by WorldTribune Staff, March 5, 2020
During a campaign stop in Oakland on March 3, Joe Biden was confronted by an Air Force veteran who blasted the former vice president for his support of the war in Iraq.
Biden had just spoken to a crowd at the Buttercup Diner when Michael Thurman, a member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War, told Biden he had “blood on his hands.”
When Biden campaign officials began to escort the Democratic Party candidate away, Thurman repeatedly shouted: “You are disqualified, sir! My friends are dead. My brothers and sisters died in Iraq and Afghanistan. You enabled that to happen.”
The veteran continued: “They are dead. Millions are dead in Iraq! He will not be allowed to be President! Trump is more anti-war than Joe Biden!”
Before Biden was led away, Thurman said to Biden: “Why should we vote for someone who voted for a war that killed thousands of our brothers and sisters and countless Iraqi civilians? You enabled that war. You also gave a medal to the man who caused that war. That blood is on your hands as well.”
Thurman was referring to a 2018 Veterans Day ceremony when Biden presented former President George W. Bush with the Liberty Medal for his “support for veterans.”
Biden’s support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq under Bush’s administration hampered his brief 2007 presidential campaign. More than 4,500 Americans and over 200,000 Iraqi citizens have died in the Iraq war since March 2003.
Pew Research Center surveys show huge opposition among American veterans for endless wars in the Middle East.
Sixty-four percent of vets say the Iraq War is “not worth fighting,” along with 62 percent of all American adults who agree. Only 33 percent of veterans say the Iraq War is worth fighting. Likewise, nearly 60 percent of veterans and all American adults say the Afghanistan War was not worth the fight. Less than 40 percent say the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was worth fighting.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump indicated that if Biden is the Democratic nominee, the president will bring up the Ukraine scandal “all the time.”
Speaking with Fox News host Sean Hannity after Biden took the lead in the Democratic primary with 566 delegates following Super Tuesday, Trump said he will not hesitate to bring up allegations of corruption against Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
“It’s not a campaign issue for the Democrats. They don’t want to bring it up. They were obviously told, ‘You can’t bring that up,’ ” Trump said. “That wouldn’t happen with the Republicans, I can tell you. I’m not saying good, bad, or indifferent.”
Biden headed up U.S. foreign policy to Ukraine under the Obama administration at the same time that his son sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, a position that critics say Hunter Biden was given in 2014 in exchange for access to the then-vice president.
In 2016, Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees from Ukraine if the government did not fire its prosecutor general Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was weighing launching an investigation into Burisma.
“That will be a major issue in the campaign. I will bring that up all the time,” Trump said.