Sunday, January 07, 2007

Senator Joe Biden (D) and the upcoming Senate hearings on Iraq

It is not a secret that I have been positive on Senator Joe Biden for several years now. He did not let me down in his morning appearance on Meet the Press today. The Senator has repeatedly given this President sound advice over the past 3 years about the war in Iraq. The President has ignored his advice and the advice of many others more partisan than this Senator. But in the coming weeks, Senator Biden will be front and center in the news as he holds hearings on Iraq as the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Biden also has his eye on the Presidency and is forming the necessary committees to allow for contributions and other fund raising activities. But these hearings will determine what the Senator is made of. Will he allow his Ego and arrogance at times to surface, as he has in the past, or will he be statelier and speak common sense to the American people and begin the rallying process around him. I for one really hope he makes good sense and begins to rally people around to his ideas for Iraq. The Senator is a brilliant Constitutional Lawyer, has a firm grasp on the realities in Iraq, has proposed several strategies for defusing the problems in Iraq and keep the country together in a loose Federal republic. He sees each area, Sunnis, Shiites and Turks, all managing their own local governments and sharing in Oil Revenue with a weak central government. This could work if we engaged the other neighbors in the area, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Iran and Syria. It could work if we also, as Brent Scowcroft said today on ABC's This Week, put a full course press in the diplomatic arena to help Israel and the Palestinians with a lasting peace, a two State solution.

The President steps up to the microphones and declares his strategy on Wednesday. Most believe he will ask for a surge of troops to secure Baghdad. Senator Biden starts his hearings on Thursday with his first Administration office holder, Condi Rice, being questioned about the Presidents strategy. It should make at least good TV, as the previous Republican controlled Senate did no oversight. Senator Biden hopefully will educate us all on what form oversight should take in a true democracy. He will probe the Secretary of State on what she is or isn't doing to step up peace efforts for the Palestinian & Israeli people. We will see what has not been so obvious, that this President is not a parallel thinker or great strategist, nor is his Cabinet, and that is what we need right now. We need leaders who can chew gum, talk and work at the same time on multiple issues that, at their very core, are interrelated! Condi Rice is smart enough to do this but she needs her leash to be un-tethered by this President and Vice President. She too could add significant thought to this debate if she were free to do so. But I doubt she will be allowed as her predecessor, Colin Powell, had his wings clipped too.

The whole world will be watching and Senator Biden's career, as a serious Presidential contender, holds in the balance. Good luck Senator. The country needs you to be successful in the outcome of these hearings.

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