Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinks Vice President Biden is a decent guy but a bit loopy. In his new book, Duty, Gates writes on Biden that:
...he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.The interventionist foreign policy establishment collectively gasped that one of their own could be criticized -- how could it possibly be wrong to want so badly to project American power worldwide? We are the indispensable nation, after all.
But is it possible that Gates was actually being too kind in his assessment of Biden? Exhibit one for the prosecution comes by way of Philip Weiss over at Mondoweiss. Weiss notices that Biden's speech today at the funeral of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is a tad...well...effusive. As in Mt. Vesuvius effusive.
Joe Biden’s too-long speech at the funeral of Ariel Sharon was amazingly over the top.Perhaps it was just being polite at such an occasion, but Biden presented the Sharon of the Sabra and Shatila massacre as a towering Old Testament hero with a conscience as white as the snow...
He said Sharon showed incredible physical and political courage, to protect Israel as 'the ultimate refuge for Jews wherever they are in the world.' And Biden couldn’t stop about the Jews in the U.S. who are grieving Sharon, and the international Jewish people: 'His North Star was the survival of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, wherever they resided.'
Ladies and gentlemen, the Book of Genesis says, “Arise and walk the length and breadth of the land.” Arik Sharon did just that. He tilled it as a farmer. He fought for it as a soldier. He knew every hilltop and valley — every inch of the land. As I said, he loved his maps. He used to come to the meetings with maps of the land rolled up under each arm. They were always maps.Ah yes, those maps...
And it goes further downhill from there. Perhaps Biden's speechwriters were hitting the Fendant de Sion a bit too heavily when drafting his lugubrious lament, but here goes Biden working himself up to full form -- and full foam -- about his great friend, Arik:
I’m reminded — my mother’s blessed memory, I’m reminded of — if you’ll forgive me — an Irish poet, an Irish writer. I’m sure Prime Minister Blair will forgive me. That Irish writer was James Joyce. And he said, “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.” I am absolutely sure the land of Israel, the Negev is etched in Arik Sharon’s soul as it was written on Joyce’s heart.This is the stuff of drunken pub "I love you, man" sessions...
Biden's love letter to Arik ended over the top in what was already an over the top speech:
"May the bond between Israel and the United States never, ever be broken."
Aha! He forgot to say "ever, ever, ever, double forever plus infinity"!
No, Joe. It's:
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none”
We should be friends with Israel, not "bonded" to Israel.
Gates was far too kind to Biden.