The Beau Biden factor

The Beau Biden factor. By Paul Mirengoff.

Jim Geraghty points to a sharp exchange Joe Biden had in 2010 with Richard Holbrooke, then President Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Biden angrily told Holbrooke:

I am not sending my boy back [to Afghanistan] to risk his life on behalf of women’s rights. It just won’t work, that’s not what they’re there for.

At one level, Biden was making a fair point. Our troops weren’t in Afghanistan to defend women’s rights — we had other good reasons to be there — and defending women’s rights would not, standing alone, justify maintaining U.S. forces there.

But Biden’s reference to “my boy,” Beau Biden, is worth considering as we try to figure out why Biden recklessly pulled U.S. forces out of Afghanistan — a move that neither Obama nor Donald Trump was quite willing to make.

Geraghty points out that a few months before Biden’s exchange with Holbrooke, Beau Biden had suffered a mild stroke. Three years later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer, from which he died in 2015.

Beau Biden gives his victory speech as Delaware’s newly-elected Attorney General on November 7, 2006 as Jill Biden, Joe Biden and the Biden family look on.

Joe Biden later speculated that his son’s brain cancer was the result of serving in Iraq. In 2018, he said that toxins found in smoke from burning waste at U.S. military installations in Iraq could “play a significant role” in causing veterans to develop cancer. And in 2019, he said that because of Beau’s “exposure to burn pits, in my view, I can’t prove it yet, he came back with stage four glioblastoma.”

Thus, Biden blames our intervention in Iraq for his son’s death. And since Biden voted in favor of that intervention, he might well blame himself.

Could be significant. Maybe it explains why Joe Biden just wanted out, without regard to the damage he caused by the manner of leaving.

Not presidential though.