First, he was for it, then he was against it, then later claimed he was always against it and tried to excuse his former affirmative stance, and recently sent in American forces to bomb its neighbor. President Joe Biden has willingly opened himself up to the rightful scrutiny he deserves over his actions. His history throughout the 21st century has shown him to be a person who is incredibly conflicted when it comes to many things. He should stop pointing fingers at others when he feels perfectly comfortable with his lack of either honesty or self-awareness.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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Remember, he did vote to authorize force to invade Iraq in October of 2002. We can all look at that time through rose-colored glasses and say everyone had been duped by evil mastermind former Vice President Dick Cheney, but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders kind of blew that one up in the early stages of the 2016 presidential election. To put it simply, he had the credentials to back up the fact that he knew it was wrong and voted his conscience. After this many politicians running for state and federal elections during that vote started putting a million different spins as to why they voted the way they did. As recently as the summer of 2019, Biden was telling reporters that despite voting to authorize military force against Iraq in 2002, he opposed the Iraq war from "the beginning." It wasn't until fact-checking began making the rounds on social media and it was found that on the day the war broke out Biden acknowledged, “We voted to give him the authority to wage that war. We should step back and be supportive.” The Democratic Senator had to fess up. He knew that lying about it, especially given he was trying to be the more "moral" choice when compared to Donald Trump, would hurt his election chances.
By the time the Second Presidential Debate occurred on July 31, 2019, that he had to fess up to his mistakes. He said his “bad judgment” in voting to authorize President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq in 2002 was “trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in.”
We have all made mistakes and I understand that there needs to be a level of forgiveness. The problem I have is that given the fact at the time of the vote to authorize force, Biden was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This means he had access to evidence nobody else may have had, outside of the president and his cabinet. He was at the forefront of the debate about what course to pursue with Iraq.
And that's what makes the elements of this recent airstrike so chilling. Biden did it without congressional approval and under the guise of pre-emptive striking. “The United States took this action pursuant to the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter,” Biden wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President pro tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy. The airstrikes were against facilities in eastern Syria that the Pentagon says are used by Iranian-backed militia. The Biden apologists have come out in droves, claiming that the President was responding to a February 15th attack in which rockets hit Erbil International Airport, which hosts a coalition military base, in northern Iraq. The attack killed a civilian contractor with the U.S.-led military coalition and injured several others, including an American service member. I fully agree that if Americans are killed by a foreign adversary, some kind of action needs to take place. But it's Biden's wording that is so concerning.
He was fooled, played by Cheney and everyone else who knew what was going on with Iraq. He was duped by tiny details, specific kinds of wordings. He even tried to use this as an excuse when it came to his 2002 vote. “There’s a lot of us who voted for giving the president the authority to take down Saddam Hussein if he didn’t disarm." He said on CNN. Claiming that was all he voted for, to get the inspectors in. In another interview, he said, "He [former President George W. Bush] looked me in the eye in the Oval Office; he said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program. He got them in, and before we know it, we had a shock and awe." President Biden knows that in the world of legality, the verbiage is everything.
As previously mentioned, one of the issues that stem from the Syria attack is the fact that he did all of it without congressional approval. This was met with swift backlash. California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna came out almost immediately and said, "There is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization."
Because of these statements, it forced Biden to use the reasoning mentioned above that was sent to the Speaker of the House Pelosi. He's been in this game long enough to know that optics are a massive part of politics. This is why he got in front of it when it came to potential fallout from his indiscretion. But with both the House and Senate under Democratic control, I don't think there's going to be any real punishments above public acknowledgment.
To play Devil's Advocate, maybe this is why Biden did what he did, perhaps he knows he can pretty much do anything during his presidency without fear of retribution? Maybe, maybe not. But over the next two years, while the Democrats have control, it's going to be interesting to see what exactly may happen to the Commander-In-Chief, if anything at all.
Watching all of this transpire I have heard a lot on conservative talk radio throwing "whataboutism" around trying to compare what they feel Biden did and how if Trump would have done the same thing they would have tried to get him out of office. For you I say that I am sorry, it isn't going to happen. Keep in mind that there were many delightful side-effects that ex-President Trump and the Republican Senate didn't anticipate could come from them dodging the impeachment realities when acquitting. Because of their legal precedents set, a President of the United States can no longer be found guilty both during AND after their term. Way to think ahead boys!
I find it interesting that every liberal was convinced that Trump was not only going to cause a war but one of the nuclear proportions that would end humanity. I've seen those same people be OK with Biden's move because he's an "adult."
Death is death.
War is war.
Serial killer, Richard Ramirez put it best when he said, "Killing is killing whether done for duty, profit, or fun." We can argue the morality of killing terrorists, our enemies, and others who would destroy our way of life, but not at the cost of vaguery and half-truths. Because of all the changes we have seen over the last decade with constitution interpretation, what "rights" really mean to each political party, and how there is no accountability for the upper-class, I wonder just how much this new restriction-free era of presidents will embolden Biden—or really any other person that holds office for that matter. This could just be the first domino.
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