On the Bush Doctrine

Memory fades? In the evening interview (I didn’t catch it) of Mrs Palin was asked about the Bush doctrine.

Gibson’s description—“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,” wasn’t a good description of even the preemption element of the Bush doctrine (and his claim that the preemption element was enunciated in September of 02 is also incorrect), though Palin’s answer suggested she didn’t quite agree with Bush on the question of imminence.

My impression was that the Bush doctrine was essentially that if a country chooses to actively support terrorism, it abrogates the moral right to exist, that is that any other nation may in good conscience attack it. The reasoning behind this is that terrorism, when illegal in nation states is little more than a criminal annoyance. If however, a nation decides to harbor and support terror … those numbers and capabilities grow by orders of magnitude and in our modern world become a threat to our lives and liberty.

Am I wrong in my recollection? Mr Gibson certainly is wrong.

I think I noted (but didn’t mark “to be read”) a number of liberal blogs chiding Mrs Palin for not knowing exactly what the Bush doctrine was … oddly enough they also fail to chide the interviewer for not knowing either … and he “prepared” ahead of time.

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6 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    Per Wikipedia:

    The Bush Doctrine is a term used to describe the philosophy of pre-emption of United States president George W. Bush. Specifically, the Bush Doctrine focuses on the controversial policy of preventive war, 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. The Bush Doctrine was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

    While it was clearly developed and articulated in response to 9/11 it is not terrorism specific.

    I think I noted (but didn’t mark “to be read”) a number of liberal blogs chiding Mrs Palin for not knowing exactly what the Bush doctrine was … oddly enough they also fail to chide the interviewer for not knowing either … and he “prepared” ahead of time.

    The interviewer is on the ballot in November!?

  2. She clearly had NO IDEA what it was. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a huge deal — “the Bush doctrine” isn’t really an official term — but that’s what I got out of that exchange.

    I think Gibson’s version is closer than yours. As I recall it, the Bush doctrine is that preventative war (rather than preemptive war) is okay.

  3. Mark says:

    JA,
    Ahd she was right to have “no idea” what he was talking about apparently. There are at least three different statements which can be defined as “the Bush doctrine”, so asking for clarification is exactly right.

  4. Boonton says:

    Mark, this might be an opportunity for you to practice what you preach.

    What is the Bush Doctrine and please try to best describe the main objections its critics raise to it? If your answer is something like “kill terrorists before they kill us and its critics object to it because they hate the US” you loose.

    From the interview, is it likely that Palin was aware of the ‘three different statements’ of the doctrine and was just asking for which one Gibson was referring too? From what I’m seeing that is not the case and Palin is unaware of much of the debate and discussion about the Bush Doctrine (not surprsing for someone who only lightly followed Iraq ‘on the news’). This reinforces the fact that she is a lightweight on foreign policy which directly contradicts McCain’s assertion that foreign policy is of uptmost concern this election and we need to vote for him because of that. Likewise McCain’s assertion that Palin can be brought ‘up to speed’ before taking office also contradicts his assertions. If Palin can ‘cram’ foreign policy then why can’t Obama? If craming is possible, well Obama began months or years ago while Palin is beginning only a few months before election.

  5. Mark:

    Ahd she was right to have “no idea” what he was talking about apparently. There are at least three different statements which can be defined as “the Bush doctrine”, so asking for clarification is exactly right.

    There’s a difference between having “no idea” and wondering which of three (or more) things he’s referring to. From her words, it could have been either one. My impression (and obviously I’m biased) was that she genuinely had “no idea.” She looked (to me) like a deer caught in headlights for a second before regrouping and asking for clarification.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    That’s a tall order. I’ll try to comply … though likely as a full post.