeda-linked militants, a message Biden repeated in another call on Monday with Osama al-Nujaifi, speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, the White House said.

Message: we want to look like we care.

If Vice President Biden is serious, he should move with enough staff to work in Baghdad for as many weeks as it takes to get the parties to come to an agreement.