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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Missing Joe Biden: Iran-Pakistan edition

South Carolina is hosting a Democratic primary today and even though John Edwards has been creeping up on Hillary Clinton in some recent polls, the media mostly frames the contest as a two horse race.

Meanwhile, I've been recalling a few of the campaign highlights from candidates already out of the running.

For example, consider this cogent point made by Senator Joe Biden in the October 30 presidential candidate forum at Drexel in Philadelphia. He was questioned by NBC's Tim Russert, who was trying to get the candidate to make one of those stupid issue pledges:
Russert: Senator Biden, would you pledge to the American people that Iran would not build a nuclear bomb on your watch?

Biden: I would pledge to keep us safe. If you told me, Tim -- and this is not -- this is complicated stuff; we talk about this in isolation. The fact of the matter is, the Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium.

But the Pakistanis have hundreds -- thousands of kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. If by attacking Iran to stop them from getting 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium, the government in Pakistan falls, who has missiles already deployed with nuclear weapons on them that can already reach Israel, already reach India, then that's a bad bargain.

Biden: Presidents make wise decisions informed not by a vacuum in which they operate, by the situation they find themselves in the world.

I will do all in my power to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but I will never take my eye off the ball. What is the greatest threat to the United States of America: 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Tehran or an out-of-control Pakistan? It's not close.
Now there's a guy who knew what he was talking about -- at least on this question.

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