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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Bob Webster
Bio: Bob Webster
Date:  September 12, 2008
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More on the Sarah Palin Interview and "The Bush Doctrine"

In their continuing desperate attempt to assault Gov. Sarah Palin, the Left and their smarmy smug liberal media allies claim Palin fails to understand what they term the "Bush doctrine." But are they correct? Or is this just another instance of their blowing smoke where there is no fire?

We have a crisis in this country. It is a crisis of education and it is manifested by an inability to understand and interpret the meaning of words in their context. No better example exists than the Left's desperate attempt to tear down the greatest threat to their plans to occupy the White House with Barack Hussein Obama. That threat, of course, comes in the form of Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.

In his highly confrontational interview with Gov. Palin, ABC News' Charles Gibson asked whether Palin agreed with the "Bush doctrine." Here is a transcript of the complete exchange:

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.

The Left has jumped on this exchange and offers it as "proof" that Palin is "unfit" to serve as Vice President. Remarkable, isn't it? The Left has no trouble with a Presidential nominee (Barack Hussein Obama) who, during his campaign, claimed he had visited "57 states" and has one more to visit, and that the total doesn't include either Alaska or Hawaii because his handlers won't let him go there. Nor does the Left find troubling Barack Hussein Obama's complete lack of ability to speak coherently when his TelePrompTer breaks down. (Note: Gov. Palin's TelePrompTer failed to keep pace with her during her GOP convention speech but nobody noticed because she executed flawlessly -- a fete that was only possible because, unlike Barack Hussein Obama, Palin understands her beliefs so clearly she can enunciate them without the help of mechanical devices)

But does this exchange with Gibson actually support the Left's claim that Palin fails to understand the "Bush doctrine" (a phrase coined by the liberal media)? I submit it does not. But for the sake of argument, let's assume for a moment that the Left has their little "gotcha" with this exchange (which I'll get back to below). When you blow away all the fluffery of Gibson's feigned superior attitude and posturing (that Palin did not understand the question), what are we left with? Two important points:

  1. Is it really important that Palin understood the precise interpretation of the term "Bush doctrine" that Gibson had in mind?
  2. Does Palin support the "Bush doctrine" as defined by Gibson?

For the Left's contention to have any traction at all, the answer to those questions must be out of phase with what the average American voter believes. Frankly, I doubt most voters are concerned in the least whether Palin shares with the Left the precise understanding of the Left's coined phrases, e.g., "Bush doctrine." So I would venture a resounding "NO" to the first of these questions. Certainly, it is both far more instructive and important to understand how Palin views "the right of anticipatory self-defense." On that question, Palin got it right. With her answer, it is clear that Palin completely supports and understands the right of the US to defend itself preemptively rather than sit around and do nothing until an aggressor launches an attack. The defense of our nation is not only a "right" but a primary "obligation" under our Constitution. No doubt Barack Hussein Obama would prefer to send messages, chat on the phone, or fly to some distant shore and plead with aggressors to not do what they are "hell bent" (to quote Palin) on doing.

Which candidates vow to keep a strong military for the purpose of defending our country? McCain-Palin.

Which candidates vow to strip down our military, drastically cut research and development of new, more effective systems (that save lives and allow speedier conflict resolutions)? Obama-Biden.

Folks, this race should be a no-brainer. Let's not allow the smarmy smug liberal-Left to succeed with their character assassination efforts. We must rebuke their efforts in the best way possible. Don't watch their drivel on TV and turn out in droves to vote for McCain-Palin. Then watch them squirm on election night as their candidate goes down in flames. Could there be any better entertainment than that?

Throughout the long history of nations, words have never been an effective alternative to action for self-defense. One need only look at the long, sorry record of the United Nations' attempts to fight potential aggression with words and "diplomacy." Bully nations do not listen to words -- they view them as a sign of weakness. Not once since the UN was formed sixty years ago has it been able to prevent conflict. On too few occasions it takes belated military action after the aggression, but it has never prevented a single instance of armed conflict from occuring that was otherwise imminent.

So Palin does supply the right answer to the substance of the question. Does it really matter about the form? In Barack Hussein Obama we have the consumate "form over substance" candidate and the Left is very comfortable with that. Frankly, I believe most Americans prefer candidates who understand substance and know how to deal with it.

As to the contention that Palin doesn't understand the "Bush doctrine," I suggest her answer resoundingly refutes that lame notion. Before Gibson smugly suggested Palin didn't understand the question by defining it as he understood it, Palin's reply to the original question was, "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." Is that not the essence of "anticipatory self-defense"? Going wherever necessary to fight those who would attack the US? Palin terms it Bush's "world view"; Gibson calls it the "Bush doctrine." In the end, what matters is that Palin shares the view that most Americans hold. That view being that the US has the same right that every other nation has to defend itself (preemptively, if necessary) against those who would destroy it. Isn't it far better to take preemptive action than to wait until thousands or millions have been killed in an aggressor's attack?

Frankly, I'd hate to see anyone in the White House who believed any less.

This same question applies to Israel's situation with respect to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Gibson pursued this line and, again, Palin had the right answer. She didn't make a policy statement that should only come from the Presidential nominee (so why did Gibson ask the question in such hot pursuit of a policy statement from Palin?). Instead, Palin skillfully upheld Israel's right to self-preservation by whatever means necessary. She reaffirmed our solid committment to Israel's existence and affirmed the Israeli right to self-preservation. The perfect answers.

If the Left insists on trying to make an issue of this, they will continue to lose votes of hockey moms, soccer moms, football moms, baseball moms, basketball moms, dance moms, piano moms and all the other "moms" ... and the votes of dads who go with those moms. Because the vast majority of decent, conservative-oriented Americans are sick and tired of the smarmy Left chipping away at the greatest nation in the history of nations. And they are sick and tired of seeing decent people demonized by Leftist misfits and smarmy smug liberal media blowhards.

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

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Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father and early American patriot, Ebenezer Webster, has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for every high school student so they can understand the dangers of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.


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