Sarah Palin’s Foreign Policy Knowledge

Unsurprisingly is not deep.

To defend her (partially) for a second.

1)She should have never been picked and put in this situation. She’s in over her head, which [edit: ***see note below] I find normal given [edit] I think she is unqualified for the job. But I can’t blame her, who would turn down an undeserved promotion?

2)Her answer on Georgia/Russia:

When Gibson said if under the NATO treaty, the United States would have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia, Palin responded: “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.

“And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable,” she told Gibson.

The bit about Georgia and war with Russia is in fact correct–minus the Russia was unprovoked BS–if Georgia is in NATO then the basis of NATO and the only reason for it to exist is that every country promises to defend every other country in the alliance. Otherwise it’s meaningless. Hence if Georgia was attacked by Russia and in NATO, we would have to go to war with Russia. What that means–contra McCain, Palin, and sadly Obama–is that Georgia should not be in NATO. NEVER EVER. [Edit Update: I see Yglesias came to the same conclusion].

Far more damning is the fact that she doesn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is. And as Matt Yglesias notes what answer she eventually does give isn’t the Bush/McCain Doctrine–so perhaps she should be asked how her views differ from the President’s and Sen. McCain’s. If Palin’s “credible intelligence of an imminent threat” threshold for preventive/anticipatory attack were actually to hold and not merely some rhetorical gesture interpreted in so wide a manner as to be useless–simply a pro forma justification–then she’s actually correct whereas Bush and McCain are wrong. Hilzoy on the same point in greater depth.

Now to critique her. Cuz there are some doozies.

Most important and most damning and the most clear evidence (imo) of an individual who has never thought about what is going on in the world in the last seven years and will simply do and abide by and argue for whatever the neocon brain trust tells her to think (when she doesn’t get confused on the talking points that is)…She thinks Iraq had something to do with al-Qaeda and the attacks of September 11th (h/t TPM). From the WashingtonPost:

Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Now under normal rational circumstances this would disqualify a human being from elected office much less Vice President of the United States. This is straight conspiracy mongering and shows no basic reflective thought on the matter. It’s can’t be underestimated how crackpot this idea is. Ask yourself whether you would vote for a candidate who believes that Zionists and the Freemasons control the world. Because that’s the level of nutjobbery professed in that statement.

This should be on the news every night–it won’t of course but there you go.

But this notion that all Muslim bad guys (by our definition), all Muslims dudes with guns essentially around the world are all part of some giant organization or some super monolithic evil force.  This is straight up wackadoodle.

2)On the answer where she clearly didn’t know the Bush Doctrine and had to be told what it was by Charlie Gibson (WTF?), this also is quite disturbing:

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.

This is as stupid as when McCain said he was going to “defeat evil” in the forum with Rick Warren. You can no more rid the world of Islamic extremism or extremism of any kind as you can defeat evil or have a War on Terror (oh wait a second…). What you can do is attack, minimize, decimate, & otherwise annihilate specific terrorist cells who attempt to kill American (and Western) civilians. Like al-Qaeda.

Moreover as the Rand Study showed the way you do that is through (horror of horrors) the p–sy John Kerry method of “intelligence”, treating terrorists like criminals. i.e. Splitting off the reconcilables from the unreconcilables, offering political buy ins to the former, attacking the latter. Rather than say getting into a Cosmic War against Evil and Extremism.

Bonus: For the Facebookers out there, by having read this article (and possibly by just being a human being) you now qualify for the “I Have More Foreign Policy Experience Than Sarah Palin” Group.

Update I: Her national security credential is “energy independence.” But I thought the right-wing talking point was (actually correctly) that energy independence is nonsense and that it was an idea with zero merit. Until of course our gal is for it, then it’s golden. Sheesh. I believe James Poulous calls this petarded.

Update II: ***MD thinks I was begging the question by stating that she was unqualified for the job from the outset. I’ve amended the text to explicitly state that it is my view that she is unqualified. The major premise of the piece is that her foreign policy understanding is abysmally weak. And a number of points are raised to support that thesis. The point about her being unqualified is actually a side point so I’m not sure the question beginning charge is that on target given it’s not the thesis, but if I did beg the question, then I have made sufficiently clear that those views are my opinion and then I’m giving reasons as to why I hold that opinion.

I’m still however waiting for Matthew’s response to the prima facie incongruity between him saying that energy independence is an idea that has zero merit and Sarah Palin claiming her primary credential on security matters being her expertise in energy independence. Does her primary credential for national security then have zero merit? If so, then doesn’t that support my thesis her foreign policy knowledge is weak and therefore by extension she is unqualified? If not, how does he square that circle?

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