"... If Mitchell is alarmed by Palin, running for vice president, he should be terrified by Obama, running for president. Either that, or he should accept that nothing Palin said was particularly bellicose, extreme or unreasonable. He’s just fallen for the Palin = redneck spin of the Left ..."
She may only be running for VP but it already seems she is more astute, calculated, and coherent, than most would give her credit. Ok she wasn't perfect but Australian Journalist Andrew Bolt provides us with an excellent analysis following a Melbourne based radio hosts criticisms of Palin. The hosts name is Neil Mitchell.
Sarah Palin has given her first interview since being picked as the Republican’s vice-presidential candidate. The media has scrabbled for evidence of fumbles, and evidence that a shootin’, cussin’ redneck is about to plunge the world into war.
And away they go. From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
Really? Let’s check
The first war a President Palin would allegedly start was with Pakistan, by invading it in the hunt for terrorists, and perhaps from the transcript you might agree the words are indeed naive and alarming:
We should start with the premise that the United States, like all sovereign nations, has the unilateral right to defend itself against attack. As such, our campaign to take out Al Qaeda base camps and the Taliban regime that harbored them was entirely justified… (I)f we’ve got (Osama bin Laden) in our sites, we should ask for Pakistan’s cooperation, we should ask Pakistan to take him out. But if they don’t, we shouldn’t need permission to go after folks that killed 3,000 Americans.Oops, sorry. That was actually Barack Obama. This is Palin:
ABC News Anchor Gibson also asked Palin several times whether or not U.S. forces have the right to make cross-border attacks into Pakistan with or without the approval of the Pakistani government… “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...”The other war a President Palin would start, according to Mitchell, was with Russia over Georgia (should Georgia be a NATO member, which it isn’t). Again, the transcript might sound alarming:
I would also argue that we have the right to take unilateral military action to eliminate an imminent threat to our security— so long as an imminent threat is understood to be a nation, group, or individual that is actively preparing to strike U.S. targets (or allies with which the United States has mutual defense agreements)...And those allies should include Georgia:
I have consistently called for deepening relations between Georgia and transatlantic institutions, including a Membership Action Plan for NATO...Oops. Again, that’s Obama. Here is Palin:
Asked whether the United States would have to go to war with Russia if it invaded Georgia, and the country was part of NATO, Palin said: “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,” she said. Pressed on the question, Palin responded: “What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against ... We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.”War three, fretted Mitchell, would be one with Iran, now seeking nuclear weapons, according to most assessments. Go to the scary transcript:
(T)he global community should offer “big sticks and big carrots” to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear programme.Damn, that’s Obama again. Here is Palin:
“A nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon...”
PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we’re talking about Israel, we’re talking about Ahmadinejad’s comment about Israel being the “stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth,” that’s atrocious. That’s unacceptable.
GIBSON: So what do you 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 and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.
And the fourth war? Over Israel. To the transcript:
I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally, Israel.
You guessed it. Obama again. Here is Palin:
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.
If Mitchell is alarmed by Palin, running for vice president, he should be terrified by Obama, running for president. Either that, or he should accept that nothing Palin said was particularly bellicose, extreme or unreasonable. He’s just fallen for the Palin=redneck spin of the Left.
In fact, when you read the transcript of Palin’s discussion with reporter Charlie Gibson on foreign affairs, you realise how the gotcha cherry-picking of quotes from it, and the spin given to it, completely misrepresents Palin’s general ease with the subject. The Left dreamed of her making a fool of herself - “er, who’s Putin?” - but she most certainly did not.
Charles Krauthammer punctures Charlie Gibson’s big gotcha moment. No, Charlie, it wasn’t Palin who failed to understand what the “Bush doctrine” was. It was you.
(Via: Andrew Bolts blog)
Regards FP experience, it does not matter what familiarity in any one area one has, more importantly is a track record of having an aptitude to settle in, adjust and make tough decisions with the information on hand. Sarah has already demonstrated this as Governor. In addition, as a Governor, one is not expected that one have foreign policy experience. Recall we had a governor Clinton! All Presidents started somewhere and that somewhere in most all cases had little introduction to the world stage. In any event, Palin will come good soon; independent Senator Lieberman is among many FP specialists helping her out, not least McCain himself.
See also, a fascinating op-ed in The Daily Telegraph, Sarah Palin brings the Hillary Clinton era to an end, by columnist Anne Applebaum writing on how Sarah Palin breaks the archetype of the female politician, for American woman.
Oh, and "The Consequences of Secret Sanya" post is still in the pipe works; coming soon...