Saturday, September 13, 2008

Which "Bush Doctrine" Charlie?

Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

By Charles Krauthammer Saturday, September 13, 2008; The Washington Post, A17

"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' "
-- New York Times, Sept. 12

Informed her? Rubbish.

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different. (link)

What Exactly Is the 'Bush Doctrine'?

by Richard Starr on September 12, 2008, The Weekly Standard

It's being taken in some quarters as revelatory of inexperience that Sarah Palin sought clarification when ABC's Charlie Gibson asked her about the Bush Doctrine. To review, here is the passage from the transcript.

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
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
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

Gibson should of course have said in the first place what he understood the Bush Doctrine to be--and specified that he was asking a question about preemption. Palin was well within bounds to have asked him to be more specific. Because, as it happens, the doctrine has no universally acknowledged single meaning. Gibson himself in the past has defined the Bush Doctrine to mean "a promise that all terrorist organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated"--which is remarkably close to Palin's own answer.

Consider what a diversity of views on the meaning of the Bush Doctrine can be found simply within the archives of ABC News itself:

September 20, 2001 PETER JENNINGS: . . . Claire, the president said at one point, 'From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.' Should we be taking that as the Bush doctrine?
CLAIRE SHIPMAN reporting: I think so, Peter, (link)


There is no single definition of the "Bush Doctrine." In the Weekly Standard article the author goes on to quote a total of eight different definitions of the Bush Doctrine including two different definitions from Charlie Gibson himself. All of these are from ABC news sources and include, in addition to Peters and Gibson, definitions by George Will, George Stephnopoulos, Terry Moran, and Bob Woodward.

Palin did not show herself uninformed; Gibson showed himself to be a biased, condescending, arrogant, elitist snob with an agenda. He owes her an apology.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin, Charlie Gibson and the Bush Doctrine

So, Sarah Palin blew it when Charlie Gibson asked her whether she supported the so- called “Bush Doctrine.” She momentarily halted before asking, “In what respect?” Charlie Gibson could have clarifying his question. I wonder if he would have been more helpful if the interviewee would have been Barack Obama or any Democrat.

Palin answered the questions by saying, "I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent in 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."

I thought that was a pretty good answer. Apparently however, that was not an acceptable answer to the question that was asked. She apparently didn’t know that the Bush Doctrine is that the US has the right to presumptively attack a country that is believed to be a threat to the US.

I stay pretty informed and am a news junkie. I could not have given a succinct one-sentence definition of the Bush Doctrine prior to this interview. I am not so sure that very many people could do so.

Wikipedia would have failed the Charlie Gibson test. Here is the Wikipedia definition:

The Bush Doctrine is a term used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush, enunciated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.

Later it came to include additional elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a supposed threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq), a policy of supporting democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the spread of terrorism, and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way.

Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002. This represented a dramatic shift from the United States's Cold War policies of deterrence and containment, under the Truman Doctrine, and a departure from post-Cold War philosophies such as the Powell Doctrine and the Clinton Doctrine.

The first usage of the term to refer to the policies of George W. Bush may have been when conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer used the term in February 2001 to refer to the president's unilateral approach to national missile defense.
The main elements of the Bush Doctrine were delineated in a National Security Council document, National Security Strategy of the United States, published on September 20, 2002, and this document is often cited as the definitive statement of the doctrine. The National Security Strategy was updated in 2006.

So, according to Wikipedia, there is a little more to the Bush Doctrine than the one-liner the pundits are telling us Sarah Palin should have known. Wikipedia says it is various related foreign policy principles

I don’t think Palin failed a test. I think Charlie Gibson was playing “gotcha.”

Ok, class, a pop quiz: Compare and contrast the Bush Doctrine, the Powell Doctrine, the Clinton Doctrine, the Reagan Doctrine and the Carter Doctrine giving the strengths and weaknesses and criticisms of each. If you get an “A” you are qualified to be Vice President.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama Campaign Straining to Reach Money Goal

By Michael Luo and Jeff Zeleny, International Herald Tribune, Tuesday, September 9, 2008

After months of record-breaking fund-raising, a new sense of urgency in Senator Barack Obama's fund-raising team is palpable as the full weight of the campaign's decision to bypass public financing for the general election is suddenly upon it. (link)


This is more good news!

Yesterday it was the poll numbers, today this news. The momentum is with McCain. Now that we are into the general election the McCain campaign will reap an infusion of $84 million in public financing. Obama had had such success with early fund raising that he decided he would do better without public funding. Now, it seems, that the money is not flowing into the Obama campaign the way it was anticipated. For one thing, the Hillary supporters are not supporting the Obama campaign to the degree it was expected.

Not that the Obama campaign is broke; far from it. In fact, following the Palin nomination speech, the other side was so outraged that they opened their wallets and gave Obama a one day spike in contributions breaking previous records. Palin's speech may have resulting in more funds flowing to Obama than McCain. Despite this one day fund raising record however, the overall level of contributions to the Obama campaign is down. Nevertheless, Obama has out raised and out spent McCain considerably.

I feel the momentum is with our side. The enthusiasm is with McCain-Palin. Obama does not appear near as cocky as previously. The mainstream media is still fawning over Obama and the smear campaign against Palin is in full gear, but it seems the momentum has shifted. The McCain campaign in on the ascendancy and Obama is sinking. We need to keep the momentum going as we go into the debates. It would be ashamed to loose this election due to a lack of money. Please give, give, give. Click the McCain ad to the left and it will take you to the McCain website where you can conveniently contribute using any major credit card.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sliming Palin

The following is reproduced from Fact Check.

We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.

  • Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.

  • She did not demand that books be banned from the
    Wasilla library.
    Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.

  • She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

  • Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan
    for president.
    She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

  • Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in
    Alaska's schools.
    She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

Comment: The truth should matter. This smear campaign is spreading
like wildfire through the blogosphere. If you have anyone send you one of
these lies challenge it and shame them for spreading lies. While I don't doubt that these lies are being deliberately spread in an organized campaign
to discredit Palin, I am also sure than many well-intentioned people are repeating these lies simply because they are naive and gullible.

Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They appear unbiased and objective. Fact check gives detailed analysis of each of the Palin smears. To see the Fact Check article, click here: Slimming Palin.

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McCain Leads!

Look at this!
Fantastic! Unbelieveable! For the first time, McCain pulls ahead in all the polls. We may just win this thing. A few weeks ago almost everyone thought Obama had it wrapped up. I was for McCain and had contributed to the campaign, but if I was placing a bet, I would have bet on Obama. Now it looks like it may be a real contest.

Gallup Daily Tracking - McCain 49 - Obama 44

USA Today / Gallup Poll Registered Voters - McCain 50 - Obama 46

Zogby Poll McCain 49.7% - Obama 45.9%

CBS / NT Times McCain 46% - Obama 44%

Rasmussen McCain 47% - Obama 46%

Real Clear Politics Average - McCain 48.3 - Obama 45.4

If you have not contributed to the campaign, please do so. Click the McCain ad to the left and it will take you to the McCain site. You can pay with Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express. It is quick and easy.

Also, you can order a McCain yard sign and bumper sticker for only $7. Show your support!

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Sarah Palin Tried to Ban Books as Mayor

Not True!

This is another element is the smear campaign against Sarah Palin. This lie is making the rounds of left wing chat groups and apparently has been picked up and circulated by email far and wide.
Included in the list of a couple hundred books Sarah Palin supposedly tried to ban are these:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There are also some Harry Potter books listed that had not even been published yet at the time she was major of Wasilla. The entire list of books is similar to a list of books that someone at sometime, somewhere has tried to have removed from library shelves or reading list.

As best as I can tell, here is the basis of this lie. Eight years ago the Wasilla library was considering a change in its book challenge policy. Apparently many library systems have a policy in place for dealing with challenges to their book selections. Sometimes citizens complain about the book selections in their library simply because they may want more children's books and fewer romance novels. At other times citizens may oppose a book selection because they find a book offensive for one reason or another.

From what I gather from reviewing the information on this issue, Palin was simply trying to understand the current policy that was in place. The librarian, who had opposed Palin’s election, apparently took umbrage at the newly elected Mayor’s line of inquiry. A non-issue was blown way out of proportion. There never was a list of books Palin tried to have removed from the library. Here is more on the issue: Library censorship inquiries 'Rhetorical'

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Sara Palin Wants Creationism Taught in School

Not True:

This is part of the campaign of smear and distortion. This is what she has said:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

To read more about what is behind this element of the campaign of misinformation, see the following: 'Creation science' enters the race.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

The McCain Acceptance Speech

If you missed the McCain acceptance speech or simply want to enjoy it again, here it is.

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