The essay spells out some refreshingly common sense facts about U.S. foreign policy that have been ignored by the Bush administration.
He starts off talking about how Bush's foreign policy has been a failure because of its obsessive focus on the so-called "war on terrorism."
At the heart of this failure is an obsession with the "war on terrorism" that ignores larger forces shaping the world: the emergence of China, India, Russia and Europe; the spread of lethal weapons and dangerous diseases; uncertain supplies of energy, food and water; the persistence of poverty; ethnic animosities and state failures; a rapidly warming planet; the challenge to nation states from above and below.
Instead, Mr. Bush has turned a small number of radical groups that hate America into a 10-foot tall existential monster that dictates every move we make.
Indeed, Republicans are practically frozen by fear over the prospect of "terrorism" such that they can't fathom any other concerns in the world.
And what's more, partisan bloggers such as Beldar fully believe that the only measure of success for Bush's foreign policy or for his entire presidency is whether or not we have another 9/11 terror attack.
But back to the real world and Sen. Biden's excellent essay...
The intersection of al Qaeda with the world's most lethal weapons is a deadly serious problem. Al Qaeda must be destroyed. But to compare terrorism with an all-encompassing ideology like communism and fascism is evidence of profound confusion.
That's putting it awfully nicely. How about profound ignorance? Or profound stupidity?
Terrorism is a means, not an end, and very different groups and countries are using it toward very different goals. Messrs. Bush and McCain lump together, as a single threat, extremist groups and states more at odds with each other than with us: Sunnis and Shiites, Persians and Arabs, Iraq and Iran, al Qaeda and Shiite militias. If they can't identify the enemy or describe the war we're fighting, it's difficult to see how we will win.
But they aren't interested in "winning". The neverending war is great for them! Have you checked the price of oil lately?
But it is not so great for the rest of us. Now let's listen as Sen. Biden addresses Bush's "legacy."
On George Bush's watch, Iran, not freedom, has been on the march: Iran is much closer to the bomb; its influence in Iraq is expanding; its terrorist proxy Hezbollah is ascendant in Lebanon and that country is on the brink of civil war.
Beyond Iran, al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 – are stronger now than at any time since 9/11. Radical recruitment is on the rise. Hamas controls Gaza and launches rockets at Israel every day. Some 140,000 American troops remain stuck in Iraq with no end in sight.
Because of the policies Mr. Bush has pursued and Mr. McCain would continue, the entire Middle East is more dangerous. The United States and our allies, including Israel, are less secure.
It's not just that the Republican policies aren't accomplishing what they said they would. It is that they are making things infinitely worse the longer they go on.
It is a great article and I would encourage everyone to read the whole thing. I certainly hope that President Obama will consider tapping Joe Biden to be our next Secretary of State.