It's been acknowledged that Vice President Biden's criticism of Paul Ryan in Thursday night's debate for the Wisconsin congressman's support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rings hollow, since Biden, when he was a senator from Delaware, also voted for the wars. Here's what Biden said Thursday:
But it was 10 years ago, almost to the day, on October 10, 2002, when Senator Joe Biden gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate advocating for going to war in Iraq. Here are some relevant clips:
"Saddam is dangerous. The world would be a better place without him. But the reason he poses a growing danger to the United States and its allies is that he possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking, with his $2 billion a year illegally skimmed from the U.N. fund for food, his Oil for Food program, for peace program, that he is seeking nuclear weapons."
“Other countries have, or seek, weapons of mass destruction. Saddam actually used them against his neighbors, against his own people. He has a lengthy track record of aggression first, in Iran, then Kuwait. He has brutally repressed Iraqi civilians: first the Kurds in the North, then the Shias in the south, and then the Kurds again. And the combination of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction is dangerous, destabilizing, and deadly.”
Biden's support for military action against Saddam's Iraq goes back even further. Here's what he wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post in September 1998:
I also acknowledged that a policy based on sanctions does not guarantee that Saddam Hussein's weapons program will be curtailed. Ultimately, as long as Saddam Hussein is at the helm, no inspectors can guarantee that they have rooted out the entirety of Saddam Hussein's weapons program. And I said the only way to remove Saddam is a massive military effort, led by the United States.