Today we can read Gov Palin’s willingness to wage war in Pakistan and Stratfor’s report that Bush has commanded the military to “Make it so!” This is the second post about Palin’s interview on ABC; part one was “Before we reignite the cold war, what happened in Georgia?”
First, the news… “Pakistan and the US – The Crisis Begins”, Stratfor, 12 September 2008 — Excerpt:
The Taliban are a military organization, operating as guerrillas. They maintain base camps in Pakistan that are not detected and destroyed by the Pakistanis. In the past, their level of activity was insufficient to warrant destabilizing American relations with Pakistan. That is no longer the case. The Taliban have grown much stronger, and U.S. and NATO forces are under pressure from them. Reinforcements are being sent to them. But the base camps and the lines of supply that go into Pakistan are the center of gravity of the Taliban. The United States is no longer in a position to ignore this. The Taliban are too strong.
Therefore, the United States and Pakistan are on a collision course. The Taliban have roots in Pakistan and sympathizers in the military. Attacking the Taliban’s bases and cutting off the flow of supplies is difficult politically for Pakistan. The United States, on the other hand, is not doing well in Afghanistan. It needs the Taliban in Pakistan to be destroyed, and it is saying that if the Pakistanis don’t do it, the United States will have to — and this will take more than Special Operations forces to achieve.
This moment was bound to come. The United States could not manage Afghanistan so long as the Taliban had sanctuary in Pakistan. The Pakistanis were not going to fight a war in Pakistan to solve the American problem. So we are now down to the final crisis of the war that began seven years ago. Iraq is under control. Afghanistan is coming apart. The key to Afghanistan is Pakistan. Pakistan is unable, by itself, to deal with the Taliban. The United States has little choice but to abandon Afghanistan or go into Pakistan.
Next Gov Palin’s views… Excerpt from transcript of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson, 11 September 2008 (provided by Fox News) — It seems clear that she did not know about the “Bush doctrine”, but eventually comes around to supporting war in Pakistan.
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush – well, what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view?
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, annunciated 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 country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with us?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligent and legitimate evidence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan, from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: As for our right to invade, we’re going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world, where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be and military strike a last option.
GIBSON: But governor, I am asking you, do we have the right, in your mind, to go across the border, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: 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, Charlie. In making those tough decisions of where we go, and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes, that you think we have the right to go across the border, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government? To go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying America, and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.
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Other Posts about the Candidates
1. How the Iraq and Vietnam wars are mirror images of each other, 7 February 2008 — Now we have McCain, the leading Republican Presidential candidate, talking of an open-ended commitment to victory in Iraq.
2. A look at the next phase of the Iraq War: 2009-2012, 1 March 2008 — What is next in Iraq? None of the leading candidates have expressed any intention of leaving Iraq – except in the distant and vague future. McCain intends to fight so long as (or until) we suffer few casualties, then stay for a long time (perhaps a hundred years, as McCain said here and here) ). On the other hand, Obama has been quite explicit…
3. Our metastable Empire, built on a foundation of clay, 3 March 2008 — We can elect leaders with vast ambitions (foreign for McCain, domestic for Obama), but can no longer afford them.
4. How long will all American Presidents be War Presidents?, 21 March 2008 — The Presidential campaign rolls on in the seventh year since 9/11, with the only debate about the Long War being in which nations America should fight. We see this even the speeches of the most “liberal” candidate, Senator Barack Obama.
5. American history changes direction as the baton passes between our political parties (18 May 2008) – Importance of the November 2008 political landslide.
6. President Obama, an Muslim apostate?, 2 June 2008 — Nope.
7. Is Obama running for the office of Chief Shaman?, 6 June 2008 — Weirdness from our next President.
8. Does America need a charismatic President?, 15 july 2008
9. More about charisma, by Don Vandergriff…(#2 in the “getting ready for Obama” series), 16 July 2008 — About charisma: know it before you buy it!
10. Obama might be the shaman that America needs, 17 July 2008 — At what point does criticism of Obama’s charisma and rhetoric become criticism of leadership itself — and blind faith in technocratic solutions so loved by policy nerds? Michael Knox Beran crosses that line in “Obama, Shaman“, City Journal, Summer 2008.
11. Obama describes the first step to America’s renewal, 8 August 2008 — Obama’s statement about America may be the simple truth; this may be why so many find it disturbing.
12. A powerful perspective on the candidates for President of the US, 28 August 2008 — John Derbyshire expresses what I have said about the candidates dreams of saving the world.
13. McCain believes we are stupid. Is he correct?, 30 August 2008
14. Alaska is near Russia, and Gov Palin’s other foreign policy experience, 1 September 2008
15. It’s is not just McCain who believes we’re dumb – it’s a crowd, 3 September 2008
16. Governor Palin as an archetype for our time, 9 September 2008
For interesting articles about the candidates from other sources, see About the candidates for President of the United States.