Too Casual About a Potential Cataclysmic War

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mushroom cloud.jpg
Neither the U.S. or Russia should appease each other’s worst behaviors — but threatening war with cataclysmic potential with the world’s only other arrmed-to-the-teeth nuclear heavyweight ought to be accompanied by more than a “perhaps so” when queried about a possible direct armed conflict with Russia.
If this race were between Joe Biden vs. John McCain, the choice for me would be very easy. But we are being forced because of the optics of this situation and the Palin sizzle and spin to compare Obama and Sarah Palin.
Obama has been studying foreign policy issues regularly over the last couple of years in the Senate — but there is little doubt that his experience is limited.
But hers is even moreso.
To be clear, I would drop any support I held of Biden and Obama in a nanosecond if they responded like Sarah Palin did in the interview with Charles Gibson tonight.
War with Russia — no matter its behavior — requires more than a casual comment about a direct hot conflict betweent the world’s two most heavily armed states.
The fact that Palin seems not to want to admit or is not aware of is that no matter our bluster, Georgia’s irresponsibility in this encounter will delay both Ukraine’s and Georgia’s NATO entry.
Here is a clip from the Associated Press about the Palin interview tonight:

When Palin was asked during the interview whether the United States would have to go to war with Russia if it invaded Georgia, and the country was part of NATO, Palin, who has been criticized by Democrats for what they say is her lack of experience especially in foreign affairs, said: “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,” she said in the interview with ABC News.
“What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against … We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia,” Palin said, when pressed on the subject.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

57 comments on “Too Casual About a Potential Cataclysmic War

  1. Rechnungen says:

    Great site, very interesting and useful for me. Thanks

    Reply

  2. xtcommerce templates says:

    The rabid right’s SUV driving, hockey mom, religious wingnut with a cell phone in one hand, a bunch of brats in the back and flipping the finger to a car with a sweet grandmother on her way to work for Habitat for Humanity with an Obama sticker on the bumber. Now if that doesn’t about tell the tale I’ll just patter off to my padded cell.

    Reply

  3. Flüge says:

    Very interesting comments on this post arround here. Well, I would say that Obama has a great resume. America needs clever and well educated people and not politicians who use to be marionettes,1. 2. Why shouldn’t russia be allowed to be as arrogant as the USA? Although the h-bomb is a horrible weapon it’s fascinating as well, the picture is awesome and should remind us of what might happen, when the big players think they can do what they want! Look at your ingenius war in Irak! Well done USA! Keep at it.

    Reply

  4. marketmonitor says:

    The screenshot shows figures before and after the PPT took action. (note especially the Heng Seng 1300 point spread difference). First screen shot shows the stats that were in freefall around 1-1:30am EST when CNN inexplicably froze their updates, CNBC ceased broadcasting from Asia where riots outside of banks were quickly cut from streaming video, and trading was briefly halted. Global PPT closed down the markets, and CNBC said later a “global solution” was taken and massive liquidity pumped in. Russian markets remain closed a second day.
    By 5am EST DJ Futures are opening at +100 !! Instead of live footage on CNBCTV, a talk panel was on showcased until EU markets were up and running- with the public none the wiser. I watched this live on TV and net.
    By 7am the CNBC panel was acting as if nothing had happened and was no longer covering the PPT forgery or referring to the extreme Asian drops.
    To the American investors, last nights Asia meltdown never happened and the markets are this morning recovering from yesterday’s anomolous 450 point drop.
    It was extraordinary to watch.
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    Reply

  5. temoc94 says:

    Steve,
    While I don’t dispute that war with Russia should of course only be discussed with the utmost seriousness, it *is* a cardinal principle of NATO that an attack on one is an attack on all.
    This principle was known to all during the Cold War, and it was actively invoked after 9/11.
    Therefore, were Georgia to join NATO, a Russian attack on Georgia would indeed be treated as an attack on the U.S. and every other member of the alliance.
    Nor can George W. Bush be blamed for creating a “fragile ecosystem” in the Caucasus – frankly, I haven’t the foggiest what you’re getting at here. The BTC and BTE pipelines were Clinton initiatives. Russia forcibly inserted its “peacekeepers” into Abkhazia and South Ossetia as the USSR collapsed in 1992, way back when Dubya wasn’t even yet governor of Texas.
    If your point is that trying to exclude Russia from the Caucasus is a fool’s errand, blame Clinton and the BTC pipeline for that. (And I agree that excluding Russia from the Caucasus is a fool’s errand, although that’s a far cry from saying that Russia should be able to invade all of its neighbors scot-free. Poland was once part of Russia — should Russian troops have the right to march into Warsaw today?
    Should the League of Nations have ignored Haile Selassie’s plea for collective action against Italy when it invaded Ethiopia merely on the grounds that Ethiopia was Italy’s sphere of influence?
    Where is your criticism of Mr. Medvedev for nonchalantly suggesting that a second Cold War would be acceptable?

    Reply

  6. pauline says:

    Here’s one I haven’t heard/seen yet in U.S. MSM. Knowing Palin’s very limited foreign policy experience, but purely on the grounds of her religious beliefs, I’m sure she’s humming praises to the coming of WWIII.
    09/14/2008
    U.S. to sell Israel Air Force new bunker-buster bombs
    “Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.”
    see —
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1020702.html

    Reply

  7. rich says:

    Hasn’t John McCain essentially taken the same stance, used the same reckless language, as Sarah Palin?
    Hasn’t George Bush taken the same stance, not only using the same language, but actively stirring the pot in Georgia/Russia?
    Sarah Palin is not the only one looking to give Russia a sharp poke in the eye. Shouldn’t John McCain’s recklessness be the focus of media coverage?
    His ideas and policies are equally radical, and equally poorly informed.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    How about Palin’s assertion that the 9/11 terrorists attacked us “because of our ideals”, Tahoe? Care to comment on that remarkably asinine assertion?

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Not a troll, not a jackass, and not an asshole?
    What exactly is he, than?
    Like I predicted in an earlier post today, our resident none-of-the-above chooses to tell us what she MEANT to say, rather than what she actually said. Thanks for clearing that up for us.
    Hey, uh, Tahoe. How do you feel about Palin’s statement that Russia invaded Georgia “without provocation”? In your twisted little tunnel of partisan absurdity, do you find that to be a factual assertion?
    I won’t hold my breath for your answer.
    (Gads, who’d of ever thought I’d be trying to carry on a conversation with a wart on Limbaugh’s ass?)

    Reply

  10. Tahoe Editor says:

    Exactly. Peggy Noonan nails it today. When you unload your entire arsenal on her as she takes the stage, you look hysterical, incompetent and completely off your game.

    Here was the central liberal mistake: THEY USED THE ATOM BOMB JUST A FEW DAYS IN. They used it so brutally, and yet so ineptly, in a way so oblivious to the true contours of the field, that the radiation blew back over their own lines. They used it without preliminary diplomatic talks, multilateral meetings or Security Council debate. They just went boom. And it boomeranged.
    You must aim your fire at the top of the ticket, John McCain, and not at this beautiful girl, Sarah Palin, about whom you can do nothing.
    You can never kill her now. Forget it. She can hurt herself, but in terms of Democratic attacks she is bulletproof. You made her that — she wasn’t that way when she walked in.

    Reply

  11. Robert M says:

    Did anyone read Gibson’s question: If you are Georgia is a member of NATO. It wasn’t should we help Georgia if it ISN’T a memeber of NATO.
    I can’t stand her but I want my arguments against her to be about the facts she presents.

    Reply

  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    Michael Gordon offers another assessment to balance out the hysteria here.
    Analysis: Palin and Foreign Policy
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/12/analysis-palin-and-foreign-policy/

    Reply

  13. Tahoe Editor says:

    “backtracked to cover her inadequate response” ?
    I haven’t watched it over & over, but please help me by quoting the initial “inadequate response” and then give me the “backtracking” quote.
    Sounds like you’re spinning your own narrative here — a narrative you started telling well before her interview even aired.

    Reply

  14. ToddinHB says:

    Permit me one clarification. The statement that threw me regarding my previous post was this:
    “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.” This ties the sentiment directly to her without invoking Bush.
    As DonS so sagely pointed out, it may be a distinction without a difference, but I respect the caliber of discourse here and want to be as precise as possible.

    Reply

  15. DonS says:

    Of course I intend a distinction between “Islam” and “Islamic extremists”. But, generally speaking, I think that’s a distinction without a difference for quite a sizable number, sad to say. In any case, labelling terroists Islamic plays on the prejudice of the “other”, in this case, Muslims. A despicable political reality in this country.

    Reply

  16. DonS says:

    ToddinHB, as you may well know, there is small domestic political price to pay in the US for trashing Islam, Islamic extremists, etc. She could say “ragheads” and half the populace would nod their heads in assent.

    Reply

  17. ToddinHB says:

    Allow me to redirect the debate a bit. I was struck by her statement that “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.”
    So, how would she characterize Timothy McVeigh? Does she agree with Bush? I am very wary of “crusade” talk that portrays our singular enemy as Islamists.
    Palin will suffer the metaphorical death by a thousand cuts – assuming the media does its job.

    Reply

  18. DonS says:

    Tahoe: “She said repeatedly military force should be a last option”.
    She was unsurefooted in her response borne of ignorance of the policy and/or inadequate memorization of the play book. Or she was speaking her mind, more likely, which is even scarier.
    She backtracked to cover her inadequate response. There aren’t too many do overs when you sit in the White House and folks jump at you initial response. Missteps and mispeakings get locked in pretty quickly. When has Bush ever backtracked and said, oops, I misspoke myself, or I should have been so off-the-cuff and cocksure? Another cocky ego shooting from the hip. Yeah, yeah, I know. He rethought “Bring ’em on”. Whoop de do.

    Reply

  19. questions is nitpicking self says:

    (Make that champing AT the bit.)

    Reply

  20. questions is nitpicking says:

    (Nitpick, Steve, I’m pretty sure it’s CHAMP on the bit, not chomp.)

    Reply

  21. FACTUAL ERROR says:

    obama has been studying foreign policy at least since enrolling at Columbia University as an undergraduate, and, arguably, since his childhood experiences in Indonesia… even if the latter is not often deemed creditable in the dysfunctional foreign policy circles that still prevail in Washington. Handshaking and back slapping in the Senate is only one part of the complete equation.

    Reply

  22. Tahoe Editor says:

    The mushroom cloud is in the same vein as implying the government’s institutions could crumble because Sarah Palin was nominated as the GOP running mate.
    There’s a pattern of overreaching hysteria here. I understand it’s opinion and agenda-driven. But the patina of even-handedness is pretty much gone.

    Reply

  23. Paul Norheim says:

    Tahoe,
    I began writing a rather lengthy back-to-the-issue answer to
    you, but lost it, due to technical problems with my PC. I was
    glad to see that Steve said more or less what I wanted to say in
    the meanwhile, but with fewer words.
    I agree with Steve that there is no big difference between
    Obama and McCain on this issue, only that McCain/Palin are
    more belligerent.
    And, Tahoe, as long as Sarah Palin doesn`t make any clear
    distinction between her faith – where apocalyptic visions are
    central – and her political views (explicitly formulated regarding
    the war in Iraq), the mushroom cloud is present, with or without
    Steve`s picture. You needed that picture to visualize simple and
    brutal facts. In context, Palin`s words are beyond the well
    known rules of NATO membership.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    “And I’m clear that anyone who managed Georgia’s security
    affairs the way that Saakashvili did ruined realistic chances of
    joining NATO. NATO is not a coalition of the willing — it’s a
    hard core serious alliance that is dependent on hard
    commitments to mutual security and mutual threat
    management.
    Georgia helped provoke a threat — and none of the candidates
    have been honest about that. Palin took these concerns to a
    new level.”
    And Steve, if you add what Palin said in that interview, to
    Saakashvili`s miscalculated actions, I think it will make several
    NATO members even more hesitant regarding an inclusion of
    Georgia and Ukraina in NATO.

    Reply

  25. Tahoe Editor says:

    She said repeatedly military force should be a last option. Seizing on “perhaps so”, calling it “too casual” and then implying that casualness will lead us to a mushroom cloud is not level-headed. You’re channeling your inner Condi now.
    Do tell, if “perhaps so” is so inappropriate, what word or phrase would have passed your test?
    Michael Tomasky: The Dems’ Georgia gaffe
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2008/sep/12/barackobama.sarahpalin
    The McCain-Palin policy on Russia is the Obama-Biden policy
    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=09&year=2008&base_name=the_mccainpalin_policy_on_russ

    Reply

  26. Steve Clemons says:

    Yes I would. That’s a fact.

    Reply

  27. Steve Clemons says:

    PS — lest you go to far with the challenges of bias, I have
    repeatedly said that Obama and his team have tilted at McCain-
    lite and McCain-like national security responses. His response
    on Georgia/Russia also painted Russia as the villain — when the
    real villain is Bush who helped create the fragile ecosystem of
    the situation — and the other villains were both Saakashvili and
    Putin…. But Obama didn’t chastise Georgia’s political leadership
    either. McCain didn’t ask the employee of the Georgian
    government working as his key national security adviser to
    recuse himself.
    And I’m clear that anyone who managed Georgia’s security
    affairs the way that Saakashvili did ruined realistic chances of
    joining NATO. NATO is not a coalition of the willing — it’s a
    hard core serious alliance that is dependent on hard
    commitments to mutual security and mutual threat
    management.
    Georgia helped provoke a threat — and none of the candidates
    have been honest about that. Palin took these concerns to a
    new level.

    Reply

  28. Tahoe Editor says:

    Unconvincing.
    If a NATO member is attacked what happens?
    She gave the answer. You give us a mushroom cloud.
    If Obama had given the same answer, you wouldn’t put a mushroom cloud over his head.
    That’s a fact.

    Reply

  29. Steve Clemons says:

    Tahoe — you know for a fact that I’ve not been chomping on
    the bit to tie a mushroom cloud to Sarah Palin. She did that on
    her own. When folks like Jim Fallows, Steve Coll and others
    essentially saw the same thing I did — an embarrassing lack of
    facility with current doctrine and a naivety when it came to
    framing a potential hard conflict with Russia — that wakes one
    up. I would have liked to have seen her handle these issues
    better. She didn’t. She has other strengths….but in the area I
    care most about, she flunked.
    I’m a realist in the foreign policy arena — a progressive realist,
    but nonetheless a realist. It is clear to me that Palin doesn’t
    have a foreign policy template — and perhaps more Americans
    will say that they don’t care….
    But I do.
    That is not chomping on the bit — that is expressing my own
    views about her alarming ABC performance.
    best, Steve

    Reply

  30. Tahoe Editor says:

    Furthermore, there seems to be a consensus that the Obama & McCain camps are in general agreement about what NATO is. Equating Sarah Palin with a mushroom cloud means what exactly? Should Obama redefine NATO 50 days before the election?
    Seizing on “perhaps so” and calling it “too casual” is threadbare. Attaching a mushroom cloud to it is hysterical fear mongering — something Clemons purports to disdain.

    Reply

  31. Tahoe Editor says:

    Seriously, Paul, I’m not trying to meet some standard a stranger sets for me. I’m speaking my mind. You can say my mind is not mine; I can say your mind is not yours. But I don’t really see the point — except to distract from what I’m saying. Questioning a stranger’s sincerity instead of engaging & continuing the dialogue is an empty dead end. I think you can do better. Snark, snark.

    Reply

  32. Paul Norheim says:

    “Saying my voice is not my own when you don’t know me at all …
    is there a cogent point in there?”
    Yes. When I see some GOP talking heads on TV, or read some
    GOP pundit hours after (or before) reading you, I hear and read
    exactly the same arguments. It`s as simple as that.
    A couple of times, you`ve surprised me with something that did
    not seem to come from the head quarter. But usually, you sound
    like the usual propaganda.
    Seriously Tahoe, I think you can do better.

    Reply

  33. Tahoe Editor says:

    Saying my voice is not my own when you don’t know me at all … is there a cogent point in there? It’s all well & good to not like my voice or to disagree with it, but saying it’s not my own, well it really is nonsense.
    When are you going to start offering your own true voice? (See what a ridiculous nonsensical question that is?)
    My point is, Steve has been champing at the bit to link Palin to a mushroom cloud no matter what she says.
    The Clemons Political Doctrine: pre-emptive hysteria.

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    Tahoe,
    I`m glad to see that you`re linking less and spamming less
    then a month ago, and talking more with your own voice. Kudos
    for that!
    But hey, is it really your voice? It sounds more like the voice of
    the GOP. So the challenge is still the same: how does your voice
    sound like? What`s your own, independent thoughts on the
    issues we`re discussing?
    We`re waiting.
    In the meanwhile, I can only see one reason why you are
    appreciated by our host at TWN: There are no really intelligent,
    interesting and eloquent defenders of right wing positions at
    TWN.
    Mind you: I didn`t say that eloquent and intelligent McCain
    supporters do not exist. There are plenty of them.
    Just not here, at TWN.
    You`re Steve`s right wing alibi.
    If not for your highly predictable, propagandistic comments,
    defending Palin, attacking Obama, he would realize that this
    blog lacks a serious pro-Republican commentator. With you on
    board, our host can pretend that there is a wide range of
    opinions at TWN.
    When someone here get pissed off by your propaganda, it
    almost looks like a lively political debate with a “wide range of
    opinions.” But that`s an illusion.
    This is not meant as an ad hominem attack, more as a
    statement about The Washington Note. Steve should attract
    more brilliant conservative commentators. Or Tahoe should find
    his own voice. If he has one.

    Reply

  35. Tahoe Editor says:

    OK, “perhaps so” is too casual in Clemons Nomenclature — would “maybe” have passed your linguistic test?
    More panicky, Chicken Little hysteria. Charlie asked her the definition of NATO, and she supplied it. You may have preferred “maybe” to “perhaps so”, but it’s all the same. She basically says, “Duh Charlie, that’s what NATO is” — and we get a mushroom cloud at TWN. You’re getting very predictable.
    If Palin had said we WOULDN’T defend a NATO ally, we’d still see the mushroom cloud on TWN. She’s damned if she does & damned if she doesn’t.
    “The problem with the NYT editorial page is that open-minded people never read it anymore, and I’ll tell you why: because they know before they read it what the New York Times is gonna say. Say what you will about Howell Raines — when Howell Raines ran the editorial page, you never knew what they were going to say. They were intellectually open, they were not doctrinaire. This editorial page is doctrinaire, it’s as down the line as Daily Kos or other liberal websites, and I think it’s an embarrassment for the times.” — Joe S.
    “When an editorial page loses its ability to surprise you, it has lost something.” — Peggy N.
    TWN has lost something.

    Reply

  36. Matt says:

    I just watched a clip of that interview and I think she comes across really badly in that kind of situation. She actually called Charles Gibson a cynic?! Her language on what has potential to potentially contribute to climate change? I’m sorry, this is just nonsense.
    I hope everyone here goes to church on Sunday and prays a good long prayer to God, Jesus and Mohammad that this woman doesn’t get within a heartbeat of the oval office.

    Reply

  37. DonS says:

    It’s all image and imagination and projection Michael.
    Here’s an interesting question. Why is it, when Palin’s beaty queen/distracting looks were addressed, she responded, matter-of-factly, “I’ve tried to make myself look as frumpy as possible”, with the bun, the glasses, etc. Now why would that not have immediately turned every woman in the country, or the world, against this sexist , superficial bueaty adoring, narcissistic comment/individual? Got me?
    Part of the deal with narcissists (off the cuff label) is their slickness, and difficulty in confronting because of total blind spots. Some of the ickiest people going.

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  38. michael claussen says:

    To think that Democrats are just latte swilling nabobs of the left doesn’t settle well with a whole bunch of us beer drinking nabobs of the left. Burp! The only latte drinkers I know are Repubs. They do so because they are so afraid of their dark side. The rabid right’s SUV driving, hockey mom, religious wingnut with a cell phone in one hand, a bunch of brats in the back and flipping the finger to a car with a sweet grandmother on her way to work for Habitat for Humanity with an Obama sticker on the bumber. Now if that doesn’t about tell the tale I’ll just patter off to my padded cell.

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  39. exrepublicanalwaysapatriot says:

    Chuck, I know your dilemma.
    I’m resigned to vote for the ticket that doesn’t scare the @!#%!%”* out of me. But ultimately, someday, this country will need to return to the days when it had two sane, responsible, political parties, not one sane party and one that, well, has me doing a lot of explaining to do as to why I once was an active member of it.
    Whether the GOP comes to its senses, or whether the GOP is replaced by a new party much as the GOP itself replaced the failing Whigs, really isn’t important. But we must have two sensible parties thinking persons can support again, for the sake of our democracy.

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  40. DonS says:

    Palin is perfect for sound bites, and that’s about it.
    Where she does opine in generalities about foreign policy it is the frightenly reflexive tone and content of the far right “all options are on the table”, “bring ’em on”, “we have a righteous cause and Jesus will protect us” crowd.
    Actually she is not even sophistocated, or cautious enough to frame things in the hypothetical as was in evidence last night with Gibson where she leaped right into an agressive posture, no matter that potential adversary is the co-holder of the largest nuclear stockpile.
    And I think that John Q Public is willing to excuse so much ignorance in a candidate if they win the sound bite contest.
    There is work ahead to allow this woman to frame herself in such a way that her hollowness shows forth.

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  41. WigWag says:

    “Obama has been studying foreign policy issues regularly over the last couple of years in the Senate — but there is little doubt that his experience is limited.”
    There is no doubt that Obama’s experience in many areas is woefully inadequate and that if elected, he will have to learn on the job (to his nation’s detriment). But he is still far more prepared than Sarah Palin.
    It pays to remember that in recent history, most Presidents come to office from governor’s mansions. George W. Bush did and so did Clinton. Neither had foreign policy experience. You could actually argue that Obama’s foreign policy experience is better than there’s was.
    Secondly, while some of us may find Obama’s candidacy odious for a variety of reasons, he is clearly an extremely intelligent, highly educated, well read and thoughtful person His dumb comments about foreign policy during the Democratic debates notwithstanding, he is a quick study who will get this all figured out rapidly if he is elected.
    Sarah Palin on the other hand has never thought about foreign policy in a serious way. She’s just a few years out of being Mayor of a small Alaskan City half the size of most South Florida Condo communities. It was clear last night that she was merely regurgitating to Charlie Gibson as best she could, stock answers that were fed to her by Campaign advisors a day or two before.
    Sarah Palin may be the only person in America who actually makes Barack Obama look like a senior statesman.
    Sarah Palin is popular for the same reason George W. Bush was popular with Americans eight years ago. They both come across as likable, “normal” people with the same foibles and inadequacies that most of us share. So far, Democrats have not found a way to deal with this phenomenon. They need to find a way of explaining (in a way that is not condescending) that being “likable” or “regular” isn’t enough to qualify anyone for the job of President or Vice President. They need to explain that while the average voter might like to have a beer with George Bush or Sarah Palin that doesn’t mean they should vote for them.
    Of course this year it’s a little harder to do that. After all, so many elite Democratic voters surveyed the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination and voted for the one they most wanted to have a latte with. That, of course, would be Barack Obama.
    Democrats are finding out to their chagrin that there are alot more beer drinkers in America than latte drinkers.

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  42. rich says:

    This is more like it. Great post.
    Note that Sarah Palin isn’t really diverging from anything Dick Cheney, George Bush or John McCain have said and done in regard to Georgia and Russia.
    It shouldn’t take Sarah Palin to get the media and D.C. to recognize just how insane Bush’s Georgia policy (& overall framework) really is.
    Cheney & Bush thought it was a bright idea to give the Russian Bear a big ole poke in the eye with a sharp stick—in Georgia of all places, birthplace of Stalin and far more integral to Russia’s national identity than Afghanistan is to Russia’s sphere of influence.
    That Cheney/Bush could equate Georgia with Afghanistan and think the same rules apply, is a hot indicator of their recklessness and poor judgment. Believing the U.S. is the “sole remaining superpower” is as naive as it is blind. Expecting Russia to do nothing in Georgia, oil pipelines or not, was delusional.
    But maybe Bush/Cheney wanted a hot war, as a distraction and to win in November on national security.
    I thought Sarah Palin’s convention speech was interesting in that it was rife with totalizing, well-wrought lies. This hardly distinguishes her from Lindsey Graham, George Bush, Dick Cheney or Ronald Reagan, who lied continuously without much of challenge.
    It’d be nice to think that from here on out, we’ll have consistent, real-time truth-squadding. Or to believe Sarah Palin’s lies won’t be effective. No one should have any faith that the mainstream media has upped its game or that D.C. gatekeepers will operate even-handedly going forward.

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  43. questions says:

    FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 — 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.”
    The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.
    “America can never go back to that false sense of security that came before September 11, 2001,” she said at the deployment ceremony, which drew hundreds of military families who walked from their homes on the sprawling post to the airstrip where the service was held.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/11/AR2008091103789.html?hpid=topnews

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  44. Liz says:

    Despite her clear incompetence in international affairs and lack of
    understanding of the necessity to speak carefully and prudently as
    a Vice Presidential candidate, she just blustered right on through.
    Palin is even less capable of controlling her mouth in public than
    “bring ’em on” Bush.
    John McCain should be ashamed ? I don’t think John McCain is
    capable of feeling any shame at this point.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/09/ask-the-iraqi-g.html
    Sic Semper Tyrannis 2008
    (A Committee of Correspondence)
    « Main
    Ask the Iraqi government…. Ha’aretz
    “The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of “bunker-buster” bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes.
    Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months. Their rejection would make it very difficult for Israel to attack Iran, if such a decision is made.
    About a month ago, Haaretz reported that the Bush administration had turned down an Israeli request for certain security items that could upgrade Israel’s capability to attack Iran. The U.S. administration reportedly saw the request as a sign preparations were moving ahead for an Israeli attack on Iran.” Ha’aretz
    ————————————————————————
    “Harper” pointed out this article in today’s Ha’aretz.
    We have repeatedly made the point that Israel lacks the capability to make an effective set of air strikes against Iran without American help.
    Among the elements of help they would need:
    – USAF air refueling tankers.
    – Enough heavy ordnance.
    – Enough attack airframes.
    On the political side they need
    – Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) boxes and code settings to avoid being engaged by US aircraft.
    – Overflight clearance for Iraq if they are taking the shortest routes.
    When they asked for overflight clearance for Iraq they were recently told to request it from the sovereign Iraqi government. The request for IFF codes got the cold shoulder as well.
    Needless to say, this reponse came from the military and Gates. Cheney must be enraged by his lack of control over this.
    Until the Russian intervention in Gerogia, the Israelis had been trying to devise an alternative to an Iraq route. The alternative was to use Georgian airfields as staging points. They were undeterred in this scheme by the prospect of overflying SE Turkey to get to Georgia. The Russians have frightened them out of that idea. Even the Likud knows that Russia is more important than Georgia, or Iran.
    If you have been following the series of articles in the Washington Post about Bob Woodward’s newest study of the Bush White House, you should have noticed that retired Army general Jack Keane has been running his own foreign and military policy at Cheney’s behest. To do such a thing is deelpy subversive of the statutory chain of command. This is astonishingly bad behavior. In this particular case he does not seem to have been an effective “player.” pl
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And you thought the neo’s were all gone. All I can say is thank God for Russia scaring the shit out of Israel. However that doesn’t mean Israel will quit their manuvers to attack Iran.
    They are most active now in JINSA, the head of JINSA being one of McCain’s advisors. In fact the Russia – Georgia thing smells just like JINSA.
    http://www.jinsa.org/node/658
    Hammers and Nails
    JINSA Reports
    JINSA Report #:
    807
    August 14, 2008
    Some readers were surprised yesterday. “What, no military option? There’s something JINSA thinks the U.S. military can’t do?”
    Actually, there is very little we think the U.S. military can’t do, but there is a whole lot we think it shouldn’t do and we’d like to keep the two separate as much as possible. This was a job for diplomats, and the diplomats failed.
    Our Secretary of State is a Soviet Russia expert. One would have thought she would have been aware of the aggressive tone of the Russian government. One would have thought she would have spent some time this spring discussing the possible negative ramifications of Western successes. We won approval for missile defense radars in Poland and The Czech Republic, and the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, and we were talking to former Soviet Republics about NATO membership. Did she think Russia wouldn’t care, or just that it wouldn’t respond?
    Russia lost the Cold War but it was only one war; neither victory nor defeat has been permanent in Europe. Was there no State Department Team B to play Russia and suggest that given their new wealth, energy relationship with Europe and imperialist past, plus Putin’s solid KGB background, they would find a way to reassert themselves?
    The wise man said that if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. We have a great hammer, but our toolbox is otherwise deficient. Russia has mostly a hammer as well, but that is sufficient for its “near abroad,” and its increasing energy stranglehold on Europe obviates the need for much diplomacy to the West.
    A truly powerful country – which the U.S. must be – uses statecraft and military power as two edges of the sword; one good for some things and one for other things. In this case, however, statecraft was diverted.
    Dr. Rice was so busy trying to create Palestine out of a terrorist-run sinkhole that she didn’t notice that pro-Western, democratic, free-market-oriented Georgia was in real trouble. So seized was she with solving the “Palestinian problem” in the last few months of the Administration – a common disease – that she missed Russia.
    Newspapers report that the Secretary made more than 90 phone calls during the crisis. Why? The damage to Georgia was done from the moment the Russians started shelling. The phone calls should have been made months ago to try to forestall the invasion – plans for which certainly were no secret.
    Diplomacy now has to find ways of making Russia pay for violating international norms. No G-8, no WTO, no Sochi Olympics would be a start. Political and reconstruction support for Georgia, and insistence that peacekeepers come from Western or Central European countries would help. Reminding the Russians that Georgia’s relationship with NATO comes up again in December might begin to re-establish Western credibility, and perhaps prevent Russia from using that hammer again.
    Home » Topics » JINSA Reports
    American Priorities
    JINSA Reports
    JINSA Report #:
    810
    August 27, 2008
    Establishing American foreign policy priorities is difficult, given the number of events competing for attention. Events not under our control often dictate changes in policies and changes in the order of priorities. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has to orchestrate among Iraq, the collapse of the governing coalition in Pakistan, Russia’s invasion of Georgia and NATO’s lack of timely response. She also has to consider Iran’s progress on nuclear capability, North Korea, Venezuela, Afghanistan and the resurgent Taliban. Not to mention Lebanon under Hezbollah and Hezbollah in Latin America, the Jordanian government’s three meetings with Hamas and two trips to Moscow, Syria’s request for Russian missiles and Russian warships in the Syrian port of Tartus.
    Number one on her list is… trumpets, please –
    An Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the establishment of Palestine and the possibility of a Moscow “peace conference” later in the fall; Russia being a member of the Middle East Quartet. Speaking on her plane, Secretary Rice said, “We continue to have the same goal, which is to reach (a Palestinian-Israeli) agreement by the end of the year.”
    She told reporters that Israel’s prisoner release and the lifting of some checkpoints in the West Bank were good, “but on both sides, in terms of Palestinian security and judicial reform, and in terms of movement and access, the Israelis and the Palestinians have work to do.” Asked about a role for Hamas, she said, “Gaza has to be resolved… on the basis of Abu Mazen’s program for it, which is that legitimate Palestinian Authority institutions have to be reinstated.” Asked if Hamas’s desire for a political role motivated its participation in the ceasefire, she said, “I think there are multiple incentives and motivations for the calm that is there,” and mentioned reconsidering the November 2005 agreement as a mechanism for re-opening the Gaza border crossings.
    As if time had stood still. Abu Mazen couldn’t implement the border crossing agreement in 2005 when he was the only legitimate Palestinian leader and he was in Gaza with an army. Abu Mazen can’t “resolve” Gaza on the basis of his program – he lost the legislative election and lost the civil war and has no power in Gaza at all. What power he has on the West Bank is the result of Israeli military and intelligence operations disrupting Hamas’s efforts to replicate its Gaza successes. The cease-fire has allowed Hamas to import more weapons, mine the borders and consolidate its position among the militias of Gaza – preparing for the next round of war against Israel, not peace.
    And isn’t the Quartet one of those institutions in which Russia should be ignored, like coordinating with the G-7 on aid to Georgia rather than the G-8? Shouldn’t we have the Middle East Trio rather than the Quartet?
    Having made Palestinian independence – the need for which is unclear – her priority, Dr. Rice has misplaced the longstanding American priority on Arab (and Palestinian) recognition of the legitimacy of the State of Israel in the region and the security that would attend recognition. It was a big mistake.”
    That ought to give you the drift of the boy at JINSA. the US is to be used as their private war machine and most espeically for Israel.
    Jason Vest did a report on The Men From JINSA for the nation:
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020902/vest
    These are they guys I would be watching now. They are nasty bunch. Collin Powell remarked that they “were in charge of the pentagon”. With either McCrazy or ‘Biden, I am a zionist’, I am not sure they won’t worm their way back into the pentagon.
    If all the connections in the Russia Georgia McCain Biden JINSA AEI and General Jack don’t make you sit up and take notice better check your pulse, you might be dead.

    Reply

  46. Bil says:

    Ouch Carroll. We get the president we deserve…Again?

    Reply

  47. ed says:

    what is the difference between Obama, McCain, Biden and Palin over a Georgia response?

    Reply

  48. Carroll says:

    Hummm….
    Sarah Palin gave a scary answer to Charlie Gibson on Israel, saying she supported Israel’s prerogative to attack Iran, and under his questioning said in a rote way, three times, that the U.S. has no right to “second guess” Israel’s decision.
    Chris Matthews seemed angry about this tonight on Hardball, questioning whether it was in the national interest. Then asked whether AIPAC had drafted her answer.
    Pat Buchanan pointed out that the answer goes against even Bush’s foreign policy and that McCain is in the thrall of Randy Scheunemann, a neoconservative and former “agent” for Georgia.
    Earlier Todd Harris, a Republican operative, told Matthews he felt it would be a good thing if Netanyahu becomes prime minister of Israel.”
    P.S. to Steve…better drop your support of Biden also cause he said the exact same thing on Israel not being told by the US what to do on Iran..in an interview he gave to Haarezt last week. I posted his interview a few threads ago.
    BTW, NATO has said it will Not join the US in carrying out attacks inside Pakistan.
    More also’s..Putin has warned Poland on US missiles sites. Israel is again requesting advanced bunker bombs (supposedly for Iran)and extra aircraft and Bush is again refusing their request.
    But stay tuned..if you liked Neo/Zio Part One you will luv Neo/Zio Part two.
    Our choices now are not only are as bad as Bush Jr. who seems to have gotten a bellyful of the neos, they are worse, if that’s possible. A madman and a moose hunter, and a lightweight and a zionist.
    What the country desperately needed right now and in this election was someone like Hagel and Chaffe..and look at the crap we got.
    If a country is too stupid to exist, does it have a right to exist? Guess we will find out.

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  49. Bill R. says:

    Eventually Palin is going to have to explain what she did on the Troopergate matter. Right now she is trying to stop the investigation by stopping subpoenas and her staff from testifying. Preliminary report from the special investigator is that it looks bad for Palin. And there may be criminal matters regarding her husband, Todd, who illegally accessed a personnel file. Trying to stop an investigation by a bipartisan legislative committee won’t play well. Refusing to testify, stopping her staff from testifying.. from a governor who said she is a reformer and wants transparent government.

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  50. Bill R. says:

    Well, said, Steve. Why should Palin not be subject to the same scrutiny and vetting that other candidates have had to undergo? If Obama responded that way, or Biden, or McCain they would be blasted.
    Here’s what Joan Walsh of Salon.com had to say about the interview:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/election_2008/2008/09/12/palin_mccain/index.html?source=rss&aim=/opinion/walsh/election_2008
    “John McCain should be ashamed of himself. Ashamed, on 9/11, to have picked someone as ignorant and unready to be president as Sarah Palin.
    People who like that sort of thing are going to like Palin’s interview, a lot. Apparently, there is a constituency of people who want their president to be just like them, who want him or her to be someone they can have a beer with, to be just as clueless and uninformed as they are. But I believe that’s a small constituency. I believe that most Americans, most independents, and serious, patriotic conservatives, are going to see this interview and be very, very afraid. Her combative act didn’t really work on Gibson; neither did familiarly peppering her sentences with “Charlie.” Charlie did not seem charmed. ”

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  51. JP says:

    I don’t think the pendulum will swing far. Palin’s base is an immoveable block that is unpersuaded by evidence.
    The focus on the far-right isn’t that she flubbed the answers and clearly hadn’t thought some of these issues through — the claim was that Gibson’s questions were “too hard” and that Obama has gotten a free pass (never mind multiple debates or sit down interviews on Meet the Press, or with O’Reilly, Chris Wallace, Stephanopoulous, Couric, Bob Schieffer, Brian Williams, or interviews with multiple editorial boards of newspapers large and small during the primary, or Q&A’s with voters).
    This one is still going to be a very tight election, because a large section of the electorate is unable to scrutinize claims and evidence.

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  52. varanassi says:

    hey, what’s that?
    did i just feel the pendulum swing?!
    this woman, her numbers, and her pablum, as poa so eloquently puts it, won’t withstand the increasing scrutiny of the coming weeks… and either will john mccain
    BO and biden will soon be the comeback kids.
    …and not a second too soon.

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  53. Mr.Murder says:

    Chavez and a neighbor just kicked the US Ambassador out. Expect an oil price spike.
    There’s a new kind of October Surprise(TM).

    Reply

  54. paul says:

    Er, wasn’t it Georgia who did the invading?

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  55. Chuck says:

    I would hope this would finally get the attention of many of the remaining “old guard” Republicans and have them speak out against their party’s ticket. As someone who grew up a “Rockefeller Republican”, I seem to be left out of the current Presidential debate with the choice of one ticket that just worries me some and another that scares the ever living @!#%!%”* out of me,
    I fail to understand what so many of my neighbors and coworkers see in her… while Obama may not come to office with the greatest resume, she knows nothing about anything except Moose Hunting. Even I, a lowly High School Civics teacher, am more qualified to deal with International Relations even though I’ve only left the country 3 times in my life.

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    In the thread below this one I quote a couple of Pablum’s more asinine comments, in the hopes our great not-a-troll Tahoe will make an idiot of himself yet again by attempting to rationalize, justify, or make sense out of Pablum’s inane blather. You gotta be a moron or a sleazeball to support this loser Sarah Pablum.
    She’s a rock star, in a nation of idiots. Give the wackjob the nuclear football, she’s itchin’ to speed biblical prophesy to its glorious end. (Between babies, moose hunts, and vendettas, of course.)
    This is the effin’ Twilight Zone. Where’d my country go?

    Reply

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