David Frum

01.23.13

Joe Biden Said What?

A U.S. soldier's helmet lies on a mountaintop position on September 2, 2011 at Observation Post Mustang in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The area, in northeastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, is a major infiltration route by Taliban fighters coming across from Pakistan and has seen some of the heaviest fighting of the war. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) ()

While everyone chatters about the President's speech, something Joe Biden said the day before has surprisingly garnered little attention. A friend writes:

We still have 68,000 troops in harm’s way in some of the most godforsaken territory in the world,” Biden said, adding that the military members can find comfort “knowing that we back home just remember, we know what’s going on.” I'm sure that referring to our allies as citizens of "some of the most godforsaken territory in the word" will further endear us to the countries that we have occupied for over a decade.

By the way, he may be right, but how the hell do such words get left in remarks by the vice president of this country? It's mind boggling. We want the soldiers and police of Afghanistan and Iraq to help us capture our enemies. There were a hundred non-offensive ways to make that point without offending anyone, but instead, Biden chose to name-call the people of two countries already held together only with metaphorical duct tape.

And if those countries are still some of the most godforsaken countries in the world, what does that say about the job we've done in developing them during four years of the Obama-Biden administration?