Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Nebulous Definition of "The Bush Doctrine"

Chuck Gibson's interview of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin was nothing more than a continuation of the attacks on her by the Left-Wing Media elite. The question that best confirms this assessment was, "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?"  Sarah's response, which was to ask "In what respect, Charlie?", was the proper response because there is no single definition for the term Bush Doctrine. All one needs to do is to read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for The Bush Doctrine. The following is the relevant section (emphasis added):
It may be viewed as a set of several related foreign policy principles, including stress on ending terrorism, spreading democracy, increased unilateralism in foreign policy and an expanded view of American national security interests. Foreign policy experts argue over the meaning of the term "Bush Doctrine," and some scholars have suggested that there is no one unified theory underlying Bush's foreign policy. Jacob Weisberg identifies six successive "Bush Doctrines" in his book The Bush Tragedy, while former Bush staffer Peter D. Feaver has counted seven.
Now, put yourself in her place. You are asked if you agree with a term that has several possible meanings. No matter which one you pick, the inquisitor can decide that the definition he meant was one of those you didn't pick. It's a bit like someone holding their hands behind their back and asking how many fingers they are holding up. No matter what number you give, they can arrogantly display their recently altered finger count and proclaim you an idiot for not getting it right.

Well, Chuck did his best, but all he succeeded in doing was to give the Kos-DU-HuffPo crowd something to cackle about. For the rest of us out here in middle America, we saw a confident, composed, strong woman who stood toe-to-toe with an aggressively biased Left-wing Media snob. Could she have done better? Yes, I think there were questions she could have handled better. More importantly, there were no Biden-like gaffes -- or if you prefer, Obama-like gaffes.

And what about Chuck's idea of what the Bush Doctrine means? To his credit, he narrowed the timeframe to, ". . . the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war." Then he defined it (emphasis added):
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.
If that is the Bush Doctrine, then virtually every leader of every civilization in history agreed with it. If FDR had received information on December 6th that the Japanese fleet was going to attack Pearl Harbor the following day, is there any doubt that he would have ordered a preemptive strike? Of course he would have. However, Chuck got it wrong according to the previously referenced Wikipedia entry. Again, I will quote the relevant section (again, emphasis added):
Other foreign policy experts have taken the term to mean Bush's doctrine of preventive war, first articulated in 2002, which holds that the United States government should depose foreign regimes that represent a threat to the security of the United States, even if such threats are not immediate and no attack is imminent. This policy was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
I am certain, given Chuck's obvious bias, that this was the policy he intended to trap her with. Unfortunately, he couldn't get it right and he failed miserably in trying to make her look bad. In fact, his ineptitude gave her the perfect opportunity to highlight what almost all Americans know in this election:  If we want to be safe from enemies, foreign and domestic, the only choice is McCain-Palin.

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