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1996 Video Shows Biden Defending Attack on Iran and 'Whatever Action' the US Deemed Appropriate

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As a tough-talking U.S. senator from Delaware, Joe Biden said there should be no restraints on the U.S. taking action against Iran if it were proved to be complicit in the 1996 bombing of a barracks used by U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia at the time.

The Democrat called it an “act of war” that handed America carte blanche to do what needed to be done.

The June 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia killed 19 American troops. Iran and its Revolutionary Guard Corps were later blamed for the terrorist attack.

Blame had not yet been fully assessed when Biden joined Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah in an Aug. 4, 1996, interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC’s “This Week.”

Biden at that time said the U.S. had the right to respond to the attack.

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“[The United States] could take whatever action it deems appropriate,” Biden said at the time, according to a video of the broadcast.

“They yield their sovereignty [if they are behind the attack] … It’s an act of war,” he said.



A far different attitude was in evidence when Biden, now a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, issued a statement following the drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

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The strike followed an Iran-instigated attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond,” Biden said in a statement, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Biden was not the only Democrat to shift ground. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts did so in less than a day, first referring to Soleimani as a “murderer” in one tweet but then slamming President Donald Trump for conducting an assassination.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has consistently opposed any military intervention, and he noted that Biden supported the Iraq War while he opposed it.

“I feared that it would result in greater destabilization in that country and in the entire region,” Sanders said, according to The Washington Post. “At that time, I warned about the deadly so-called unintended consequences of unilateral invasion. Today, 17 years later, that fear has unfortunately turned out to be a truth.”

Biden, however, has defended his past foreign policy actions.

“It’s not to suggest I haven’t made mistakes in my career, but I would put my record against anyone in public life in terms of foreign policy,” Biden said Saturday at a rally in Iowa, according to Bloomberg.

A former Obama administration official said there are significant policy differences among the various candidates.

“I think the basic choice is if you want a return to a recognizable, steady and robust American foreign policy or do you want a more wholesale rejection of the entire post-9/11 approach that Bernie and to some extent Warren are offering,” said Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser. “The center of gravity has shifted.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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