Vice President Joe Biden does not hide his friendly feelings towards our community. He has said many times that the community has stood by him since the beginning of his political career and has expressed his appreciation.
He often speaks with the most flattering words about Greek-Americans whom he calls “personal friends.” In addition, he met with community leaders before making his recent visit to Cyprus, a rare gesture of friendliness – and political calculation.
While there, his behavior, in terms of both words and symbolisms, was impeccable – and when he returned he informed the same group about the results of his visit.
Also on the sidelines of the opening of the 69th UN General Assembly last month, he met with President Nicos Anastasiadis.
But it seems that Biden has other friends too. Among them is included Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he calls an “old” friend.
That is to be expected in international politics, but keep it in mind. Most likely he was just paying a compliment.
Because America seems to believe that it needs Turkey. That is amply demonstrated by the fact that Biden called Erdogan to apologize for inadvertently revealing a truth:
Biden said that in a private conversation Erdogan admitted that he was wrong to have contributed to the development of ISIS.
I recall that for some time Ankara refused to participate in attacks on ISIS, citing the risks involved for some 40 of its diplomats and others held hostage by jihadists.
For that matter, the London Times revealed that Turkey exchanged European jihadists for its citizens. That is very disturbing, and it reveals how ruthless the Turkish government can be.
However, following intense pressure from both US President Barack Obama and Biden – and for God knows what in exchange – Turkey finally promised to participate in the war.
Obviously, Biden’s apology to the Turkish president was meant to protect that agreement. Of course, apologies are not uncommon in international politics. President Bill Clinton had apologized to the Greek people for America’s support for the Greek junta.
In this case, the apology acts as a fig leaf to protect Erdogan politically. It does not change the substance of things.
But given the ongoing policy Turkish expansion – see for example, Ankara’s latest disturbing moves in Cyprus – if the United States cannot express concerns about Turkey, who can?
The developing lack of balance in the Eastern Mediterranean should be problematic for many.
Judging by the statement by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the launching ceremony for Greece’s new submarine, he is troubled also. But America should also be very concerned.