Command of foreign policy exposes Palin’s critics
September 14, 2008
Source: The Australian
SARAH Palin, John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate, continues to drive the liberal establishment mad – both in the US and around the world (including Australia).
When McCain first chose Palin as his running mate, every liberal commentator called it a disaster.
She gave a brilliant speech atthe Republican convention and the McCain ticket suddenly shot ahead of Barack Obama, nationally and in key battleground states.
The liberal consensus replied that she didn’t write the speech herself, as though Obama, McCain and Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, don’t have speech writers.
Just wait till Palin has to do unscripted interviews, they said. Wait till one of our camp can grill her on foreign policy.
So now Palin has done a long, one-on-one interview with Charlie Gibson on the American ABC network.
With perfect nuance, Palin reflected McCain’s foreign policy, speaking knowledgeably about Iran, Russia, Georgia, NATO and the Cold War, and with passion of her support for US troops.
Now the liberal press in the US, and their faithful imitators in Australia, are trying to make a scandal out of her sensible caution on the term “the Bush doctrine”.
One reason top line politicians across the Western world grant fewer interviews is because it has become a relentless quest for the “gotcha” moment, where the interviewer can catch a candidate in an embarrassing slip or lack of knowledge.
Gibson asked Palin whether she supported the Bush doctrine.
Palin quite reasonably asked Gibson what he meant by the term Bush doctrine.
Gibson said he meant the doctrine of pre-emptive attack.
Palin responded that the US could attack if it faced imminent danger.
The principle of pre-emption in the face of imminent danger is well accepted in international law and has certainly been enunciated in different ways by a long line of presidents. The debate is over what constitutes an imminent threat.
Palin’s answer was sensible and knowledgeable, in line with McCain policy and moderate.
But partisan American liberals, and their pathetically faithful imitators around the world, have tried to turn this into a shocking gaffe by Palin.
None was more provincial, ill-informed, ignorant and prejudiced than the editorial in The Age that equated Palin, the Governor of Alaska, with Pauline Hanson.
The provincialism of The Age’s derivative, undergraduate leftism was laid bare by the author of the term the Bush doctrine, Charles Krauthammer.
As Krauthammer explains, the term has undergone at least four distinct iterations: first to describe Bush’s unilateralism, second to describe his determination in the war on terror, third to describe pre-emptive intervention and fourth to describe Bush’s agenda of making the promotion of democracy the centrepiece of his foreign policy.
It is also the case that neither Bush nor any senior member of his administration has ever referred to a Bush doctrine.
Foreign policy analysts such as Krauthammer, universally acknowledged as the first person to have used the term, have used it in various contexts.
Bush’s enemies have used it as a catch-all abuse phrase to describe anything they don’t like in his foreign policy.
In the US, the term is also used to mean Bush’s unwillingness to allow members of his administration to testify before congress, or to surrender documents.
In other words, Palin’s response was the only sensible response any politician could have made.
Only the true partisan or the provincially ignorant (or, in The Age’s case, both), could manufacture it into a gaffe.
The interview contained other fraudulent gotcha moments, all of which showed that Palin is on top of her brief, has internalised the McCain foreign policy in detail and is more than a match for liberal partisans disgracing the profession of journalism by their inability to deal with reality.