MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - The United States should work closely with Russia, China, India, Iran, Syria and the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) countries in defeating the Islamic State, and US Vice President Joe Biden's recent speech should mark this profound shift in the US policy, Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of Executive Intelligence Review newsmagazine told RIA Novosti Friday.
"The United States should be working closely with Russia, China, India, Iran, Syria – as well as the GCC countries – in defeating the Islamic State. The United States should be supporting the BRICS initiatives, including the Chinese promotion of the New Silk Road of Eurasian development," Steinberg told RIA Novosti.
"Biden's identification of the Saudis and other Gulf allies along with NATO member Turkey in promoting the Islamic State, the al Nusra Front and other jihadists is a belated but welcome admission. He is clearly correct in his warning. I hope that this is a reflection of a larger about-face in US policy," Steinberg claimed, commenting on Joe Biden's speech at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Thursday.
Steinberg called Biden's remarks "the first truthful statements since the outset of the Syria conflict." However, he expressed doubt that they will entail positive changes in Obama's foreign policy in the short term.
"Do Vice President Biden's remarks reflect a change in Obama Administration policy? I do not know, but I am personally skeptical that Obama is prepared to make a clear public break from the Saudis and from his British friends who are equally deeply implicated in the promotion of jihadist terrorism," Steinberg said.
The expert criticized a number of Obama administration's steps as being conducive to the rise of jihadists in the Middle East.
"Yes, the US has tolerated Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar promotion of radical jihadists in their zeal to overthrow Assad," Steinberg stated. "President Obama … opened the floodgates in August 2011 by demanding that President Bashar al-Assad step down. This was not only a total violation of Syrian sovereignty. It was an unprecedented statement for any US President to call for the removal by force of a foreign head of state who was legitimately elected by a vote of his people. The US has not been innocent in the arming of the very Syrian rebels who we are now fighting as radical jihadists."
"President Obama has in the past been an ardent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why the US was so lax in recognizing the danger of the Sunni jihadists until the problem had gotten totally out of control," Steinberg added.
Moreover, the expert reminded of the role of the Saudis in 9/11 attacks that has been concealed.
"President Obama has continued to cover up the role of the Saudis, particularly the role of Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, in the original 9/11 attacks. He has perpetuated the coverup by the Bush-Cheney Administration of a crucial 28 page chapter from the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, chaired by former Senator Bob Graham. That 28 page chapter detailed the role of Bandar and other top Saudi officials and Royals in supporting the 19 hijackers."
Placing responsibility for the advent of Sunni jihadists on the Sunni states and American supportive policy, Steinberg concluded that "Sunni states have a special obligation to take the lead in defeating ISIS - particularly if we are to avoid a further escalation of Sunni versus Shia conflict within the entire Islamic world," noting that "so far, however, President Obama has vetoed any possibility of open collaboration with the Syrian government or the Iranian government in the war against ISIS".
In his speech at John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University on Thursday US Vice-President Joe Biden accused the US key allies in the Middle East of allowing the rise of the Islamic State by providing them with money and weapons, seeking Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow.
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