September 16, 2008

We don't have to think about this, it's in our blood....

From What is truly frightening about Sarah Palin, By Bradley Burston

....The question about the Bush Doctrine was not a trick. It was not a trivial point designed to make Sarah Palin look bad. It is the summary of a worldview that has guided American foreign and military policy for the seven years since September 11, 2001. It is America's formal explanation for sending Americans into harm's way. It is America's explanation to the world for what America has done.

Even my Israeli cab driver, a non-American through and through, knew more about the Bush Doctrine than Sarah Palin. And that is cause for serious concern.

The cabbie knew, for example, that the doctrine provided for anticipatory self-defense, and pre-emptive strikes to forestall hostile acts even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack.

"This would never have happened in Israel, ever" remarked a journalist friend, referring to the choice of Governor Palin, whose credentials in the realms of foreign policy, statecraft and the military are limited in the extreme.

With irony bordering on the painful, the journalist added, "Sarah Palin has restored my faith in Israel."

Israel is far from a model of good government, wise policymaking and exemplary leaders. But here, at least, voters and the politicians they make it their business to know inside and out, relate to politics not as if it were a spectacular bowl game or a reality show.but for what politics really is, in America and Israel both: a matter of life and death....(Thanks to Orrin)

Sorry, Mr Burston, but I think you are wrong here. Do you imagine Governor Palin doesn't GET "pre-emptive strikes to forestall hostile acts?" Of course she does. It's just American cowboy common-sense. It's Jacksonian. For all I know she's never heard of the Osirak raid, but do you imagine she wouldn't understand it in the blink of an eye? And say, "Well duh! They're building nuclear bombs to fry you? Of course you should hit them. Go for it."

And the Bush Doctrine on the subject of spreading democracy? We Americans started arguing furiously on that subject even before we had written our Constitution. I don't know what her views are, but she would absolutely understand the question. It's in our blood. (And I'm guessing your Tel Aviv cab driver hasn't thought much about that part.)

* Update: An irony is that all the major Democrats, such as Clinton, Kerry, and Gore, are on record before 2000 saying that Saddam is a danger to us, and ought to be removed from power. Once Bush proposed actually doing something about it they pretended they had never heard of such a disgusting non-European idea. But that was not a failure to understand the concept, it was moral bankruptcy

Posted by John Weidner at September 16, 2008 11:24 AM
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