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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 12, 2014 - 1:28 pm

As Ukrainian protesters rallied against the Kremlin-backed government, were killed by government forces and weathered a subsequent Russian invasion, President Obama left it up to Vice President Joe Biden to directly communicate with the Ukrainian government.

Obama even went so far as a skip a national security meeting on the Russian invasion at the beginning of March, which Biden joined via teleconference.

Now, it appears that foreign policy methodology is playing out again in Iraq.

Last night, the White House announced that Biden had jumped on the phone with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan “regarding the security situation around Mosul, Iraq, where elements of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken over significant portions of the city, seized the Turkish consulate, and taken Turkish personnel — including the Consul General and family members — hostage.”

“The Vice President underscored the United States condemns the actions taken by ISIL, calls for the safe and immediate return of the Turkish personnel and family members, and supports efforts by Iraqi national and Kurdish security forces to work together to combat the ISIL threat,” said the readout from the White House. “The Vice President told Prime Minister Erdogan that the United States is prepared to support Turkey’s efforts to bring about the safe return of its citizens and will stay in close touch with the Turkish and Iraqi governments regarding a resolution to the security situation.”

Obama met with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the morning and honored the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx in the afternoon.

This afternoon, the White House released a readout of Biden’s call with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“The Vice President expressed the United States’ solidarity with Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Prime Minister discussed Iraq’s current security situation, and the Vice President made clear that the United States is prepared to continue to intensify and accelerate security support and cooperation with Iraq, under the Strategic Framework Agreement, to confront the urgent and growing threat posed by ISIL,” the administration said. “The Vice President underscored that it will be critically important for all of Iraq’s communities to reach a lasting political accommodation and to be united in order to defeat their common enemy, ISIL.”

Obama only addressed Iraq when asked a question at a joint appearance with Abbott.

“What we’ve seen over the last couple of days indicates the degree to which Iraq is going to need more help. It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community,” Obama said.

“I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter,” he said. “Part of the challenge — and I’ve said this directly to Prime Minister Maliki, and Vice President Biden has said this in his very frequent interactions with the Iraqi government — is that the politics of Shia and Sunni inside of Iraq, as well as the Kurds, is either going to be a help in dealing with this jihadist situation, or it’s going to be a hindrance.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked at today’s briefing about Biden taking the lead role in trying to get some sort of force agreement in Iraq before the pullout.

“Vice President Biden has continued to be one of the principal interlocutors of the administration with Iraqi leaders,” Carney said. “He has a long history in Iraq with all of the political groups there and with the leaders there. And that — and that hasn’t changed. And certainly in recent months, the vice president has been actively engaged in discussions with the Iraqi leadership.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Bill Clinton handles his tough press conferences, Hagel makes the call on terrorist swaps, Susan Rice faces the nation in the Sunday morning lyingpalooza, and Gaffemaster Joe handles the collapse of the entire Middle East.

John Kerry handles the fraudulent double secret handshake gift of nukes to Iran.

Robert Malley handles the secret handshake deal with Hamas.

And Obama handles the women's basketball team and celebrity dinners.

Ceremonial Golfer In Chief. And to think, some say he's detached.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama has been playing hooky all his life - why should he show up now when everyone's been covering for him to this point? By the way - he was probably out back of the WH smokin a joint. Its what he did instead of showing up for high school classes. Why stop now? He's The Most Bored Man In The World - and Most Boring IMO.

26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ever had something important to talk to someone about so you call them at home only to have the phone answered by their young child who won't stop talking and go get their parent? ... Hello, Joe Biden speaking...
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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Biden to deal with Iraq conflict:
To the music of "Send in the Clown(s)"!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is good news for Obama:
He returned to AQ five high-level commanders.
He armed the Iraqi military with billions of dollars of American weapons, which will now pass to AQ.
There is dancing in the streets of Tehran and Islamabad—and perhaps in the White House.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
When Joe Biden is your go-to guy in a crisis, you don't actually have a go-to guy.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hagel is the white Republican fall guy on the prisinor swap so it makes sense that Biden (dumb as he is) will be the white Democrat fall guy for the Middle East Iraq disaster. Obama is great at hiding behind people so as not to get hit by flying excrement when his policies go south.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, now I feel much better.

Biden is merely an idiot, he's not a mendacious idiot.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Imagine that, Joe Biden, someone who has gotten every decision wrong about the Middle East throughout his Congressional career and is now running the show while the Golfer in Chief goes to play golf.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, at least Obama is delegating to a marginally less incompetent person.

It won't help.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I once heard someone say that Obama best insurance against impeachment is Joe Biden waiting in the wings.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Throwing Joey a bone in an attempt to bolster his foreign policy experience creds? Funny thing. Maybe what he suggested before about dividing Iraq into three parts was the way to go, after all.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Vice President Biden has said this in his very frequent interactions with the Iraqi government — is that the politics of Shia and Sunni inside of Iraq, as well as the Kurds, is either going to be a help in dealing with this jihadist situation, or it’s going to be a hindrance.”

Thank goodness Ole' Joe is on the case. I feel much better now. As the astute analysis above shows, our betters have the situation well in hand.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama will need a third term to clean up the terrible mess Bush left behind.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm more worried about the number of terms we'll need to clean up Obama's messes. That's assuming there's anything left after he's finished his term.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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