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Friday, September 12, 2008

Experience not necessary, knowledge is a must

After watching the Charles Gibson interview with Sarah Palin, I have a terrible headache.

We've had eight years of an administration led by a man who scorns knowledge. Bush launched an illegitimate war based on fabricated intelligence with a country he didn't even bother to familiarize himself with first. (Sunni? Shi'ite? Yeah, whatever... Flowers and candy!) Nearly six years ago, he created a foreign policy of not preemptive war but preventive war by invading Iraq, as the supposed threat posed by Iraq was neither immediate nor even in the foreseeable future. The very important question for the next administration is: Will the Bush Doctrine continue? Will we continue to deal with our enemies with a preventive policy, or will we engage them, relying on diplomacy?

A real good place to start for our nominee for Vice-President (and potential President of the United States) is knowing exactly what our current foreign policy is! Hint: The Bush Doctrine is not defined as "Bush's world view." It's a policy of preventive war. (Someone at least get her on Wikipedia for Christ's sake.) And even after Gibson defines it for her, she still doesn't get it, she starts talking about imminent threats. That's not the Bush Doctrine. Bush Doctrine = Preventive war. Granted, Gibson does misspeak. He uses the word preemptive, rather than preventive, but he does properly explain the Bush Doctrine to her. But if you can't grasp the basic concepts of foreign policy, please step away from the nuke button.

Most of the interview is bad. The fact that Palin would have us fighting a war with Russia right now if Georgia were a member of NATO, it's downright frightening. As Madeleine Albright once said, "Armageddon is not a foreign policy." Well, not yet, anyway.

The scary interview:


LL said...

I agree so much. I found that interview deeply troubling and so, SO remniscient of Bush. I really hope people start seeing the parallels soon.

Allison said...

Right on. Did you see tonight's? Basically, the 3 ways she is going to reform Washington is (1) tax cuts, (2) getting government out of the way of the private sector, and (3) more oversight of organizations like Fannie/Freddie. How is this at all different from Bush?

Mike said...

For a look at what exactly the Bush Doctrine entails, here's a Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457.html

Proto Attorney said...

Simply? I don't agree with Krauthammer. Then again, that's nothing new.

The argument that there are many different definitions of the Bush Doctrine is about as ridiculous as saying the policy of containment has many different definitions. Like, for example, isolating a particular aggressor nation through the use of hard power in an attempt to coerce compliance to international norms. Yes, in fact, that is a definition of containment. But when you discuss the policy of containment in a setting discussing foreign policy during the cold war, there is no question that what you mean is the policy of preventing the spread of Soviet communism in fear of a domino effect of expansion. There is no question that when asking about the Bush Doctrine, what you mean is an aggressive shutdown of one's perceived enemies based on the belief that the enemy is becoming a rising threat. There are certainly other elements besides that of preventive war, but that is the definition that most springs to mind, and it's the most prominent element. The other elements, such as the goal of spreading democracy, is certainly nothing new, and won't be what makes it into the history books. The 9/11 response of invading those countries which harbor terrorists is also an extension of the preventive war doctrine. Or the beginning, really.

I find it mildly amusing that the conservatives and neo-cons have conceded that the Bush's foreign policy is an incoherent mess in order to defend Palin's ignorance of it.

I won't dive into a lengthy discussion of how I also disagree with Krauthammer's notion that the Bush Doctrine is the same as neoconservative policy (there are differences, although subtle). I do take aim, however, that the distinction continues to fail to be made between preventive and preemptive war. It's a subtle difference perhaps, but an important one. Obviously, if there is intelligence that a country is about to attack us, it is difficult to argue that a preemptive strike is unjustified. However, when the threat of another country's attack is still far into the future and questionable at best, that is the controversy. And frankly, it's a policy I find repulsive.

Another observation I find amusing: the fact that Krauthammer spins the ignorance of the VP candidate into a backhanded comment about those "educated elite" (a/k/a Barack Obama) looking down their nose at her. All those uppity elite snobs who dare to be educated and informed.

Cee said...

This is really bothering me- but does it look like she's slouching to anyone else? Bad politics AND bad posture, tsk tsk.