Top 7 Ways Bin Laden Underestimated Joe Biden

Captured documents from Usamah Bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout show that the terrorist leader urged an associate to attempt to assassinate President Barack Obama so that Vice President Joe Biden would come to power. “Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make (Vice President Joe) Biden take over the presidency. Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.”

Bin Laden’s letter underscores how dangerous al-Qaeda feels President Barack Obama is. Despite Ayman al-Zawahiri’s racist attack on Obama as a “house Negro,” and the ways in which Obama’s American adversaries underestimated him, it is clear that he is perhaps the most formidable leader the US could have had in the effort to polish off al-Qaeda and to improve American standing in the world. (Favorability ratings for the US in world opinion polling improved dramatically on his election).

But Bin Laden, like many observers, woefully underestimated Joe Biden.

7. Biden, when elected to the Senate in 1972, was the 6th-youngest person ever to achieve that position. He ran, with virtually no money, against a long-time Republican incumbent, campaigning on the environment, getting out of Vietnam, and civil rights, and won an upset victory through sheer doggedness and a face to face statewide campaign.

6. Biden faced a tough emotional battle soon after his first senate victory when his wife and bady daughter were killed in an automobile accident. He overcame this horrible tragedy to rebuild his life.

5. Biden proved enormously popular as a senator in Delaware, winning another 6 elections handily, and becoming the state’s longest-serving senator in history.

4. Biden as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee spearheaded the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994, which provided billions to stop domestic abuse and which he considers his major legislative achievement. Let us just say that al-Qaeda doesn’t share Biden’s values.

3. Biden was ranking minority member or chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He was a major voice for intervention in the Balkan War to stop Croat and Serb massacres of Bosnian Muslims, and called for lifting the then arms embargo and for arming the Bosnians. It was Biden, not Bin Laden, who did most to save Balkan Muslims.

2. Biden was a hawk on air intervention to stop the neo-fascist Slobodan Milosevic from massacring Kosovo Muslims. Again, it was Biden and the Clinton administration, not Bin Laden, who deserve the gratitude of Muslims for this intervention.


23 Responses

  1. We’re praising the pro-Hosni “Is not a dictator” Mubarak and pro-Iraq occupation warmonger Biden, now?

  2. Biden supports selling out Taiwan to China. There are rumors to the effect that if they win a second term, Obama plans to give him more East Asian assignments. This disqualifies them both in my book.

    • “Selling out Taiwan to China.” Hmm.

      One wonders if the indigenous people of “Taiwan” have anything to say on the subject, as opposed to the “friendly” successors of the Kuomintang who, following long tradition, stole most of “China’s” portable art treasures (now housed in the National Museum in Taipei), glommed all the wealth of the island by invading in force, declaring martial law, “nationalizing” (where have we heard that before, again) 90% of everything, and bleeding it for all their miserable rapacious hearts were worth? link to (My grandmother claimed to have known Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and thought the world of her. We disagreed.)

      And now, as happens, after a few generations the Goths and Visigoths have become “respectable,” and are to be “protected” for what reason, again?

      Biden is no Prometheus, and that look on his face (zoom, above) tells most of what’s needed. One wonders if he, or any of them, know a strategic way to effectuating what good might come from internalizing and acting on two little notions:

      1. Like it or not, we humans are all in this together, for better or worse, sickness and health, until we are parted by death, and

      2. There’s more than enough of everything that matters to go all the way around the table, if we can just keep the pigs in suits from eating everything but the last chop and the last cookie and then suckering the rest of us into fighting over the remaining scraps.

      “Taiwan” sure looks like a retro-reactionary hot button notion to me, but then I’m just a little old unhappy fella…

  3. Juan, you are a insightful man, often presenting nuanced views of situations and people. But on Biden and Obama you have in missed it entirely. Obama is very smart, Biden is very stupid. Not in the traditional view of stupidity: regularly expressing a statement that is just plain uninformed. But in the way that his view is just guaranteed to be totally invalid in terms of the reality of the situation on which he comments. Which probably is a result of being smart at one time, but gradually destroying his smartness big by bit by being willing to defend the nonsense of 99% of the American foreign policy decisions in the over thirty plus years he spent in the Senate.

    Ben Laden is absolutely insightful. If Biden was even allowed to be president, we as a county would soon be in far deeper trouble than we are now.

  4. Great post, Prof. Cole. I think the Dem ticket in 2008 should have been Biden/Obama, instead of the other way around. Despite the occasional gaffe, Biden is much more sober, gutsy and less willing to lick the boots of those who hate you, than Obama. Maybe Obama could have grown and matured by 2016 to take over from Biden!

  5. Three things became evident to me in reading the material that came from the bin Laden compound.

    First, bin Laden and his immediate associates were woefully uninformed about people in the American executive, as evidenced by the comment about Joe Biden. They also did not understand much about the US for when a president is assassinated or the target of an attempt, even people who dislike the president rally in support. I lived through this three times, JFK, Reagan and Ford (who was shot at twice), and saw how the nation reacted. It was the same mistake Japan made about America when it attacked Pearl Harbor.

    Second, they had no intelligence or information at all about Biden’s depth of experience and knowledge. This is rather surprising given how much info is available on-line. Much of what you included in your post is available at The White House website, the rest is at Wikipedia.

    Finally, bin Laden did understand – long before much of this country did – that Pres. Obama had a deep wellspring of courage and strength when it comes to truly protecting the country he leads – as opposed to the chicken hawk courage of his predecessor and the war party on Capitol Hill.

  6. Those who developed this story somehow forgot that for the last several years OBL lived near the major Pakistani military base together with his family. Of course, he was not in a position to do anything serious, basically, he was retired.

    In fact, most of what we hear about Al-Queda is their prevented plots. This is quite an industry now.

    • “Those who developed this story” had access to a trove of classified documents about bin Laden and his actions which you have never seen, and seem to disagree with you.

      “In fact, most of what we hear about Al-Queda is their prevented plots.”

      Indeed. Elections have consequences.

  7. Joe Biden

    On Iraq….

    ‘In 2002, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he stated that Saddam Hussein was “a long term threat and a short term threat to our national security” and that United States has “no choice but to eliminate the threat”.[46] He also said, “I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power.”‘

    Oh and he supported the invasion.

    link to

    On Israel….

    ‘In a March 2007 interview, Biden was asked about the failure to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Biden stated that “Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes. But the notion that somehow if Israel just did the right thing, [the peace process] would work … give me a break.” He also stated that “The responsibility rests on those who will not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, will not play fair, will not deal, will not renounce terror.”[64]’

    link to

    Enough said about him.

  8. Thanks, Juan. Your insightful analysis is always a pleasure to read. I trust historians–not politicians. As George Santayana observed, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

  9. Correction. George Santayana actually said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  10. Is this the same Joe Biden who helped push through bills that allowed credit card companies to charge usurious rate, to make it more difficult to file for bankruptcy, and to abolish Glass-Steagall?

  11. Whether we like or dislike Joe Biden, most of us should be able to agree that he is a skilled and well-connected politician. In this latter regard, consider how he could only scrape up 3 or 4 percent of likely Democratic voters in the 2008 presidential polls, but the oligarchs running the party assigned him to be Obama’s VP along with Wall Street’s operators to run the economy and the treasury.

    There is, however, a caveat to low poll numbers in 2008. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel were the only honest politicians on the presidential ticket and they also only polled in the low single digits.

  12. It drives me nuts when the MSM often take shots at Biden. As if he is some type of idiot. The man knows more about US foreign policy than most is so smooth with blue collar workers. I just think it is easy and a lazy stupid habit when the MSM hits Biden below the belt at every turn.

    When then Senator Biden was hammering on John Bolton during his UN nomination hearings for being part of the group that would not release the NSA intercepts that allegedly had to do with Bolton and team alleged wiretaping of Colin Powels negotations with Iran and other countries. Biden brought this up again at the Bolton nomination hearing I thought Senators Kennedy, Kerry, Lincoln Chaffee, Boxer, even Voinovich looked like they were going to jump over some Senate tables and kick Boltons smug and arrogant ass.

    Sydney Blumenthal wrote about this alleged wiretaping of Powell by Bolton in his article “Generals Revenge” at Salon. Unable to link. Must read article

    • “The man knows more about US foreign policy than most…”

      Unfortunately, knowing a lot doesn’t necessarily lead to the right conclusion. Biden, after all, was one of the leading Democratic cheerleaders for the illegal and immoral war on Iraq.

      “When then Senator Biden was hammering on John Bolton during his UN nomination hearings…”

      Too bad he didn’t hammer more on Clarence Thomas during his hearings.

  13. I think Biden should be replaced on the ticket with retiring senator James Webb. Webb was a cold warrior, but his articles in recent years show an economic populism that one doesn’t expect of a former military officer. More importantly, I felt in 2008 that Webb needed a special role in being, basically, Obama’s ambassador to America’s rednecks. I figured there would be ill feelings among that group about a black president but it’s been worse than I imagined. The Mid-South now seems more pro-Confederate and pro-secession than the Deep South. Webb understood the culture and issues there, and he had become more of an economic progressive at a time when folks in the south desperately need to learn how they’re being screwed by neo-Victorian laissez faire.

    No, he’s not a progressive on gender and sexual preference issues, but he would have followed orders on DADT.

  14. ‘In the video, al-Zawahiri … speaks in Arabic of “abid al-bayt,” “the house slave,” and does not use the word “Negro” (which the al-Sahab translators are rendering “zinji.”) The connotations and implications are much the same, but it is not exact to say that al-Zawahiri used the phrase “house Negro” himself.’
    link to

  15. “Those who forget history” and “Those who cannot remember the past” in the context appear to mean the same thing. Semantics!

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