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October 21, 2008
Joe Biden's Dated Notion of Crisis
Last Sunday, when Joe Biden predicted that a President Obama would soon be tested by one of our enemies he displayed dated crisis management notions.
Here's what Joe said,
After sounding the alarm, macho Joe sought to assure the audience saying,
This would be like going to a clinic and having your physician say, "Look, you're in pretty decent health now, but shortly you'll come down with one of several serious illnesses. Don't know which one, since there's a whole host to chose from. But don't worry. Our Chief of Staff here is a brilliant first-year medical student. He's got all the right stuff. But to be honest, let me warn you; you'll likely feel worse from his treatment. You'll just have to trust us. I'll be there watching." (This is when you ask to use the washroom and leave the building.)
This is the same Joe Biden, the geo-political surgeon, who recommended slicing Iraq into three parts.
Biden predicts "a generated crisis" (as in singular) on the model of the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Khrushchev perceived Kennedy as weak and sought to take advantage of him.
The perception of weak leadership has, throughout history, often preceded the initiative of aggressors. Biden admitted that our enemies will perceive Obama as weak.
He also displayed an outdated perception of international aggression and crisis management. He should know better, since he's "forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know."
Biden knows that (1) several of our, let's call them potential scenario initiators, talk among themselves: for example, Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad. And, that (2) each has displayed the ability to leverage surrogate potential scenario initiators to further their aggression: Putin - Georgia's South Ossetian separatists; Chavez - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); and Ahmadinejad - Hamas & Hezbollah.
If you were they, wouldn't you coordinate several near simultaneous crises to wreak maximum disorder on a fledgling Obama administration?
Here how that could play out: We wake up one month and FARC has taken over the American Embassy in Caracas. Putin has troops massed on the Russian border with the Ukraine, or perhaps one or more of the Baltic States, threatening invasion for some trumped-up reason. Hamas and Hezbollah have launched heavy missile attacks against Israel. Unidentified persons have blown up the American Embassy in Cairo. And, for good measure, North Korean commandos have ambushed and killed a small patrol of U.S. soldiers along the DMZ, on the South Korean side.
That's five potential scenario initiations in quick succession, and doesn't include the wild card of terrorist attacks in the U.S. (NYPost columnist and former Army Colonel Ralph Peters offers a longer list of potential flash points here.)
Now what, Joe?
Since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the bad actors of the globe have networked. But Joe still seems to await a unidirectional crisis. This is narrow gauge thinking on his part. (Of course, he can always take one crisis and divide it into several parts.)