In reading the NY Times this morning where it states that Vice President-Elect, Joe Biden will act as councilor instead of having a high profile within the Obama administration, I am furious to say the least.
This is where I must speak out and question the incoming administration for not using this experienced leader in a more purposeful way. When one thinks of foreign-policy experience, the name Biden comes to mind given the many decades he has served in the senate and just recently the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Everyone laughed or questioned him when he said that the new president would be tested within months and it turns out that he was right as one looks the current military exercises being held just off the coast of Venezuela in partnership with Russia.
The NY Times had this to say of any testing of Obama, “Mr. Obama was not unduly angry at Mr. Biden for his gaffe predicting that Mr. Obama would be tested by a world crisis in his first six months in office.” Well it turns out, it is not a gaffe, but a reality. This testing is now taking place even before Obama is sworn into office.
In reading of these exercises, one must say…As if we needed this at this moment in time as the economic world is in a free-fall. We do not need two eight-hundred pound gorillas (Russia and Venezuela) in the room, but now we have it.
David Axelrod had this to say of our new Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, “I’m sure that there will be discrete assignments over time,” My reaction to Axelrod is to use Biden right out in the open and show him the respect he rightfully deserves.
Biden brought to this ticket the foreign-policy bona fides and not to use him, is something that President-elect Barack Obama must answer to.
Again, referring to the NY Times article, they cite, "With Mr. Obama having settled on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, Mr. Biden, whose most recent Senate post was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has privately told people that he recognizes he will not be the point man on foreign policy." I am sorry, folks, Vice President-elect Joe Biden has more of a hands-on experience when it comes to dealing with world leaders than Senator Clinton. Yet, why is he being pushed aside?
In a May 2007 Reuters article, this is what Biden opined of Russia and his criticisms towards the Bush administration, “The most worrisome development of the last five or six years is the about-face in democracy in Russia ... Because of the need to keep Russia silent on the blunders of Iraq and our actions, they (the Bush administration) essentially turned the other way on what was essentially, the authoritarian bent of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin."
In the past, I have written of Russia’s Topol-M missiles where I wrote, “In an eye-opening piece, Fraser Nelson who writes for the Spectator wrote in his column, The Cold War is back of Russia’s Topol-M missile, “The missile tested last week takes off so fast that no missile defense system could detect it in time. The new variant of the Topol-M missile will have multiple warheads, which splinter so they cannot be shot out of the sky. America’s floundering missile defense system cannot hope to offer protection. Washington struggles to keep up: two months ago, another interceptor missile fired off Alaska fell into the Pacific having failed to recognize, far less hit, its target. America is losing the ballistic missile game.” He wrote this article last year and I have written of it in the past. Just how can we compete with a missile system like the one Russia has in its arsenal?”
If you are questioning my opinion citing that Biden was right, one only has to read an article that appeared on Politico.com today as reported by Ben Smith where he stated that Russia will pose a challenge to Obama. In his article he cited, “Strobe Talbott, who was President Clinton's top Russia adviser. "The Obama administration is going to have to do something that the Bush administration avoided doing for years — and that is treating Russia as a first-class strategic challenge."
While I have written supportive pieces in the past concerning Venezuela, this one piece reported by the SF Gate back in September is of grave concern considering Russia’s new Cold War status. In their article, they cite, “President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy — a move likely to raise U.S. concerns over increasingly close cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.” I am sorry, I do not trust this partnership.
In a speech that Biden gave titled, Biden Remarks to Manatt-Phelps Lecture Series: Rethinking America's Security back in November of 2006, Biden opined this of Venezuela, “Hugo Chavez has described Venezuela’s oil as a “geopolitical weapon.” It makes him believe he can displace Castro as the prime antagonist and anti-American troublemaker in the region. Last month, he stood before the United Nations, and called our President the devil and our country an empire bent on destroying the human species, yet we’re still Venezuela’s number one oil customer.” Say what you will of Bush and Chavez calling him the “devil”, but for Chavez to call their oil reserves as a weapon does concern me.
While I realize this piece will not go over well with progressives, as an American who does crave security in this insecure world, I am calling upon President-Elect Barack Obama to up Vice President-Elect Joe Biden’s portfolio. Biden was correct and this partnership between Russia and Venezuela proves it. These two nations holding military exercises in close proximity to the United States is unsettling to say the least. As if we needed this added strain right now.
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