Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Biden On The Pakistani Threat To Israel

I posted earlier about Biden's gaffes about Israel during the debate--that Hezbollah has been kicked out of Lebanon and that the Hamas elections were held in the West Bank.

It turns out that Biden made a third error about Israel during the debates--the nuclear threat Israel faces from Pakistan:
Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan's weapons can already hit Israel and the Mediterranean.
Jim Geraghty, who has a list of 22 gaffes Biden made during that debate, explains:
The distance between Israel and Pakistan is 2,085 miles, or 3355 kilometers...They are working on developing longer-range missiles; maybe Biden knows of some development that public sources do not yet know about. Theoretically, the Pakistanis could put the weapon on a boat and then sail it to the target, but by that standard, any site on a coast in the world is within their range.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This site indicates that the top range of Pakistani missile that can carry a nuclear warhead is 1000 miles. By being off by 1,000 or so, I'm now upgrading this to full lie/error/hallucination status.
It's one thing to mistake the West Bank for Gaza, but mistakenly thinking that Pakistan poses a threat to another country is getting into the area where mistaken notions lead to mistaken policies.

On a side note: in another post I questioned the story--based on Biden's book--that Biden once told Milosevic to his face that, "I think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one."

In Biden Played Less Than Key Role in Bosnia Legislation, The Washington Post casts doubt on the story:
Milosevic is now dead and only a handful of people were in the room. Ted Kaufman, then Biden's chief of staff and now an aide in his vice presidential campaign, said the incident occurred exactly as Biden recounted it.

But John Ritch, then deputy chief of staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, does not remember such a blunt statement, but rather that Biden more gently made the case that Milosevic could be a war criminal. "The legend grows" regarding the meeting, Ritch said. "But Biden certainly introduced into the conversation the concept that Milosevic was a war criminal. Milosevic reacted with aplomb."

A third Biden aide in the room did not recall the confrontation and a fourth declined to comment.

Upon his return to the United States, Biden issued a 36-page report on the trip, laying out eight policy proposals, including airstrikes on Serb artillery and lifting the arms embargo. The report, largely written by Ritch, does not mention the war-criminal exchange in the two pages devoted to the Milosevic meeting. But the day after it was issued, Biden appeared on NBC's "Today" show and said he had called Milosevic a war criminal to his face. "This guy looked at me as if I said, 'Lots of luck in your senior year,' " Biden said.
Yet despite the report, and with all his bragging about being instrumental to the measures taken by the US, Biden only played a minor role in doing anything about the situation:
During last week's debate with his counterpart on the Republican ticket, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Biden twice gave himself credit for shifting U.S. policy on Bosnia. The senator from Delaware declared that he "was the catalyst to change the circumstance in Bosnia led by President Clinton." At another point he noted: "My recommendations on Bosnia -- I admit I was the first one to recommend it. They saved tens of thousands of lives."

But, despite the bravado, Biden was not a key player in the legislation that ultimately forced Bill Clinton to lift an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Bosnian Muslims fighting the Serbs, according to congressional officials involved in the issue and a review of Biden's speeches and voting record.

In his autobiography, "Promises to Keep," Biden says that the pivotal Senate vote came "nearly three years after I called for the plan" to unilaterally lift the embargo. But the charge actually was led by then-Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and Democratic Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), who has since become an independent.

...By the time Biden signed on to the Dole-Lieberman bill, two years after his encounter with Milosevic, he was listed only as the ninth co-sponsor.
That's the same kind of bravado we hear when Biden claims "I am a Zionist" or the Obama campaign claims "Obama Loves Israel".

When can't they just stick to kissing babies?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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