Sunday, October 5, 2014

Global Impact: Vice President Joe Biden Repeatedly Forced to "Walk-Back" His Comments

According to The Associated Press, it would be one thing if Vice President Joe Biden had not been selected for his forte in foreign affairs, yet foreign affairs was one of the reason Biden was selected as Vice President because he brought international expertise to the "table." 

On Sunday (October 5) Vice President Joe Biden was forced to call the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to clarify that he did not mean to imply in his remarks last week that the Gulf ally was supporting al-Qaeda fighters in Syria.
It was the second time in two days that Biden had to call a key partner in President Barack Obama's coalition to walk back comments he made on Thursday (October 2), when he said that US allies--including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE--had funded and armed extremist groups linked to al-Qaida.
Biden spoke with Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a key Emirati leader, the White House said.
Earlier Sunday (October 5), an exasperated UAE requested "a formal clarification" from VP Biden on comments that America's allies in the Middle East sent weapons and cash to extremists fighting in Syria.
The White House said Biden clarified his remarks and recognized the UAE's strong steps to counter extremists and participation in US-led airstrikes.
COMMENT: It appears that in terms of salvaging the Democratic Party in the roughly two years remaining until 2016 could be very, very long years unless VP Joe Biden, an aspiring Presidential candidate, shifts from 3 x 5 cards to a teleprompter to prevent his continued gaffs in being harnessed.
On Saturday (October 5), Biden already called to apologize to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the White House said.
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"The vice president apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria," the White House said, using an acronym for IS.
Biden's comments on Thursday came during a question-and-answer session at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, MA. 
Biden said that "our biggest problem is our allies" who are engaged in a proxy Sunni-Shiite war against Syrian President Bashar Assad. He specifically named Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
"What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad-- except that the people who were being supplied were (Jabhat) al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world," Biden said at the time.
The UAE's official news agency carried a statement from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash calling Biden's comments "far from the truth." The UAE Foreign Ministry said it was astonished by the remarks.
Gargash said the US Vice President "gave a negative and inaccurate impression" about the UAE's support in confronting IS and terrorism. Gargash said Biden's statement ignored the political and practical steps taken by the UAE, as well as its position against terrorism financing.
The UAE is a key Arab partner in the US-led coalition against IS and has targeted its fighters in airstrikes in Syria. 
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan also have carried out airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria, while Qatar has provided logistical support.
"The UAE's counter-terrorism approach reflects a pioneering national commitment that recognizes the extent of the danger posed by terrorism to the region and to its people," Gargash said.

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