|SARAH PALIN REVEALED herself in the Charlie Gibson interview on ABC to
be nervous, uninformed, green and generally not ready for prime time.
The interview was full of stock phrases she was made to memorize, and
which she repeated over and over again when stumped. She knows nothing
about how Iran is run, or about Pakistan, or about al-Qaeda, and even
is ignorant of the Bush doctrine of preemptive warfare. It was a
shockingly bad performance.
She had the hubris to suggest that her lack of knowledge and
experience is a virtue. Why Americans, practical people, would fall
for this line is beyond me. Would you want your car to be worked on by
an inexperienced and ignorant mechanic? Would you want a plumber
messing around with your pipes who did not know his way around
The scariest thing in the was this exchange:
'When Gibson said if under the NATO treaty, the United States would
have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia,
Palin responded: "Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you
are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be
expected to be called upon and help.
"And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted
such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country,
unprovoked, is unacceptable," she told Gibson. '
She went on later to talk about providing economic and other help and
to back off seeming to threaten Russia with war.
But look at the video below [not included]. It is the alacrity with
which she says "perhaps so" that is so alarming. He asked her
specifically about having to go to war with Russia over Georgia and
she said, "perhaps so!" As though a war with a nuclear power was just
the most natural and expected thing in the world. I think the San
Francisco Chronicle entitled their article correctly.
As I count it, McCain Palin plans to keep us in Iraq for 100 years, to
invade Pakistan, and to fight a war with Russia over Georgia, all at
once. They won't just need a draft, they'll need gulags to pull that
More excerpts from the ABC Palin interview :
>> >> GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?
PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear
weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to
everyone on this globe, yes.
GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran?
PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass
destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of
Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow
terrorists to be able to use them.So we have got to put the pressure
on Iran. <<
Cole: Actually, Mahmud Ahmadinejad is the commander in chief of the
Iranian armed forces and is not in charge of national security.
Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is. Moreover, Ahmadinejad
cannot serve past 2013, and Iran cannot get nukes by then even if it
was trying to do so, which the National Intelligence Estimate of
December 2007 says it is not. If the reason to be afraid of the
Iranian civilian nuclear energy research program is that Ahmadinejad
is the president, she can relax. The idea that the Iranian government
would give a nuclear bomb that could be traced back to Iran to a
terrorist group is ridiculous, just another fear-mongering fantasy.
>> >> GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?
PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that
we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend
themselves and for their security.
GIBSON: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed
to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative
or agree with that.
PALIN: I don't think we can second guess what Israel has to do to
secure its nation.
GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself
by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.
PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to
defend itself. <<
Cole: She doesn't seem to understand that our troops (including
shortly, her son) are in striking distance from Iran and that a
unilateral Israeli strike on Iran would have consequences for the
United States. That is why Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff was sent
to Israel by Bush to read them the riot act and instruct them that
they are not to attack Iran. Palin's "anything goes" attitude to
Israeli actions in the Middle East could get a lot of Americans
>> >> 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. <<
Cole: Well at least she knows that the radicals in the Muslim world
are a tiny group. But she gives no sign of understanding what is going
on in the Muslim world, and just parrots a lot of slogans about evil
>> >> 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.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the
right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a
preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to
attack us. Do you agree with that?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that
tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have
every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the
obligation, the duty to defend. <<
Unbelievable. She not only had no idea what the Bush doctrine was, she
tried to BS her way through the question instead of being honest about
not having heard of it. It is one thing to be ignorant about
something, another not to be willing to admit it. The whole interview
is painful for the narrow-minded and ill-informed view of the world it
displays, but this is the nadir. And remember, McCain could have chose
Kay Bailey Hutchison if he wanted a woman on the ticket.
I commented on the Bush doctrine as soon as W. enunciated it and
warned how dangerous it was as an international precedent. I'm just a
midwest college professor and I was following it. Shouldn't a
political junkie know these things? I mean, are her horizons that
narrow? If so, why should we want her a heartbeat away from the
presidency? Haven't we already had 8 years of Crawford small town
foreign policy? Has it been pretty?
>> >> GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these
countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies,
but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this
world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has
got to be, a military strike, a last option.
GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your
mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the
PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would
seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes
and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of
where we go and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words
there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across
the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government,
to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to
stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our
allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table. <<
Sounds like she has the Obama position on this one, not the McCain
position. Too bad, since this is one area where McCain's is the wiser.
Posted By Juan Cole to Informed Comment