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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Biden's Afghan Whopper

Biden is telling absurd lies about Afghanistan tonight. In particular, he's repeatedly claimed that "we've spent less in Afghanistan in seven years than we spend in a month in Iraq."

He's made that claim, or claims to that effect, repeatedly. It is, to put it bluntly, a complete Goddamned lie.

According to the Congressional Research Service, spending on the war in Afghanistan since 2001 has been $172 Billion. Spending in Iraq is, as the Democrats repeatedly mention, a little under $10 Billion a month.

In other words, Biden's number is off by, oh, something like 2000%. Perhaps Obama's Sub-Committee ought to have held some hearings on Afghanistan after all.

.

As a side note, amazingly, Biden just fell apart on foreign policy there. Did he really promise that Obama would launch a war in Darfur? Never mind his whole mess of an answer on his vote for the Iraq War. Does anyone think that it's really even remotely credible that Joe Biden voted to give George Bush the authority to go to war because he thought he wouldn't use it? If Joe Biden did that, he's among the stupidest men alive.

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Here's the exact words that Biden used, from the rush transcript:

"With Afghanistan, facts matter, Gwen."
- Joe Biden

"Look, we have spent more money -- we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country.

Let me say that again. Three weeks in Iraq; seven years, seven years or six-and-a-half years in Afghanistan. Now, that's number one."
- Joe Biden, seconds later.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on October 2, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Another lying politician...I'm shocked!

Posted by: JC | 2008-10-02 8:10:33 PM


Congrats on getting this post referenced on RedState, Yoshi.

Posted by: Tom | 2008-10-02 8:51:31 PM


And an Instalanche!

Posted by: Greg | 2008-10-02 9:23:40 PM


You could see that Biden was getting mad. When he gets mad, he says really stupid things.

Posted by: Buford Gooch | 2008-10-02 10:02:48 PM


It seemed to me that Joe was a little vague on the criteria for going to war in the Sudan.
Didn't he say something along the line of if a government is supporting terrorist incursions into the surrounding area, if those same are attacking our soldiers, then that would be enough to support a military responce?
I was thinking he could be talking about Iran or Pakistan rather then Darfur. They certainly met his criteria.

Posted by: Papertiger | 2008-10-02 10:26:18 PM


CRS Report for Congress
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
(found on fas.org site)

Covers FY2001 - FY2009
Afghanistan war $172 billion (8 yrs)
Iraq war $653 billion (6 years)

Let's just take average / year / week

AF: $21.5 billion / yr
IR: $109 billion / yr

7 years of AF $150.5 billion
3 weeks of IR $6.3 billion

Posted by: JAL | 2008-10-02 10:53:13 PM


you fucking morons

he did not say on combat he said

"we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan BUILDING that country

Posted by: nlcatter | 2008-10-03 1:12:27 AM


nlcatter, he's still wrong (lying). Try again.

Posted by: Dickiemoe | 2008-10-03 5:08:51 AM


Get your facts right before you blast Joe. This is what he said (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/02/debate.transcript/)

"Look, we have spent more money -- we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country."

BUILDING that country!

Posted by: jaxfldesi | 2008-10-03 7:20:52 AM


Yes, the word BUILDING is key here...

you REALLY need to get your facts straight buddy.

Posted by: John | 2008-10-03 7:43:42 AM


At least he wasnt stupid enough to say that they were in Iraq without nato allies
Palin: "Well, first, McClellan did not say definitively the surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one"

Um what are British troops in Iraq then airhead?

Posted by: Gnarlyswine | 2008-10-03 8:29:16 AM


Yes, Biden did say building, but his error and the reason the statement was missleading at best and fraudulent at worst was that he is comparing BUILDING in Afghanistan with COMBAT in Iraq. His comparing apples to oranges allows room for him to make dramatic but wildly inaccurate and missleading comparison.

Posted by: andy | 2008-10-03 8:47:12 AM


I caught that Biden comment. he was so strident about it, repeating it for effect. Yes it was misleading at best and fraudulent at worst.

And no, you can't defend him by parsing the words, in Clintonian fashion. Ooooh, he said "building". Sorry, wankers, you can't excuse it. He's a l-o-s-e-r.


Posted by: Robert | 2008-10-03 10:50:01 AM


OK then, add in the total cost for BUILDING Afghanistan, as some here are arguing, and the ratio of Afghanistan/Iraq spending gets worse (from the perspective of Biden's argument), not better.

Posted by: Steve | 2008-10-03 11:30:08 AM


Afghanistan is a NATO operation, Gnarlyswine. We intentionally structured it that way in order to give it the patina of an international effort. Working really well, there, eh?

Iraq is primarily a U.S. operation, with help from certain allies.

Posted by: NukemHill | 2008-10-03 1:07:42 PM


It doesn't matter to Democrats at all whether Biden knows what he's talking about or is truthful at all. Utterly irrelevant to them, the reality-based community. It's just win baby, all the while piously citing their high principles and how Rove and Cheney are Satan. It's Alinsky's strategy come of age: lie, cheat, steal, do whatever you have to do to win power, and claim santimonious superiority over your "evil" opponenets. nlcattter, you are dishonest. You think that's what Biden meant? You think that's what 90% of people heard when he made that point, ever so forcefully? Of course not, but you just don't care. And you're not honest or principled enough to even admit it.

Posted by: Victor Erimita | 2008-10-03 5:40:56 PM


he said BUILDING you fucking morons

he was only off some in dollars 6.3 billion a week iraq versus 7 billion was spent in Afghantistan supposedly on "building."
but with corrupion is was not really even that
much ,

you wanted the format that did not allow followup questions

so STFU!

Posted by: nlcatter | 2008-10-03 11:13:56 PM


and the audience doesnt give a shit on amounts

and your Palin moron, had no clue anyway.

Posted by: nlcatter | 2008-10-03 11:14:59 PM


Biden uses the 1-month-equal-7-years comparison twice. In the first one, you can argue that it makes sense because he might have been trying to say we need to spend more on non-combat efforts: "He said we need more troops. We need government-building. We need to spend more money on the infrastructure in Afghanistan. Look, we have spent more money -- we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country. Let me say that again. Three weeks in Iraq; seven years, seven years or six-and-a-half years in Afghanistan. Now, that's number one."

But when he uses it the second time, it does not make sense and is misleading: "Barack Obama was saying we need more troops there. Again, we spend in three weeks on combat missions in Iraq, more than we spent in the entire time we have been in Afghanistan. That will change in a Barack Obama administration." The only comparison that makes sense to justify the increased troops would be combat expenses in Iraq to combat expenses in Afghanistan. So is it a whopper? You can argue both sides on this one.

Posted by: nohype | 2008-10-04 12:36:40 PM


Obviously he has done a great job of being a politician as no one seems to know what the hell he meant.

Posted by: JC | 2008-10-04 12:52:17 PM


I can remember when the Bush administration said that the Iraq war would cost no more than $20B. That number is working it's way to a Trillion.

There's no doubt that Biden's overall point is correct: that we don't have the troops to do the job we need to do in Afghanistan, that we are tied down in Iraq without any definition of what constitutes 'victory' nor any plan for it.

I highly recommend Thomas Ricks' book "Fiasco". This Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has covered the Pentagon for decades describes in detail what the uniformed military thought about Iraq, not what Bush said they thought. Petreus is well covered there too, long before he became a household word.

Posted by: real deal | 2008-10-06 1:00:01 PM



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