He states his premise early in the presentation with the statement:
They're not willing to make a stark political change, that is, to seek a fundamentally different outcome than a strong central government.
Oddly, Biden concludes with the sentence:
"And everybody forgets their constitution says -- I think it's article 114 -- "We are a decentralized federal system."
Biden's premise that Bush and the-powers-that-be have a single minded focus on a strong central government is negated by the observation that these same powers-that-be wrote Federalism into the Iraqi Constitution.
The interview was interesting in that Biden's need to put a partisan spin on the issue created a situation where he negated himself. The partisan spin seems to be that dimwitted Republicans are for Nazi style strong central governments while enlightened Democrats value the balance of a democratic federalism. The apparent successes of the troop surge was the result of a flip flop in administrations core beliefs.
If it were not for the partisan spin, Biden would simply have had the affirmative argument that focusing on the needs of the people in the provinces seems to have had a positive effect. One might also conclude that our previous efforts may have focused too much attention on the central government.
The problem with partisan politics is that it always concentrates attention on who has power and not on what they are doing.
This was almost a really good interview. Beyond the arguments about whether the war was just or injust, Iraq is stuck in a situation where they have to find a way forward. There is a good argument that Federalism might be more promising at this moement. We have to concentrate on the arguments and not on partisan spin.
BTW, while Biden was trying to put forth his spin, Jim Lehrer (the interviewer) coxed Biden into accusing Patreaus of spinning.
I watched several of the Patreaus and Crocker interviews. Patraeus and Crocker were clearly arguing the case for the surge. I believe that arguing the case for or against an idea is something completely different from spinning. Spinning is part of a partisan game where you try to present information in ways that rewards one's friends and punishes one's enemies.
It seems to me that Patraeus and Crocker did a great job of focusing attention on to what was actually happening on the ground and away from the politics. The Biden interview seemed too eager to focus political blame on Bush. I would classify the various Patraeus and Crocker interviews as an example of arguing for an idea, and Biden's interview as an example of spin.