You can almost picture President Obama in the Oval Office (or on the golf course), shaking his head at what Vice President Joe Biden said at Harvard University on Thursday.
Biden now says that the Persian Gulf countries helped create and fund ISIS, or ISIL. And after hearing his remarks, those countries’ leaders are demanding apologies.
Biden told the crowd that the United States could not have acted sooner to combat ISIS, because our Arab allies were not ready to act.
Biden said that places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar took their time to realize the threat ISIS posed to them and to be willing to work with the U.S. “Even if we wanted it to be, it cannot be our fight alone,” Biden said. “This cannot be turned into a U.S. ground war against another Arab nation in the Middle East.”
Biden told students that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted to him that his country had erred in allowing foreign terrorist fighters an easy route to pass in and out of Syria.
“President Erdogan told me — he’s an old friend — he said, ‘You’re right. We let too many people through.’ Now, they’re trying to seal their border,” Biden said.
Erdogan then demanded an apology, which he received on Saturday.
“I have never said to him that we had made a mistake, never. If he did say this at Harvard then he has to apologize to us,” Erdogan said, according to The Associated Press.
“Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”
Turkey’s border remains a concern for the Obama administration.
At Harvard, Biden continued by explaining how fighting Assad became their focus: ““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 al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
Biden’s comments also threw the United Arab Emirates under the diplomatic bus as well.
Biden’s remarks were “amazing and ignore the role of the Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Mohammad Gargash, said in a statement carried late Saturday by the official WAM news agency.
Gargash asked for Biden to clarify the comments, which he said had given “a false impression about the role of the UAE… at a time when it is actually supporting… efforts to overcome” the jihadists.
WAM reported that Biden had since apologized.
The Vice President’s office released a statement on Saturday:
“Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clarify recent comments made at Harvard University. 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.
“The Vice President made clear that the United States greatly values the commitments and sacrifices made by our Allies and partners from around the world to combat the scourge of ISIL, including Turkey.”
The UAE is one of a handful of Arab allies taking part in US-led air strikes against ISIS in Syria. The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Benswann.com has reported extensively on American’s role in arming Al Nusra Front and al-Qaeda link rebel groups in Syria and its relationship with Saudi Arabia, a country that funds terrorism. See here, here, here, here and here.
In the above video around 5:00, Biden admits what we have been saying all along: “there is no moderate middle in Syria.”