While the Obama administration has forced its number two man to publicly “eat crow”—by apologizing for saying the truth—in order save the mere appearances of its “alliance” in the war against ISIS, some are more willing to acknowledge the truth of Joe Biden’s Harvard comments. Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman, writing in his blog today under the title, “The Siege of Kobani: Obama’s Syrian Fiasco at Work,” provides a defense of Biden, after giving the history-challenged Americans a tour d’horizon of the region’s history.
The region’s tensions and incongruities are the result of decisions 100 years ago, Stockman says, when “stripe pants diplomats carved out borders that gave practically every major ethnic group their own nation, except the Kurds.” After the U.S. Ambassador to Damascus effectively “pulled a ‘Yats'” by organizing a coup against the country to which he was accredited, it threw open the door to a Hobbesian “each against all” conflict. “For us, ISIL and the (Kurdish) PKK are the same,” Turkish President Erdogan told Bloomberg on Oct. 4, and therefore worthy of the same fate.
“Vice-President Biden was right for once, Washington has no real allies in the region because they all have another agenda,” Stockman says. “At the end of the day, Obama’s air campaign amounts to nothing more than a glorified international air force training exercise … the Brits will bomb in Iraq but not Syria; the Saudis will bomb ISIS targets close to Assad-held territories, but not Nusra Front positions; and the Qataris will go along for the ride pretending to help, even as they preserve deniability that they ever dropped an actual bomb for that day down the road when they seek to make a pipeline deal with the Islamic State….
“So maybe Joe Biden could explain this to the big thinkers in the White House. If the Turks are unwilling to stop an easily preventable mass slaughter by ISIS on their own doorstep what kind of fractured and riven coalition has Washington actually assembled? And how will this coalition of the disingenuous, the hypocritical and the politically opportunistic ever succeed in bringing peace and stability to the historic cauldron of tribal and religious conflict in Mesopotamia and the Levant that two decades of Washington’s wars and regime change interventions have only drastically intensified?”
Biden was also defended this morning by none other than Obama advisor David Axelrod, now a commentator on MSNBC. “I have great affection for Joe Biden,” Axelrod said. “I think he’s been a great vice president. Everybody’s strength is their weakness. His is, he speaks his mind and he says what’s on his mind. [I]t doesn’t mean that what was on his mind wasn’t true, the question is just whether it was the diplomatic thing to say.”