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06 July 2009

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J

The White House needs to find a rubber room and stick Biden in it so he can't hurt anybody. Biden's actions is setting himself up for future criminal charges on the international stage. Whether he actually is brought to face the criminal charges is another matter, but if he keeps up his current mantra, there will be criminal charges against him at some point in time in the future.

And to think this guys is 'one heartbeat away' from the office of the Presidency through 2012. Shudder.....shudder......SHUDDER!

par4

I'll go with the gag,Col. Or Cheney's old undisclosed location.I suspect damage control is slow with Obama in Moscow.

LeaNder

This little piece of information in important.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1097911.html>U.S.: Letting Israel act freely on Iran isn't policy change

When asked whether the Obama administration would restrain Israeli military action against Iran, Biden responded:

"Israel can determine for itself - it's a sovereign nation - what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else."

Stephanaopoulos posed the question three times, and each time Biden repeated that Israel was free to choose its actions. "If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice."

Hmmm? ABC, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stephanopoulos>George Stephanopulous?

Fred

"My guess is by Labor Day VP Biden will have ensured not on any ticket in 2012."
If the trend continues I would second WRC's comment from your prior post. Obama managed to get Hilary out of the Senate and got a good person at State. He also got Biden out of the Senate, where they might now actually manage to reform the usury allowed in credit card finance. It may also prove Cheney the exception in the idea that VP's set and direct US foreign policy; either they are acting as a team or Obama needs to publicly remind everyone, including Biden, who sets US foreign policy.

curious

The big question for Biden,

yeah, but what if Saudi, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq all engulf in war. (eg. 80% of global oil supply?) $150-200 / barrel oil?

That Israel bluff starts to sound very empty in regard to no US involvement.

back to square one, the entire bluff isn't logical.

rfjk

I think he is delivering a message to both Israel and Iran. Iran is being reminded of the unbalanced and hysterical nature of the thugs in Jerusalem, and the Israelis are being reminded that the US has:

"...a right and we will determine what's in our interests..."

"...there is no pressure from any nation that's going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed..."

And that whatever the thugs in Jerusalem do; "...that is not our choice..."

The media are flummoxed by the incredible discipline and nearly virtual absence of leaks from the Obama administration. And Biden being Biden, its not all that difficult to sensationalize practically anything this guy says no matter how innocent or devoid of the meaning the media fantasize out of his remarks.

Just think what the reaction would be if Biden had said; "we got that chicken-shit, Nazi state by the throat, and its going to do what we say, not what it wants to do." Now that's probably far closer to the truth than what Biden said, but its much smarter being diplomatic and acknowledging long established protocols of statism than telling that little shit Stephanopouls what its digging for and dying to hear.

rfjk

I think he is delivering a message to both Israel and Iran. Iran is being reminded of the unbalanced and hysterical nature of the thugs in Jerusalem, and the Israelis are being reminded that the US has:

"...a right and we will determine what's in our interests..."

"...there is no pressure from any nation that's going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed..."

And that whatever the thugs in Jerusalem do; "...that is not our choice..."

The media are flummoxed by the incredible discipline and nearly virtual absence of leaks from the Obama administration. And Biden being Biden, its not all that difficult to sensationalize practically anything this guy says no matter how innocent or devoid of the meaning the media fantasize out of his remarks.

Just think what the reaction would be if Biden had said; "we got that chicken-shit, Nazi state by the throat, and its going to do what we say, not what it wants to do." Now that's probably far closer to the truth than what Biden said, but its much smarter being diplomatic and acknowledging long established protocols of statism than telling that little shit Stephanopouls what its digging for and dying to hear.

Bill Wade, NH, USA

"Israel can determine for itself - it's a sovereign nation - what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else."

Stephanaopoulos posed the question three times, and each time Biden repeated that Israel was free to choose its actions. "If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice."

I have to wonder if Biden feels the same about Iran, don't they too have their "sovereign rights"?

Castellio

I think this is worth watching (Tariq Ali on Pakistan):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oYdvQZVvrU&

Mark Logan

Another vote for the gag.
He's easy pickin's for the media.

Wouldn't surprise me
a bit to find out he can not imagine the US actually threatening to use force to
stop an Israeli military action though...there are a lot of people in that catagory. Sad.

rfjk

Bill Wade..."I have to wonder if Biden feels the same about Iran, don't they too have their "sovereign rights"?..."

I believe he probably does because in one of his statements he says:

"...Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that..."

So, if Iranians figure the Israelis are an existential threat, than according to what Biden said he obviously figures its just as much their sovereign right to take whatever actions or policies to safeguard their interests and security as anyone else. I don't perceive anything wrong with Biden's statement since its an operative principle of the Westphalian state system since the 17th century.

Now for either to attack the other wouldn't be wise.

The US under Bush and Obama have made it crystal clear we don't want them attacking overtly or covertly Iranian territory or its nuclear property. Obama is not Bush and I believe the Israelis know they would suffer very serious consequences. If there's the slightest merit to what the rabid claims some neocons and Zionists say about Obama, than the Israelis would literally be giving Obama carte blanche to mercilessly punish them so so unwise an action.

The Iranians would be out of their cotton picking minds to attack Israel. An offensive action cannot be realized without attacking US military and economic assets in the region. I believe it would be a big mistake for ANY country to push this President into a corner, because unlike previous half-stepping chief executives (especially the last one) this one won't hesitate to mobilize whatever national resources are necessary to protect the national security and economic interests of the county. I'll bet the farm this President would get a declaration of war out of the Congress. Though not a professor on constitutional law Obama has taught such at the University of Chicago and he'll make damn certain he has every legal authorization to wage war.

CK

In the very short term, american troops are out of Iraqi cities and thus, supposedly, not exposed to Iranian responses to any Israeli rerun of the Osirak success.

Soonmyung Hong

Sunday Times(UK) reported.

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.
...
“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6638568.ece

I think it is another "intended" leak by israeli.

R Whitman

I watched Biden on ABC yesterday. I watched a second time on the DVR. My impression was that he was saying that the Israelis could do what they want but we(the USA) would not support them if they attacked Iran.

Did anyone else get that impression??

Stormcrow

Another way of reading this is, Joe Biden just made a particularly broad hint.

The present misgovernment of Israel can choose the rope, test its strength, cut it to the right length, tie the noose, toss the free end over the gallows, insert their heads, grin, and step off.

Since they're a "sovereign nation", we can't interfere.

rfjk

CK: "...In the very short term, american troops are out of Iraqi cities and thus, supposedly, not exposed to Iranian responses to any Israeli rerun of the Osirak success..."

First of all time is not on Israel's side, which is why they wanted an early date for military action from Obama. What Netanyahu got was the much worse December re-estimate of the situation and than we will figure out where we are and what we will do.

Secondly, every month that goes by is not only another 30 coffin nails into the Israeli dream of overt military action against Iran, but another compounding, interest payment into Obama's bank towards more stable and normal US/Iraqi and US/Iranian relations. Time is on Obama's side.

Thirdly, withdrawal from Iraq is not 100% withdrawal of all US civil and military assets by 2011. All combat commands will be withdrawn by that date, but a 'Training and Assistance' command will be there long after all the marines and grunts have come home or redeployed to Afghanistan. Considering that Iraq is going to need a whole lot of assistance out to 2020 by some estimates, that's going to be a fairly sizable command in-country, whatever its duration. And yes, privately more Iraqis than not aren't in any rush to see Uncle Sugar pack his bags and go.

Fourthly, the US will have combatant as well as civil assets in Afghanistan for a long time to come that would be exposed to Iranian counter operations in response to an Osirak attack.

And finally Iraq's and Iran's hydrocarbon strategic natural resources are another compelling reason for the US to establish, broaden and maintain diplomatic relations with these Muslim states. The US recognizes a new security paradigm in the region and gulf must not only include the US & Arabs, but Persians too for the sake of global markets, regional and international stability.

Fifthly, the M/E is in the national interest of every emerging, industrial state on the globe. Its not exclusively a US or even an Israeli puddle. The Arabs and the Persians are more than smart enough to see to that. Besides, they got the biggest POL on earth with the best MIL specs.

No matter how its diced, an Israeli Osirak attack against Iranian nuclear installations is a pike dream. At best its a policy ploy as leverage against the Iranians to get serious about negotiations.

Bobo

Joe is Joe! Always in Campaign mode, keeps on talking and talking until his time is over then trots out the corrections dictated to him.

Seems I heard someone say something like "Iran as a sovereign nation, can build a nuclear weapon if it wants" now Joe having heard that follows in step with his diatribe.

Nothing more nothing less.

Clifford Kiracofe

Well, the Vice President is not known for cautious and diplomatic statements.

The administration is clarifying things it seems:

"WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Barack Obama's administration denied Monday that it is giving Israel the green light to attack Iran or that it is reconsidering plans to engage diplomatically with the Islamic Republic....."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/
afp/article/ALeqM5gYrzkd4ZfajynPQjq_LtbubCNS0A

It is natural for the pro-Israel mass media to distort things. The Israeli press, naturally, gives a big spin on the VPs remarks. How often have we seen leaks from pro-Israel sources in various administrations to the Israeli press which is then recycled back to the US through the pro-Israel US media.

It seems to me the State Department's clarification is helpful in this instance.

505th PIR

Watch the video of the interview closely. VP Biden, pauses, thinks and answers multiple times. Personally, painting him as a fool is overly simplified and self-deceiving. Over time, he has lived a life that is on balance, not a product of a simple and foolish mind.

Again, he paused and thought about his remarks. The were not knee-jerk blurted remarks. They were considered.
He stated the obvious. Also, this administration is taking pains to not utter imperial decrees as to what states can and cannot do. Israel according to Biden, can do as it wishes. He does not say that the US will approve, disapprove, allow, block etc. I agree with the impression Mr. Whitman has gotten and with Mr. Stormcrow's interpretation. Israel may do as it wishes but it ought to think long an hard about how alone and isolated it may be once it does as it wishes.

frank durkee

I agree with 505PIR and the others he cites.

Clifford Kiracofe

More clarifying:

""There was no intention to change the position, and nothing the vice president said in any way indicates a change in U.S. position," said a White House official of Biden's remarks Sunday. "What he said and what [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael] Mullen said taken together reflect our position: Israel is a sovereign nation, Israel is an ally and Israel has a right to defend itself and other countries cannot dictate how it defends itself. That being said, it would not be helpful if Israel were to act against Iran." Any interpretation that Biden's remarks signaled a change in U.S. policy is "spin," he added.

Biden did, however, strike a different tone when answering a similar question back on April 7. Asked if he were concerned that Netanyahu might strike Iranian nuclear facilities, Biden told CNN: "I don't believe Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill advised to do that."

How to account for the seeming discrepancy? "Any tonal difference is not intentional at all," the White House official said.

Did Biden coordinate with the White House to pressure Iran to respond to the still-outstanding offer of talks with Washington? Again, the answer from the White House was no....."
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/06/
no_change_in_iran_policy_white_house_insists

William R. Cumming

Biden thinks he is a serious person but actually freelancing here with language he long expressed in Senate role. Actually he is just a hot air ballon and Washington does like to release weather ballons from time to time to see how wind is blowing. Unfortunately, these really just go in circles during cyclonic storms which is what we now have in the Middle-East. Quiet in the eye but the air pressure changes are increasing the likelihood of storm surges before 2012 but remember OBAMA ain't got a clue on foreign affairs. South side of Chicago yes! At least University Park. He (Obama) is guessing at foreing policy and by next year he will have major feedback from other nations on his world travels and probably will be an eye opener for him on how US no longer controls its own destiny domestically or in foreign affairs. Time will tell.

curious

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- The United States is "absolutely not" giving Israel a green light to attack Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN Tuesday.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/07/obama.israel.iran/

----

I don't think this is over just like that. Specially after israel tried to move their submarine to the red sea base. (Egypt, Saudi do not like that at all.) I bet Saudi is thinking something right now. Their navy is too small to do anything meaningful.

Surprisingly, I got the feeling Iran stops freaking out. (or is that just the internet being blocked and flooded with false report.)


things underneath are moving in all sort of strange directions. The usually predictable middle east big trend is now blurry.

matter

Joe Biden has declared himself a Zionist on many occasions. He's also bragged about Delaware's Copperhead (Confederate sympathizer) tendencies. In other words, Biden is an upfront racist. (He's also a plagiarizer, idiot, and a bumbler, which explains, but doesn't excuse, his actions.)

LeaNder

R. Whitman, my impression is a bit that Stephanopoulos carefully leads him to these answers, and I don't think the Israeli press, in this case Haaretz misrepresents that, Clifford. Why does an American journalist not question the agreement between Obama and Netanjahu to start with? Was there a White house press release that emphasized this agreement?

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=8005719>Direct Video link: Meet the press Or via ABC search http://abcnews.go.com/search?searchtext=Stephanopoulos+Biden&r=video>Stephanopoulos+Biden

Iran starts around -41:13, the essential question leading to the answer including Stephanopoulos insistence on Biden's answer is at: -37:00.

Stephanopoulos: Meanwhile the clock is ticking. ... Meanwhile Prime Minister Netanjahu made it pretty clear that he agreed with President Obama till the end of the year for this whole process of engagement to work. After that he is prepared to take matters into his own hands.

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