Vice Pres. Biden poses for a photo with U.S. soldiers at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad on the Fourth of July. (PHOTO CREDIT: KHALID MOHAMMED/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There is some question whether Vice President Joe Biden did it again. Over the weekend, Biden said that the U.S. would not stand in the way if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities. Some say this signals a change in U.S. policy - drawing a harder line against Iran.
But the White House said the statement simply maintains what they've always said: That Israel has the right to defend itself.
The Vice President also said that the U.S. remains willing to negotiate with Iran, in spite of the recent violence that erupted in the wake of the contested re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama and said he'd wait it out for the rest of this year to see if Iran is willing to talk. When asked if this was the right approach, Vice President Biden did not say whether or not the U.S. agrees with the position, but did say: "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."
Here’s my question to you: Vice President Biden said Israel is free to set its own course on Iran. What does this mean?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Paul from Spencer, North Carolina writes:
Vice President Biden's statement literally meant what he said. I am with him on this one. Israel is a sovereign nation and not a Banana Republic of America. It has every right to self-determination.
Scott from San Diego, California writes:
Funny, they let Biden out again. Biden is like a 4 year old, you never know what he is going to say. Gibbs will be out soon explaining what Biden really meant to say, not what he actually said. Who are we to try and guess what Biden meant? I don't think he even knows.
Denny from Tacoma, Washington writes:
It means that Israel is an independent State and can set its own policies as such. It would be far better for the U.S. to not be involved, at least initially if Israel did strike Iran. Perhaps Iran's problems will be resolved internally so it would be best to wait and see.
Jimmy from Temecula, California writes:
What exactly is Biden's job for the Obama Administration? Did Biden pass the dementia test before taking his oath of office for VP? Biden can't be sent out on any assignment without sticking his foot in his mouth.
Pat from Lexington, Kentucky writes:
Maybe it means that the Obama Administration is not going to be so blindly loyal to Israel. And maybe Israel will figure out that the U.S. has other interests in the region besides Israel. I think Obama is very serious about working with Iran if at all possible, so Israel may have to take a back seat for a while.
Susan from Twin Falls, Idaho writes:
In view of the fact that Joe said it, it could mean a lot of things.
Translation – We don't have a clue what to do, so you are on your own and we don't want to be responsible for making a wrong decision so we'll just cast our vote as "present" and call it a day!
It means that Obama has done something, or is about to do something that he doesn't want us to focus on. So he sent Biden out there to say something controversial and stupid.
It means that we have a government that respects the sovereignty of other countries. Gone is the era of blind imperialism. Honestly, it's scary that this appears as a new idea to some people. Another country can do as it pleases to defend itself? Hogwash.
He's trying to say that we may not be able to influence Israeli decisions when they feel their security is at stake. They call their own shots in this regard.
Biden's comment furthers Obama's policy to distance the US from Israel. While at the same using Israel to carry out the dirty work of threatening and punishing Iran for their hostile overtones of their nuclear ambitions. It was a shrewd comment from a man who often does not gauge his words. Too bad is also so transparent.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
It means that the US can't stop meddling in other people's affairs, and hopes to extend its empire over Iran once again. Sure, Biden. Go ahead, and let Israel attack Iran, and see how soon your empire comes crumbling down around your ankles...
I think Biden is trying to distance the US from Israel in the hopes that if/when Israel attacks Iran the Iranians might not perceive the attack as OK’d by us and thus not respond by attacking us. He’s wrong. To the Iranians Israel and the US are on the same team and they will not distinguish between us no matter what we say. If nothing else it will help justify our defending ourselves when Iran attacks as we’ll be able to say that we didn’t make any aggressive moves and Iran attacked us anyways.
IT means that we are finally free of the dictatorship world rule that has possessed us for the last eight years.
Israel wins wars in 7 days not 7 years like us. It is unimaginable to assume they need our permission to defend themselves. Certainly the Israelis have easily surmised that they are on their own and cannot count on the apoligist 'ally' in charge here.
To me it means that Obama is tougher and less subtle than what we may think when it comes to giving a "message" to Iran to "cool their jets" in the area of nuclear weapons development. What else might VP Biden have said? Well, he could have given the government of Israel some kind of discouragement to start World War III, or at least a precursor to it. Let's hope that much is being discussed behind closed doors by the Obama administration and Israel. Hey, I haven't heard much from dear, old Hillary lately. I've been thinking about her elbow.
mad plato of El Paso
Israel will do what they want regardless of what the U.S. wants, just as they always have done.
It means that Israel is on it's on...FINALLY! Let them defend themselves, we give them a billion dollars a year already.
I think it means that if Iran keeps pursuing atomic weapons Israel has the right to stop them. This is a country that believes the holocaust never happened and that all Jews should be killed. Iran needs to know that the atomic weapon that they seek could also be the weapon that destroys them.
Well,Jack,maybe for once Israel can actually have the right to defend herself,without asking Uncle Sam.Let's hope so!
Since when does anyone listen to anything Biden says?? Biden is out there rewriting history to go with his memory of it.
It means the U.S. is keeping it's options open and seeks to stabilize the region rather than escalate the situation. Isreal and Iran are each responsible for their own actions.
The possibility of improved relations between the U.S. and Russia could be a major factor in how this plays out. If neither Isreal or Iran can assume the U.S. and Russia will automaticly line up on opposite sides, it could give them pause before they act or react.
It means, that I'm glad VP Biden is not the President. Marlene in Mich
Perhaps it means that Israel is free to set its own course on Iran.
It means he's shooting off at the mouth again.
The Vice-President was speaking in code for "Bombs-away".
If we are to ever make peaceful and sustainable political progress in the middle east we can't always side with Israel regardless of what it's government says and does. To have sustainable long lasting peace in the region we must consider all sides, particularly the side of the Palestinians. The Palestinians, like the Israeli's deserve their own nation state so let's get on with it and stop dragging our feet. Besides, every country on earth is free to set its own course anyway so I 'm not really sure why you are asking this question.
Geri – Mead, OK
It seems to me that he is saying that if Israel decides to bomb Iran back to the stone age, we will offer no meaningful resistance. I say that is a good choice – let someone else deal with the people in the dessert for a change. I just hope that doesn’t mean that we will provide Israel with all the military hardware they want at our expense.
It means we'd better send Hillary over there – and quickly – to disabuse the Israelis of the notion that attacking Iran is okay with us and that, once again, the Vice-President's mouth was in overdrive while his brain was idling in neutral. I like the guy, but he needs a portable teleprompter!
I guess they get to nuke each other................
It means Israel does not need, or require, our consent to take what it deems reasonable measures to protect itself.
It means Joe is wise enough to not try to tell sovereign nations how they should set policy.
They are allowed to attack them if they see fit.
I hope it means the U.S. is taking a half dozen steps away from the Country of Israel and let them bear the brunt of their own decisions. If they continue to build settlements where they don't belong and where they've already agreed not to, I'd suggest it's time to step away.
Hopefully it means that we have finally realized that we have no business supporting other's wars. However, I am afraid he simply meant that we give them our blessing to escalate further attacks and our ok for an outright declaration of war. Has the Bush administration actually left the White House? Sure doesn't seem like it. Or have we just become the worlds greatest enabler of war? Seems we never talk "peace" anymore. Nice talk from a VP of the U.S. when the world is on the brink of destruction.
It means as with any country it can make it's own decisions in negotiating with a neighbor. Reasonable negotiations and that doesn't mean it should attack or fire upon without a good reason or in any way it affects other countries. Biden is just saying "use your head" and just know we are watching...
We need Gibbs to tell us what Biden "really" meant to say.
It means that the bombing will begin soon,Iran will never develop nukes,If Israel has the means to stop them then it will be done.This whole area of the world has become a powderkeg for humanity
Green light with plausible deniability. Hey didn't we sell Israel their weapons? I don't think I need my foreign policy coloring book to figure this out.
I couldn’t say Jack, I haven’t checked to see if this comment has been cleared with the boss. But then it may be Obama’s code to Israel to do the wet work with a wink and a nudge, know what I mean?
It means, Jack, that our country has no right to dictate to others.
If we told Israel they could not attack, Iran would be sitting there
with a smirk on their faces.
Of course we want things to work out peacefully but we cannot
control that either.
We attacked Iraq, with other countries telling us we should not.
So, we can tell others what to do?? And to listen??
Hopefully it means that if Israel decides to do something stupid like start a “pre-emptive” military action to eliminate a “possible” nuclear threat that “setting their own course” really means that “they are on their own”.
If Israel bombs Iran, gas will go to $10.00 a gallon overnight. This will destroy us. Could Israel ingeniously be wanting to become the last remaining super power?
It means that we finally have a leadership that realizes that other country's must do things their own way, not the United States way. How refreshing.
It means that Israel has any right that any other soverign nation has, and that is to make up it's own mind on matters. Biden wasn't stepping away from anything, but meerly speaking the truth. Poor old Joe, everyone just waithing to pounce on his next gaffu, so don't hold your breath, and listen carefully, because if you do Joe will not disapoint you. Just think we could have had Sarah Palin instead, if she hadn't already resigned from her post.
It's long over due that we don't try to set policy for these other countries. Let them fight thei own fights and live with the consequences. He is correct and one can only hope that they Israel take the action necessary against Iran instead of us.
Funny, they let Biden out again. Biden is like a 4 year old, you never know what he is going to say. Gibbs will be out soon explaining what Biden really meant to say, not what he actually said. Who are we to try and guess what Biden meant, I don't think he even knows.
It means that Joe Biden continues to show his ignorance with foreign affairs. He is just too dangerous to be President so I hope that Obama is able to complete a term. In 2012 it will be time to let old Joe go home and be senile where it doesn't put our country at risk.We need an administration that knows something about history and the way to handle our allies and enemies.
What exactly is Bidens "job" for the Obama administration? Did Biden pass the Dementia test before taking his oath of office for VP? Biden can't be sent out on any assignment without sticking his foot in his mouth. Hey, atleast we get a little entertaiment out of this doom and gloom administration!!
they have to protect themselves to survive.
In view of the fact that Joe said it, it could mean a lot of things.
What he means is that since the US administration is to cowardly to get involved in any meaningful manner in this problem (other than just jaw slamming like Obama is so good at) that someone has to act like they have a brain and some will, because it sure isn't the Obama administration.
It means that Israel is an independent State and can set its own policies as such. It would be far better for the U.S. to not be involved, at least initially if Israel did strike Iran. Perhaps Iran's problems will be resolved internally so it would be best to wait and see.
Jack: It means that if you corner the wolverine--you will face the consequences---and the US will purchase a bag of popcorn and watch the fireworks.
Maybe it means that the Obama administration is not going to be so blindly loyal to Israel. And maybe Israel will figure out that the U.S. has other interests in the region besides Israel. I think Obama is very serious about working with Iran if at all possible, so Isael may have to take a back seat for a while.
It means the Administration understands the reality of Israel as a nation unto itself. It might also mean the Democrats don't see Israel as a proxy nation to be used so as to realize US foreign policy in the middle east.
It is a brilliant strategy. Israel can destroy Iran's nuclear ambitions; and America can stand back and say we had nothing to do with it. If Iran decides to attack Israel in response, the international community will rally around Israel. I reject Obama's domestic agenda as a complete failure, but his foreign policy is the best we have seen in a very long time.
Gotta love Joe,but sometimes I don't understand what he says any more than I comprehend Ms. Palin's remarks.
it's kind of like that cat poem by T.S. Eliot. What the Veep is saying is that Israel "will do as he do do, and there's no doing anything about it." In Poli Sci 101 we call it "national sovereignty.
There is nothing we can do to control Israel. They are a loose cannon and Biden is simply asknowledging that fact.
Jack: The Israelis have the green light in 2010 to stop Iran's nuclear program. The USA will give Iran a year to start meaningful talks. The year ends in January 2010.
jack its real simple,the bible says they that bless ISRAEL,will get the blessing and they that curse ISRAEL will get the curse! READ YOUR BIBLE JACK! GOD BLESS ISRAEL!
Its a warning to Iran. If Iran doesnt negotiate away nuclear weapons, Isreal is free to take out Iran's capabilities for it.
It simply means that if Israel starts a war with Iran, we won't interfere unless Israel is losing.
It means the USA believes once again that countries are free to set their own destiny. Hopefully, all nations will make the right decisions for their citizens.
It just means that the Obama-Biden Administration is going along the same old course of previous administrations by allowing Israel to do whatever it chooses to do rather than laying down firm guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not. Israel's actions are basically responsible for all the turmoil in the Middle East and the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where there are no Israeli boots on the ground. Some ally, huh? While the U.S. has been fighting these wars, Israel has been invading sovereign nations like Lebanon and murdering innocent Lebanese and Palestinians.
Joe Biden is just turning up the heat on Iran better than Bush ever did. A classic carrot and stick approach.
Israel has always done whatever the heck it felt like. Biden is just trying to score points with the pro-Irael faction in this country by appearing to give Israel the go-ahead.
Of course Israel is free to set its own course with Iran, the question is: is Israel willing to lose the support of the American people by continuing to make war in the Middle-East. We can't afford another war, neither can Israel!
Solution for Israel: Allow the Palestinians to have a homeland! Its the only way to have some security.
I always thought the rule in war and peace, is to never under
estimate your opponent. The USA let Israel do anything it want
because the USA always have had a belief, that is God is on
your side you can do right or wrong and it is OK with GOD.
The Israel of today is not the Israel from the bible and they or
the USA can not do right or wrong and it is OK with GOD.
I am not without sin. But I know their is one GOD and it do not
like any of the wrongs done by this world. It will show you more.
It probably means just what he says. Reminding Iran of the status quo may also push them to talks on their nuclear program. Yes, there are questions about the legitimacy of their current government, but talks about the nuclear issue is what is important to the greater world.
What it means is that Israel has 300 nukes and Iran has none. So, Israel is free to do whatever it wants to Iran without fear of direct retaliation. The question will then be: will America be free to set its own course with Israel?
It means you cannot control what another country does unless you invade it and own it..
Jack: Joe is a nice guy but I sometimes wonder what comes out of his mouth. Let Israel take care of Iran, and the US will support you. Is this going to be another war or what?
It means that Israel is a sovereign nation and can make it's own decisions. Our Government needs to stop meddling in the affairs of other nations. It's the reason why the rest of the World hates us.
We don't run other countries. Biden is correct in that Israel should know what's best for them...that does not include a strike at Iran out of the blue, but does mean defense.
We are an ally...we do not run other countries. Period.
Israel is free to do what they want with Iran *wink*. They're free to attack them on August 1st at 0500 if they want *wink*. We're not asking them to handle this for us *wink*. We can't help it if they attack any of the following GPS coordinates *wink*...
That Iran and its Muslim fanatics are free to set a course to Paradise, withIsrael and our help of course!!
It means the powerful Israeli lobby continues to control the US government. So much for change.
Jack, coming from Joe Biden I'd say it means exactly what it sounds like. They are a sovereign nation, and they have done things in the past without our knowledge or approval.
It probably means Israel will strike the Iranian nuclear plants no matter the consequences. This is Bad because such a strike would only cement the hardliners in Iran. We should support the Moderate Iranians.
Something we might need to worry about but his mouth always have something interesting to say at best.
They are a soverign nation, and should be left alone to do what needs to be done as far as protecting themselves, just as we are also a soverign nation, but we tend to stick our noses in where it doesn't belong and look where that has gotten us: Installing the Shar in Iran, Viet Nam, Korea (where we just drew a line and look what happened), the Iraq/Iranian war where we had the Iran/Contra affair. Need I go on?
IF IT DOSEN'T COME FROM OBAMA HIMSELF IF MEANS NOTHING. Joe has become a burden to our president – SHUT UP!!!!! NANCY/TULSA, OKLAHOMA
drama is over with Israel....US can not be the front runner for them...It hasother obligations too...enough is enough it is what it meant.....
Since it is well-known that our Vice President often makes quick off-the-cuff remarks, the only reason to over-analyze his words would be to score political points off of them. We are not the boss of Israel, and his words didn't have to mean anything more than that.
Finally, it signals Israel’s actions are not in the best interest of the USA. Hopefully, Biden has made it clear we will not endanger the lives of American troops when Iran (and probably others) retaliate against Israel. Further, if Israel elects to go nuclear with Iran or anyone else, we should make it perfectly clear such crimes against humanity would warrant an open window for retaliation from anyone, USA included to blast Israel off the planet, as we would North Korea and any other tyrant or terrorist nation... Last, perhaps we can shut down and hold accountable the network of Israeli sympathizers from the US that fund Israel's terrorist activities.
It means exactly hat...no more..If Israel is able to reconcile their differences for their nation, they will..They are only a portion of a very complex puzzle. In this context, they truly will set their own course..It is the way it should be.
If Vice President Biden made these comments with the blessing of the White House, I don't see a issue. However, if he made them off the cuff or in a way that does not reflect the stance of the U.S Government that he ought to keep his mouth shut.
It means that Isreal will do as it likes. What else is new? I just heard it from a straight talking Joe.
To me it shows signs of incoherence from the U.S. message since while th U.S. is saying and showing to the world how the U.S. is changing by listening and not dictating because the U.S. has learn from Irak that the U.S. needs allies to face global challenges; this latest statement from Mr. Biden gives carte blanche to another nation to not bother working with other allies in facing their own challenges!
Beats me!!Sounds like Sarah Palin coached him on what to say!!
Israel takes no crap from anyone and for this I admire them. They are self made and will do what they have to do to protect thier way of life.
They proved this when they carried out operation Babylon in 1981 and they obliterated Iraq's nulear facility.
I believe that Vice President Biden cleared the path for another such operation to be carried out by Israel.
We should let Israel set its own course and if it means that Israel strikes Iran now, so be it.
Iraq, and Iran was and is run by tyrants hellbent on destroying who they please. They are not building up thier sword arsenal as in years past, they are building nuclear weapons and we need to wake up to that fact America.
I heard today that it is wonderful to hear a politicain accidentally tell the truth from time to time. His gaffe is he told the truth. That does happen on occasion in Washington.
What does this mean Jack? It means that Joe Biden talks almost to a fault. Barack Obama gets critized for being all talk, if that's true then Joe Biden is the polar opposite, it doesn't matter what he says is true or not, Joe Biden says exactly what he thinks, exactly when he thinks it. It'll be interesting to see him on the campain trail running for reelection, Joe Biden is always good for a good gaff.
Jack, it means we can't be baby sitting everyone! It seems to me that they think, they are Big & Mighty, so then be it, but on your own.
It means he didn't check it out with the President and has put his big foot in his mouth again. How about the one he and the President misjudged the economy and expect a slow recovery, maybe? The President must be wondering who he's going to be running with in 2012 and kicking himself for not picking Hillary. And, wasn't Joe Biden the one assigned the job of overseeing the application of this economic recovery? I said it was too small. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.
It means America and British petroleum won't be running out of Iraqi sweet light crude for some time. And now that there are bases in Iraq they are taking a defensive stance to whatever trouble Israel might stir up.
Israel can take the gloves off and do as they please if Iran continues to pursue the development of nuclear weapons. We have been backing Israel since its conception and will continue to do so in the future. Besides it lets us keep our hands clean when the "you know what" hits the fan.
It seems as if Biden said it just right, It is up too Isreal to decide how they will deal with Iran. Was there something wrong in what Biden said? If so please do tell Jack.
It meant they would all bear the same fate with or without US.
Biden means that they can set their own course, but they better not start up the engine unless the U.S. says so. We cannot have the right wing in Israel starting a regional war without our say-so.
It means that we finally have leaders mature enough to refrain from meddling in other country’s affairs.
It means that the U.S. is giving a green light to Israel to bomb Iran for "alledged" noookular weapons. Wait a minute -I saw this movie! And guess what happens. Muirkan soldiers (once employed, now laid-off to become mercs) will be sent to help the poor, helpless noookular Israel kill Iranians just like they (AIPAC-owned Congress) trumped-up garbage propaganda about Iraq. This country is doomed.
Jack, what it means is that if we don't stop Iran's nuclear program Israel will.
Basically it means that we are going to allow this sovereign country to finally determine what political stance is best suited for this region of the world as long as "we the people" are not seen as the main instigators in shaping the policy there. Problem is no one over there adheres to any policy presented to them from outside moderators over the long term and usually makes hasty retaliatory decisions based on the situation at hand anyway so I ask you, why do we even bother?
What does it mean? Possibly the end of Iran as we know it.....
This can only mean that Israel will increase the rhetorec against Iran, launch more aeral sortees that violate Iranian airspace which force Iran into reaction. Reaction that the US will call terrorism and aggression and Iran will get punished for it. But the question I ask you is, who provoked Iran?
I hope it means we don't have to pick up the pieces if Israel decides to start a preemptive war with the muslim world. I also hope it means we take back the $3billion in free military aid we give them every year. I think if they didn't have US weapons, they might play nicer with their neighbors.
Vice President Biden's statement literally meant what he said. I am with him on this one. Israel is a sovereign nation and not a banana republic of America. It has every right to self-determination.
Spencer, North Carolina
It's claer.... that we are not aiding there movement.
He stuck his foot in his mouth as always. On Israel, it is Hillary we listen to, not Biden. Hillary was as clear as she could be. No equivocations.
It means we’re no longer the bully in the room
If Israel nukes Iran does anyone believe that someone won't blame the USA and start something with us, we should butt out and mind our own business and worry about Afganastan and to keep our soldiers safe and to come home soon...........
Jack, like bill clinton said " These people are on automatic"
What Biden said is true and accurate, but the folks on"automatic" want to make something out of it. The US can recommend policy directives to Israel but cannot impose them. The Israelis know that they cannot do anything significant w/out US approval for obvious reasons. If Biden said the opposite, people would be demanding for his resignation.
If Israel takes the lead, then the U. S. can offer support. With North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq to keep us busy, its time to defer to another country that has something at stake. Vice President Joe Biden didn't put his foot in his mouth this time, he was calling for assistance without setting off any alarms.
It means we are not responsible for Israeli actions towards it's neighbors. This comment should set precedence that we do not control Israel and they do what they want. Just because Israel wars with someone does NOT mean we go to war as well. Nice comment Joe, well done this time!
He's at it again. None of us take him seriously, why should you?
Besides, he isn't our President and doesn't speak for US. (OOPS – guess if Palin fans get their wish, he COULD be our President).
This means Joe Biden needs to ignore his many years of campaign experience, where he can say whatever comes to mind that might help him get elected, and stay focused on his new role as Vice-President of the United States, where just a few ill-chosen words might cause a country to take its nuclear weapons off "safety".
Oh, Israel is a "sovereign nation", eh? A sovereign nation like Iran? Like Iraq? Like Afghanistan? I don't know if this latest gaffe signals a change in policy or not. I think the US has always allowed Israel to do whatever it pleased, no matter how wrong it was. Biden's statement can only encourage them to attack Iran. I was dismayed when he chose him as his running mate, and I'm just as dismayed today that he is the Vice President, and I'm a Democrat who voted for Obama, although he was not my first choice. Biden wasn't even my next-to-last choice. Can you say, "stuck with him"?
I think that turning the problem over to the Israelis is a brilliant move. The Israelis have proven that they now how to deal with this type of situation. Iranians! Stay away from nuclear sites.
Jack, coming from Joe Biden I’d say it means exactly what it sounds like. They are a sovereign nation, and they have done things in the past without our knowledge or approval.
Vice President Biden is clearly indicating that Israel has every right to choose what way the government wishes to deal with Iran, whether it is negotiations, or possibly a military strike to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.Clearly indicating that regardless of what the Israeli government chooses to do, the United States will support it unconditionally; Even if it means giving up negotiations with the Iranian government.
For those that do not know it yet, I think Vice President Biden was trying to tell them that Israel is not one of the states in the United States.
In Biden speak, “Israel is perfectly CAPABLE OF, CAN & WILL do what it sees necessary in order to protect its citizens”.
It means that at long last, the US is no longer going to be the world's fireman. Hallelujah!
Every sovereign nation has its own right to do what it should do to protect itself. However, I don't think Biden would feel the same if it was Iran wanting to protect itself.
Joe is in his own world of understanding
What this means is, Israel do what ever you want to, just leave the United States out of it, we start enough of our own wars based on lies.
Carl in Illinois
I am pretty sure it means that Joe Biden is not going to mess with Israel. This is his way of saying; that he is pretty sure he not going to ruffle any tyranosaurus feathers.
It means that any country can attack any other country it views as an existential threat. Certainly a number of middle eastern countries view a nuclear armed Israel as an essential threat. India and Pakistan view each other as essential threats. Certainly there must be some who view the USA as one. And I guess we accede to all such unproved attacks.
So much to do about nothing. When have we ever had control of what Israel does? And really, who cares?
That means that Israel is on his own whatever is going to happen..
In a few words: "If you broke it..."
It might sound ignorant, but It "means" just what he says. It's in fact the best position. Let sovereign nations make their own mistakes. It's part of the growing pains.
this is drawing a line. its saying. "We stand by the israelis right to defend itself, but also if any military action is taken towards iran, we have no affiliation with these actions." It's almost a stance you HAVE to take. but it is clearly a step back with regards to US Israeli relations.
I would imagine, it is the first step to backing away from Israel slowly without the public catching on. When Biden speaks there is usually some truth in it, it's just the spin the white house puts on it afterwards that makes you think.
Jack - I'm pretty sure that when Joe Biden opens his mouth, he's as curious about what comes out as the next guy, He seems to make it up as he goes along.
Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona
Since when did "defending" mean "preemptive"? If Israel goes after Iran for its "potential" nuclear capabilities, this should not be any concern to the United States. Let Israel make the same mistake the US made when it preemptively invaded Iraq in the erroneous name of defense. It is about time that the United States cuts its ties with Israel and let this sovereign nation continue its unjust bullying in the Middle East.
It means, no longer will the U.S. follow Israel. It means we have a new policy for the Middle East. It means, no longer do we support one side. It means the current policy was basically the reason why we got hit on 9-11. It means we will no longer be guilty by association.
It means that any country can attack any other country it views as an existential threat. Certainly a number of middle eastern countries view a nuclear armed Israel as an essential threat. India and Pakistan view each other as essential threats. Certainly there must be some who view the USA as one. And I guess we accede to all such unprovoked attacks.
why is it ok for the 'soverign nation of Israel' to attack Iran preemptivley and not ok for Iran to do so I mean if Iran is a 'soverign nation' then they should be allowed to do the same I would think
While Israel may be a sovereign nation, it's Bidens job as V-P to back up Pres. Obama and the Obama Administration.
We all have V-P Biden while SNL is in reruns! =)
Tucson, AZ – Onc3 again, Joe Biden has said something literally true, but lacking in the nuances of "political correctness" that color the more complicated statements of actual diplomats. Israel will do what Israel does – American policy is not binding on any country but the United States. Mr. Obama has turned out to be exactly what Joe Biden had said he was in the primary election. Note that Vice Presidents do not make American policy in any degree, nor do they execute it, except when the President asks them to do so. Whatever Joe Biden says are the observations of a very smart but not very tactful knowledgeable observer. Period. If it sounds like a policy change, it is because the media is reading too much into it. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton will announce any foreign policy changes, not Mr. Biden.
Its simple cafferty, in one breath you said that Biden will stay outta israel's way if it attacks Irans nuclear sites, and that Obama is still willing to have future dialogue with the Iranian government regardless of the violent unrest. good cop bad cop? now that the world knows that 60 million iraninas are not backing the government it would mean with a little threat from Israel we would come ahead leaving any negotiations with the heads of Iran.
It means that we are not their police. If they get caught in the wringer, then they need to find another Country to help them out.
Sounds like Good Cop/Bad Cop to me. Obama wants to talk and not press Iran while Joe holds out the ultimate stick. All the Iranian protestors want is a Constitution and Bill of Rights like ours.
It means there are already plans to do just that and we're afferming that we had nothing to do with it. The denial game. With all the unrest about the election it looks like nothing is going to change and an attack on Iran is probably eminent.
It means Obama and Biden are not on the same page. I am absolutely, positively sure that Obama is very upsert with his vice-president. Hasn't Biden been listening to all the sppeches given by the Commander-in-Chief about bridging the gap between Israel and the Arab world. To say that the United States will not stand in the way of Israel is a slap in the face to the Arab world. Tell Biden to read Obama's speech given in Eygpt. It clearly states how our president feels about Israel and the Arab countires and what they need to do to bring harmony between each other.
Its simple cafferty, in one breath you said that Biden will stay outta israel’s way if it attacks Irans nuclear sites, and that Obama is still willing to have future dialogue with the Iranian government regardless of the violent unrest. good cop bad cop? now that the world knows that 60 million iraninas are not backing the government it would mean with a little threat from Israel we would come ahead leaving any negotiations with the heads of Iran.
I think it means we will finally get our noses out of other people's business. Let Israel fight their own battles. I think they'd do a fine job of it. Maybe after we cut Israel loose we could stop wasting our money in South Korea leave them with a couple of high end missiles and let them defend themselves as well. As of now we have forgotten the speak softly and carry a big stick days of Teddy Roosevelt and we have adopted just the opposite.
In regards to Vice President Biden's comment about Israel being a sovereign nation and have the freedom to handle Iran as they see fit, I think that Biden is saying this because the U.S. and Israel to not want to be seen as coordinating their responses to Iran, which would only add fuel to the notion that the U.S. is biased toward Israel in the Middle East, or that the U.S. would be involved in any Israeli strike in Iran (which is a real possibility). Of course, the U.S. is biased toward Israel in the Middle East and the U.S. would support Israel if it decided to strike Iran, but Biden's remark is meant to downplay all of this.
I think – for the most part – Biden's choice to invoke the Monroe Doctrine, with a policy of non-involvement in international relations (especially in these inflamed countries with historically theatrical records) is the way to go.
Anything that is COUNTER to the Bush Doctrine is pointing us in the wrong direction. Of course, if human rights violations are being seen and things of that sort, it's expected for the U.S. to have word in the situation.
But, I like this new "respect" Obama and Biden have found that respects other nations' sovereignty – instead of pushing for nation-building and policy-building in the Middle East is good.
Say it with me now: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
I think all hell will break loose, if Israel should attack Iran. I think we should try our very best to discourage them from doing that. We know we would become involved. It just might become a WORLD WAR.
My grand kid got beat up for a whole year, one day he decided to fight back,. the other child arrived at my door and said look what he did to me...I looked at him but he spoke and said looks like your daddy needs to give you a band aide...looks like Iran is going to need a band aide...
If Israel bombs Iran, it will not be a "defensive" measure, but a preemptive attack. And then what? When the Arab countries retaliate, as they would have every right to, is the US going to plunge the world into what will amount to Armageddon? Israel is the threat in the Middle East, not Iran. Sitting on nuclear weapons as it is, why wouldn't those whom Israel hates wish to prepare themselves against her? With Israel's population expanding like a rabbit hutch's, making it mecessary for more and more appropriation of Palestinian land - which is not spacious by any stretch of the imagination - what happens when that's all gobbled up and more is desired? Annex Lebanon, Syria, Jordan? Let's look at realities here.
To me, it sounds like Biden is encouraging/ welcoming a nuclear war. Instead of calming the situation down, he's adding fuel to the fire. Think about it; Isreal attacks Iran. Obviously Iran is going to retaliate with whatever weapons they've been working on. And after that, I don't even want to imagine what will happen after then.
I interpreted this as telling Israel they can choose and fight the battles of their own interests. By also engaging the Iranian people IF they choose, the U.S. again controls a FAIR view on both countries and FAIR assesments of the real issue.
Newsflash!! Joe Biden says more than he's suppose to. Fix it or live with it.
I am a very concern Iranian, I believe Vice President Biden meant that if Israel wants to attack Iran they are on their own and united state won’t help them at all, I personally am pro Mousavi and I believe the best thing that could help the current administration in Iran and will kill the Green Moment and will keep this regime alive is Israel’s attack to Iran.
Biden spoke clearly. It is not a US decision but one to be made by Isreal.
It obviously means one thing and one thing only. Israel has the right to defend itself just like we have the right to defend ourselves. Joe's not saying anything bad, hes just being straight forward, some of us americans just cant seem to step it up as Joe has. Think about that america.
very stupid comment .he is adding fuel to a fire that is already raging in the middle east.
It means they can do what they want,when they want,and then say they have the right to defend them self!!
It is about time that someone from the Obama administration does the right thing and shows support for Israel. Obama himself has the silly notion that the biggest impediment to the Israel-Palestine peace process are the houses that Israeli's are builiding for their families. How about the Palestinians recognizing Israel's right to exist. As far as Iran, there is no question that a nuclear Iran directly threatens the safety of the Israeli people. American jews should wake up and realize that the difference between now and WW2 is just that we have put a significant % of the Jewish population in one place for them to wipe us out AGAIN. In 2009, to be anti-Israel is anti-semetic.
Jack, it means what Biden said: Israel is a sovereign nation surrounded by ticking time bombs. If the Israelis determine that the fuse on one of them has been lit, what are they supposed to do? Wait until they are blown to smithereens? Hopefully, they'll "accidentally" direct a round toward the building that houses Kahmeini and his crew during the bombardment of "nuclear weapons" sites. Somehow, the world has to wake up the Islamic people who inhabit these benighted Middle Eastern nations and drag them into at least the 20th century any way we can. Maybe a few doses of worldwide political reality would help that process!
When it comes to what Joe means about most anything he says – your guess is as good or bad as anyone else's.
Israel *is* a sovereign nation, and therefore can chart it's own destiny. Is it a "gaff" to point this out? I find honesty in politicians refreshing.
Allison, Vancouver B.C.
Mark..Israel is a soveriegn nation.They did missread the economic numbers..sometimes we see the expected flaw when it isn't there
It means that the USA has been and still is run by Israeli elements.
When was the last time the US gave carte blanche to AUTONOMOUS Lebanon, Syria or...Iran?
The truth is simple – Israel will defend its interests whether through its own means or by hijacking the US government's protection. Palestinian freedom movements will do the same, whether through their own means, or through the protection of Iran.
Everything else is wasting time and filling air time.
I just can't wait for the day when the US can make AUTONOMOUS decisions pertaining to Israel – nothing wrong with defending your own interests; everything wrong with having another state defend its own interests by hijacking US' foreign policy!
If Iran makes nuclear weapons they will attack Israel with nuclear weapon and many people will die. If diplomacy doesn't work then Israel needs to do whatever it takes and that is including attack.
Israel CAN and WILL attack if diplomacy doesn't work.
It means there is no sign of stability in the Middle East and possibly won't be until Israel brings down Iran and it's nuclear facilities.
Considering Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza, this can’t bode well for any of us. They won’t handle Iran well, and we’ll have WW III on our hands before we know it. Why does Israel get to do whatever they want in the region, while no one else can?
It means that everyone forgot without Joe Biden's "foreign relation experience," that was SO stressed during the campaign, Obama may not be president. It actually could be possible that he knows what he is talking about. If Obama had said it himself-there wouldn't be an issue right now.
Jack, Vice President Biden is just trying to respond to questions. We need to hear the whole scenario. He appears to be an easy mark but I would suspect there is some truth to his response to questions he is being ask. We all need to keep in mind he is the vice president and not the thug that was previously sat in that chair. I think Joe Biden has earned an opportunity to respond. Give him credit. Thanks Jack
Seems to me, it is ok to Israel to occupy the whole Palestine, killing the Holly Palestine’s People. Terrorizing the middle East, and waging wars with the blessing of US, Britain, and most of the EU Countries
It doesn't really mean anything at this point. Not without action. Israel is indeed sovereign, and they have a right to conduct foreign policy as they see fit, without international interference. I do not believe this is a return to anything like Bush Doctrine politics, and I suspect if Israel took any major pre-emptive action without respect for the sovereignty of Iran they would face a harder line from the White House of today than they faced during the Bush Administration.
Israel is perfectly capable and well-armed enough to handle it's own military affairs. They do not need the U.S. as their "Pit Bull". Besides, we have our own fish to fry these days.
Do ya think that maybe he is saying that Israel runs Israel.
It's not looking good for Middle East Peace.
I think Biden has it right. As a nation, Israel has every right to do what it deems necessary for protection. We also have the same right. Of course, while examining a security situation, the government of any country should attempt to keep the safety of its allies in mind. If Israel, or any other industrialized nation for that matter, decided to attack Iran, they must know that it would ignite an international conflict with an extreme economic impact. While the Israeli government is still building settlements, I'm confident that they have enough sense not to become the catalyst for something devastating.
Seems as if Biden is following the Cheney/Bush format. Somebody please let him know that his name comes after Obama's. It is Obama/Biden, not Biden/Obama.
If he keeps it up Obama's administration will be likened to the Cheney/Bush adminstration. We don't want that to happen, again.
Nice words, Biden!
Would you like to repeat them when Iran issues a shariah against Israel?
Would you let the Israelis defend themselves ON THEIR OWN?
I would very much like to see the "sovereign" Israel act in "sovereign" manner...
It means exactly what he said-They (Israel) have the right to do whatever they want to do. Why does (or should) America believe it can direct other countries to do anything- I just don't understand our nationalcentrism? We have enough of our own problems- and they have their own choices!!!
This is the change we want and expect from our new adminstration!!
It means that Israel is now a military base and it can srtike at anytime anywhere no holds bar, with Iran gov progressing hastily so to say.
Is this the era of jungle justice Mr. Biden? Jack the problem here Americans are afraid to stand up to Isreal; there's no reason(s) any country should be given a free way to strike any country ; it is just not acceptable.
It means Isreal will do whatever it wants, regardless of what we think. Is that not what they are doing to the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, their attack on Hezbollah, the Syrian strike, Egypt and so on? They do as they please, under the guise of defending themselves against terrorists. They have become the aggressors, and they will continue to do so until we intervene, which we will not for obvious political reasons. This out of control country, is the number one reason the the rest of the region hates us, and it is time we admit it, whether or not we do anything to help the Palestinians or not.
Israel is probably better able to defend themselves than most people think, given the probability that they have a nuclear bomb and an excellent military. Assuming that they are, we should stay out of it if they choose to attack Iran and take out their nuclear facilities as well as defend their own homeland. We've supported Israel for many years and maybe it's time we focused our attention to other obligations rather than take the lead and alienate the entire Muslim and Arab world. Let them fight their own fights.
I guess it means we don't own the world.
Biden's comments simply mean that diplomacy should be prioritized in dealing with iranian nuclear issue and that Israel knows best the immense benefits at stake in living in peace and security with its neigbors with whom they share a common future.
It means that someone in our government finally has the sense to not want to interfere in some other country's business!
If we all just followed that rule how much nicer the world would be!
I hope to God that this is Biden talking out of his....hat...again.
Obama has made it clear to Israel that they are NOT to run a first strike on Iran. Unless that has changed due to the current situation there, that still seems best.
Bottom line....Biden has to reflect the President's policies. I think he's getting better and better at it...but still,....a long way to go.
I personally think that Israel has to take out the Iranian nuke facilities. They are a direct threat to Israel and they may never get a better chance.
PS – Israel also knows the Obama administration won't do anything to help their survival.
I hope it means that Isreal is willing to deal with the consequencies of their actions. I hope they don't come running to us to bail them out when things don't go the way they plan.
Israel seems to 'demand' that they do whatever they want in military and they 'expect' U.S. to kill their children in support of Israel . . . it really is too much to demand of us.
Israel seems to 'demand' that they do whatever they want in military and they 'expect' U.S. to kill their children in support of Israel . . . it really is too much to demand of us.
It means if Iran had run a fair election process the world would be more willing to work things out in a peaceful manner. With Irans "skewed" election process the door is open to who knows what.
It means exactly that - that it is for Israel and Israel alone to decide how to pursue its own destiny, and for the US to act according to its own interests, which in Biden's view, are also in Israel's interest.
Vice President Biden did not say Israel is free to set its own course on Iran. Your characterization incites anger, adding the implication that Israel is above reproach. Biden's actual word choice, "sovereign," better illustrate a legal description of Statehood. T
Joe Biden said it. How would anyone be sure what it meant? We'll have to wait for interpretation by the staffers.
It means that, as a free nation, Israel is free to set their own course on Iran. Why do you think there is a hidden message here? I don't.
Bottom line, if the U.S. steps aside, Isreal would have Iran for lunch, Kosher or not. Joe Biden is infact a dearly beloved politicial, inspite of his fau pauxs. That he would say something like that is the indication that the U.S. would like Israel to take care of this problem. Biden should also tell Israel that North Korea is also an Arab state.
It is what it is. Israel is a sovereign nation capable of making up its own mind what's good, bad or indifferent to it national interests. And clearly this sends a signal to the Arab world that we do not control Israel. So maybe they should come to the table.
Free operational Israel, sounds great. As well a free up the funds we send over by the billions to stabilize both sides of terrorist.
It means that Obama has done something, or is about to do something that he doesn’t want us to focus on. So he sent Biden out there to say something controversial and stupid.
You're describing Bush Administration tactics. Please relax a bit...we elected Obama knowing fully what he intended to accomplish...no surprises here...now let's let him do what we hired him to do: clean up a terrible mess and help get us on track for a more stable society. We're all Americans here, fellow passengers on an economic Titanic. Help save our sinking ship. Try to remember it started sinking long before he came on board.