Skip to comments.Gird your loins, folks, an international crisis looms (Biden gaffe)
Posted on 10/23/2008 1:01:44 PM PDT by jazusamo
No, it's "Joe the Senator" who should concern us. Our text today is what the ever-voluble vice presidential candidate said about Obama at a Seattle fundraiser last weekend. I quote at length to do Biden full justice:
"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. ... Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.
"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. ... And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you ... to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right. ... Gird your loins. We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. ...
"This guy has it. But he's gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh, my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?' We're gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I'm asking you now ... be prepared to stick with us. ... There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, 'Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision.' Because if you think the decision is sound when they're made ... they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound. ...
"I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here."
Biden's Seattle stylings raise loads of questions and one warning. The warning? Sarah Palin, don't try this at home. Or the office. Or at the back of the press bus. Or even when you're gutting a moose. Just hinting that Obama will be tested in any of several major foreign-policy crises and that even his own backers will find his response lacking, and you'll come to envy that disemboweled moose.
Now for some questions for Biden:
Just what were you talking about, Joe?
Would you elaborate on the crises Obama could confront? Details, please.
Why won't it be readily apparent that Obama has responded well to these tests? Details, please.
Not every incoming president faces a time of testing. President Kennedy did and failed to measure up until the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. But our enemies didn't "test" Dwight Eisenhower or George H.W. Bush. Indeed, they made peace offerings to Ronald Reagan (Iran's freeing of the 52 U.S. hostages on the day of his inauguration). Why would our enemies feel the need to test an Obama and not a John McCain?
Could it be that, as Biden said before joining the ticket, that Obama's not ready to be president --"the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training" -- and that McCain is?
Why are such musings appropriate at fundraisers and not campaign speeches or debates?
What is it about West Coast fundraisers that prompt the two of you guys to let fly with the family secrets? In San Francisco, we learned Obama believes that bitter small-town Pennsylvanians cling to God and guns. In Seattle, Biden warned that Obama will face an international crisis in the first months of an administration. Heaven knows what we would find out if Biden let 'er rip in Portland.
Don't voters deserve to know this before Election Day? Please reply with the candor you demonstrated in Seattle and San Francisco.
Yes, I'd like actual campaign reporters to ask such questions of Obama and Biden between now and Election Day. But this year, for the first time, I've given up on the prestige media to think it's their job to do so. I now depend on the likes of Joe the Plumber.
Return of the Global Test.
Biden, the gift that keeps on giving.
Gird your loins ? forget about girding your loins... B.O.A.K.Y.A.G.B.
The Oregonian? This was in the Oregonian? Damn. Pigs are a flyin’.
IMHO — It wasn’t a gaffe and should be treated as such
OBiden had just gotten the security briefing, and I bet he said to himself, crap, The naive One isn’t ready for that.
I seriously doubt Plugs remembers anything he says five minutes after he says it, he’s lame. :)
Reinhard is the Oregonians only Conservative voice and surprisingly he’s been there a good while.
You could be right, maybe he does have more than a few brain cells.
I think it is a serious mistake to dismiss what Biden said as a frivilous misjudgment.
Mark Biden’s words. He knows something and it scared the heck out of him.
Please, all FReepers, I ask you, go back and read again what Biden said.
Scroll down to find the article, quoting Biden word-for-word.
Read this, keeping in mind what Joe Biden believes to be serious threat, simply because of Obamas inexperience.
God save us —help McCain/Palin to be victorious!
Biden said essentially the same thing twice at two separate fundraisers. It was not a gaffe, or a stream of consciousness run on, it is something concrete.
“Not every incoming president faces a time of testing. President Kennedy did and failed to measure up until the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. But our enemies didn’t “test” Dwight Eisenhower or George H.W. Bush. Indeed, they made peace offerings to Ronald Reagan (Iran’s freeing of the 52 U.S. hostages on the day of his inauguration). Why would our enemies feel the need to test an Obama and not a John McCain?”
We are still living with JFKs first test and failure as president, his failure of leadership with the Bay of Pigs.
That failure, encouraged the USSR to fill Cuba with missiles armed with nuclear weapons, aimed at American cities for the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion: John F. Kennedy
By Thomas J. Craughwell with M. William Phelps
Failures Of The Presidents; From The Whiskey Rebellion And War Of 1812 To The Bay Of Pigs And War In Iraq
Published by Fair Winds; September 2008;$19.95US/$21.95CAN; 978-1-59233-299-1
A TOTAL FAILURE. Many of the men of Brigade 2506 believed fervently that they were the first wave of Cuban freedom fighters who would liberate their homeland from Castro. They were convinced as they storrned ashore that they would be supported overhead by some of the finest fighter pilots of the U.S. Air Force, and they thought that as they advanced into Cuba, the U.S. Marines would be right behind them. Whether the insurgents had talked themselves into this conviction or the trainers from the United States had made such a promise is still a subject of debate.
The air support promised by the CIA consisted of sixteen B-26 twin-engine light attack bombers. From an airstrip in Nicaragua to the Bay of Pigs was a journey of 1,000 miles, round-trip, which left a B-26 with enough fuel to provide less than forty minutes of air cover for the Brigade. Anything longer than forty minutes and the pilots risked running out of gas somewhere over the Caribbean.
On April 14, 1961, just three days from the invasion, Kennedy called CIA Operations Chief Bissell to ask how many planes he planned to use in the operation. Bissell told the president the CIA planned to use all sixteen of their B-26s. Well I dont want it on that scale, Kennedy replied. I want it minimal. So Bissell cut the number of planes for the invasion to eight. The next day, those eight planes attacked the three airfields of the Cuban air force, knocking out some of the aircraft, but not enough to cripple the fleet.
On the morning of April 17, as the Cuban militia pinned down the men of Brigade 2506, the Cuban planes that had survived the air strikes attacked the exiles from the air. Meanwhile, the B-26s, their fuel low and their forty minutes up, veered away from the beach for the flight home. The Brigades commander, San Román, radioed his CIA handlers for help. We are under attack by two Sea Fury aircraft and heavy artillery, he reported. Do not see any friendly air cover as you promised. Need jet support immediately. When San Romans request was denied, he replied, You, sir, are a son of a bitch.
With the sea at their backs, no means of retreat, and no chance of advancing into the interior of Cuba, the Brigade was in a desperate position. Back in Washington, the CIA and the Kennedy administration concluded that the invasion would fail. In a conversation with his brother, Robert Kennedy, the president said he wished he had permitted the use of U.S. ships to back up the Cuban exiles. Id rather be an aggressor, he said, than a bum.
On April 18, Kennedy authorized six fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Essex to provide one hour of air cover for the CIAs attacking B-26s over the beach at the Bay of Pigs. But the jets from the Essex and the B-26s missed their rendezvous because the Pentagon forgot to factor in the one-hour difference in time zones between the B-26s base in Nicaragua and the beach in Cuba.
That same day, Kennedys national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, gave the president a status report on the invasion. The Cuban armed forces are stronger, the popular response [is] weaker, and our tactical position is feebler than we had hoped, Bundy said. That was perhaps the kindest possible description of the Bay of Pigs operation.
As a humanitarian concession, the president permitted U.S. destroyers to approach the Cuban coast to pick up survivors. The ships were authorized to get within two miles of shore after dark, but no closer than five miles during daylight hours. The directive meant the rescue mission was beyond the reach of almost every man in Brigade 2506. A handful who had managed to swim to one or another of the bays outlying cays were picked up, but the rest lay dead on the beach or were captured by Castros forces.
At 2 p.m. on April 19, after two days of being pounded by militia, tanks, and the Cuban air force, Commander San Román and Brigade 2506 surrendered. Everything is lost, Allen Dulles told former vice president Richard Nixon. The Cuban invasion is a total failure.
Sixty-eight Cuban exiles were killed in the Bay of Pigs debacle; 1,209 were captured, and nine of them died of asphyxiation in a windowless sealed truck that took them from the beach to prison in Havana. After twenty days of interrogation, the prisoners were given show trials and sentenced to life in prison.
Soon after the conviction of the men of Brigade 2506, Castro made a public offer to exchange the prisoners for farm machinery. Kennedy leapt at the proposal. Immediately he formed the Tractors for Freedom Committee, chaired by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, with the purpose of collecting donations to purchase farm equipment for Cuba. But the group was not able to meet Castros exorbitant demand of $30 million worth of capital relief, and it disbanded. The tractor deal fell through.
Negotiations between the two governments went on sporadically over the next twenty months. Finally, on December 24,1962, Castro announced that he was releasing the Brigade 2506 prisoners in exchange for $53 million in medicine and food from the United States. He also promised, as a Christmas bonus, to permit 1,000 of the prisoners relatives to emigrate to the United States.
The animosity between Cuba and the United States intensified after the Bay of Pigs debacle. Cuba allied itself with the Soviet Union, while America continued its policy of isolating Cuba economically and diplomatically. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev viewed Americas failure at the Bay of Pigs as a sign of Kennedys weakness and inexperience, an assessment he felt was confmned after meeting Kennedy at the Vienna Summit of April 1962, where it appeared to some that Kennedy was sandbagged by Khrushchevs threat to cut off West Berlin from the Western powers. Within six months, Khrushchev was placing nuclear missiles in Cuba, an action that brought the world as close as it has ever come to all-out nuclear war.
In the face of the missile crisis, Kennedy held firm. The Soviets backed down, removing the nuclear weapons from Cuba, but the tension between Cuba and the United States has dragged on for more than forty years. During that time, political observers and historians have argued that the failed invasion actually strengthened Castros grip on Cuba. Certainly Che Guevara thought so. In August 1961, at a meeting of the Organization of American States in Uruguay, he sent a note to Kennedy saying, Thanks for Playa Giron [another name for the site of the invasion]. Before the invasion, the revolution was weak. Now it is stronger than ever.
Thanks for linking that. You’re probably right in saying it’s not a gaffe but I’ll never believe BO has “got it.” BO is not prepared to handle anything militarily or diplomatically, IMO. I believe he’d be a pushover for any foreign leader that would challenge us and even though Biden brags of all his experience he’s been on the wrong side of everything for years. They’re both really scary.
Thanks for posting that, Dave, it’s been years since I’ve read about it and that is a good summation.
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