photo credit: BlatantNews.com
Once upon a time there was a young president who had campaigned on a platform of using the military more conservatively than his predecessor (who happened to be in the other party). During the campaign he had chosen a more experienced man as his running mate in an effort to soothe those voters who might be uncomfortable with his youth an lack of extensive experience.
Once in office an opportunity for military action presented itself and his vice president was among those who were keen to take the opportunity. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, the president heeded the advice of his hawkish vice president and took the necessary steps to expand his use of the military contrary to his campaign rhetoric.
Of course I am talking about George Bush here and his vice president, Dick Cheney. The trick is that the first paragraph applies word for word to Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden.
Now President Obama is faced with decisions about whether to escalate the war effort in Afghanistan and his vice president is naturally in on the discussions offering advice. Unlike Dick Cheney, Joe Biden is less eager to increase the use of military than some of the president’s other advisors.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. slipped into a chair, shook off his jet lag and reflected on what he had seen. The situation in Iraq, he said, was much improved. In Pakistan, he said he saw encouraging signs.
Then he came to Afghanistan and shook his head.
“It has deteriorated significantly,” he said. “It’s going to be a very heavy lift.”
He has been since the beginning. Over time the number of people within the administration agreeing with Biden has grown but the voices in favor of war have not abated. Despite the fact that Biden is only half right (he want’s to maintain our current level of involvement in Afghanistan when we should be working on an actual draw-down) let’s hope that President Obama will do as his predecessor and listen to his vice president, or I could say let’s hope that President Obama is smarter than his predecessor and heeds the calls for less war over the calls for more.
P.S. An hour after this was first written the New York Times Political blog posted a roundup of the latest buzz on this subject including a Huffington Post article calling for Biden to resign in protest if Obama does not listen to him on Afghanistan.