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August 30, 2008

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If you haven’t already, definitely check out Josh Marshall’s recently [re?]posted interview with Joe Biden from summer ‘04. Fascinating. A snippet, from when Biden describes meeting Qaddafi shortly after the announcement of the dismantlement deal:

I said, “Yeah, why, why the change of heart?” And he says, “The real question is” — through an interpreter — “The real question is, why did we get off this way, why did you sanction me in the first place?”

I looked at him and said, “That’s easy. You’re a terrorist.” I didn’t mince, I said, “You are a terrorist.” I said, you know I leaned to him and said, “You’ve engaged in supporting terrorists. Matter of fact, you blew up 35 of the kids who went to my alma mater along with another hundred or so people. You’re a terrorist, that’s why.”

He sits there and he goes like this, he goes, “That’s logical.” (laughs) I mean the guy was great! And I said, “So, Okay. Tell me why.” And he went, Well — I’m paraphrasing — “Nuclear weapons didn’t help you very much in Vietnam, they didn’t help you in Iraq and if I ever used them you’d blow me away.”

Posted August 30, 2008 at 10:58 | Comments (2) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Snarkpolicy


Is this the right link?

Posted by: Mary Carter on August 31, 2008 at 09:28 AM

Another excerpt caught my attention and deserves attention. On the neo-conservatives and how their worldview prevented them from choosing the right priorities:

B: ...But I am arguing that all the resources -- the intellectual, political, and military resources -- were focused on, except to keep everything else just bouncing along, on national missile defense. After 9/12, all the focus went -- whoosh, Iraq. So What did we lose with that?

M: Which was part of the connection in their mind to missile defense in the first place.

B: Bingo, bingo, bingo, bingo. You got it. Hire this guy, we can't pay him enough. Seriously, no joke. Think about it. How many of your colleagues or anyone else got that connection? They don't talk about it. In my view, You're dead-on right.

One of the most striking things about this interview is how often Biden praises the neo-cons as smart people who really want the best for their nation, but are hobbled by being wrong: by paying too much attention to nation-states instead of international terrorist organization; by thinking its easy to spread democracy.

Biden's hawkishness gives me pause occasionally. But at least he comes across as a hawk with reasonable priorities, and the ability to respect his opponents.

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