A stunning editorial by liberal heavyweight Arianna Huffington is calling on Vice President Joe Biden to resign. Huffington, who made the comments in her column on The Huffington Post, repeated the remarks in an interview late Wednesday with CNN.
The eponymous leader of the Huffington Post website said she believed Biden should resign because of his opposition to increasing the number of US forces in Afghanistan, an opposition position she supports.
"Right now, the president is about to make up his mind and I'm told by my own sources and I'm sure that you are being told by yours that a decision is going to be the president will split the difference" between a request from Gen. Stanley McChrystal for added US troops in Afghanistan and those who oppose more troops, Huffington said on CNN. "He is not going to give Gen. McChrystal the 40,000 troops that he's asked for, but he's not going to give him nothing and that is the moment for Vice President Biden to resign. That is the moment when he can have a real impact on the president's decision."
"We have seen historically, over Vietnam, over Iraq, how many great leaders, including Colin Powell, did not do the right thing at the moment when it could have made a difference," Huffington continued. "This is another critical moment. This is a moment when actually many forces across the political spectrum are coming together to oppose escalation in afghanistan, ranging from George Will and Rachel House, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations and [former GOP Sen.] Chuck Hagel. This is not a right versus left issue, this is the moment for real leadership and there's nothing more novel than resigning over a matter of national security."
In her editorial, Huffington writes:
Being Greek, I'm partial to Biden's classic use of the Socratic method -- skillfully eliciting facts in a way that lets people connect the dots that show how misguided our involvement in Afghanistan has become.
It's been known for a while that Biden has been on the other side of McChrystal's desire for a big escalation of our forces there -- the New York Times reported last month that he has "deep reservations" about it. So if the president does decide to escalate, Biden, for the good of the country, should escalate his willingness to act on those reservations.
What he must not do is follow the same weak and worn-out pattern of "opposition" we've become all-too-accustomed to, first with Vietnam and then with Iraq. You know the drill: after the dust settles, and the country begins to look back and not-so-charitably wonder, "what were they thinking?" the mea-culpa-laden books start to come out. On page after regret-filled page, we suddenly hear how forceful this or that official was behind closed doors, arguing against the war, taking a principled stand, expressing "strong concern" and, yes, "deep reservations" to the president, and then going home each night distraught at the unnecessary loss of life.
Well, how about making the mea culpa unnecessary? Instead of saving it for the book, how about future author Biden unfetter his conscience in real time -- when it can actually do some good? If Biden truly believes that what we're doing in Afghanistan is not in the best interests of our national security -- and what issue is more important than that? -- it's simply not enough to claim retroactive righteousness in his memoirs.
Though it would be a crowning moment in a distinguished career, such an act of courage would likely be only the beginning. Biden would then become the natural leader of the movement to wind down this disastrous war and focus on the real dangers in Pakistan.
This video is from CNN's The Situation Room, broadcast Oct. 14, 2009.