Friday, September 12, 2008

Moose in the Headlights

Charlie Gibson has now vetted Sarah Palin more thoroughly than McCain's people ever did. In ABC's exclusive interview with Governor Palin, she often looks like a moose caught in the headlights. The most revealing and critically important excerpts reveal her lack of foreign policy experience:

GIBSON: We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?

PALIN: You know, there is a very small percentage of Islamic believers who are extreme and they are violent and they do not believe in American ideals, and they attacked us and now we are at a point here seven years later, on the anniversary, in this post-9/11 world, where we're able to commit to never again. They see that the only option for them is to become a suicide bomber, to get caught up in this evil, in this terror. They need to be provided the hope that all Americans have instilled in us, because we're a democratic, we are a free, and we are a free-thinking society.

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

(read the rest here or watch the video here.)
Oh shit. She really is NOT fit to be VP or, god forbid, president. She doesn't understand -- or is even aware of -- the biggest foreign policy shift (and failure) this country has had in decades. Here is where Palin and Gibson both get it wrong:

Actually, it's preventive war, not pre-emptive. There's a key difference: Pre-emptive war is a long-accepted, noncontroversial practice—if an enemy is clearly massing and about to attack you, you get to strike them pre-emptively. Imagine on the playground the class bully (who has beaten up your friends already) comes up to you, repeatedly threatens to hit you, and then cocks his fist. It's straight self-defense and is a basic tenet of international law.

But the Bush Doctrine is one of preventive war: Attacking another country in order to prevent them from becoming a threat at some nebulous point down the line. To return to the playground analogy, it's as if you hauled off and socked someone because they looked at you funny—that odd look could be a signal that at some point in the future they're going to hit you. Better safe than sorry. But now you're the bully.

Pre-emptive war is generally accepted. The Bush Doctrine of preventive war was controversial and revolutionary. While Bush and his cronies repeatedly conflated the two concepts by referring to his new scheme as "pre-emptive" rather than "preventive," they are not the same.

Palin made another gross mistake that boiled my blood. She linked Iraq with the attacks on September 11, 2001. This ignorance is sickening. I thought these lies were revealed years ago? There was no link between Iraq and the attacks on September 11. There was no link between Iraq and al-Qaeda... And more importantly, doesn't she read my blog?

What scares me more -- and this applies to both Palin and John McCain -- is this obsession with making decisions in the blink of an eye. I'm sorry, but is knowing stuff out of style? What about weighing consequences? What about rationality and expertise? Negotiations?

What's going to happen when McCain and Palin find themselves in the middle of The Next Cuban Missile Crisis?

It's obvious that Sarah Palin crammed for this interview, but she failed. Charlie Gibson's questions were good, but Palin's answers were really really bad!


People in the Sun said...

"a point here seven years later, on the anniversary, in this post-9/11 world, where we're able to commit to never again."

I heard about her Bush Doctrine answer, but this isn't any better. Just some empty words she put together at random from her study materials. I'm surprised the word "drill" didn't make it into that sentence.

Trung said...

palin reminds me of the flavor of the month. for one night, she was able to sheepishly fool a few thousand misinformed (or more likely, uneducated) people rather than having any substance behind her words.

her policies scare me to no end. she told a group of students that "the US invasion of Iraq is a task from God." (source: so what she's saying is that God's will is for the united states to declare an illegal war against another country and murder thousands of people all in order for a few corporations to profit?

let's also look at the fact that she voted to cut the budget that helps young unwed pregnant girls. these girls are looking for help because most of them haven't finished high school and probably won't go to college. most likely, they have no job skills and probably come from poverty stricken areas. oh, but it's okay that palin's own unwed pregnant daughter receive help. hmmm, serve me up some hypocrisy!

Kristen said...

After writing at least six blog posts about Palin, I'm amazed I could still write more! She alarms me in so many ways... counting the ways would be like adding up the scandals in the Bush administration -- too many, too depressing, and you can't tell where one ends and the other begins.