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The Palin Doctrine

By Jeffrey Stacey

Ever since Sarah Palin struggled to define "the Bush Doctrine" in her ABC News quiz, campaign managers, bloggers, and lots of average Americans have been in search of the meaning of the term. But when she and Joseph Biden step up to the microphones in tomorrow's debate, moderator Gwen Ifill should be asking about the Palin Doctrine.

Or should I say "a" Palin Doctrine, because it does not currently exist. Were it to be created, however, it could end up eclipsing the Bush Doctrine. A Palin Doctrine would be further to the right not only of President Bush's policies, but even of John McCain's.

Will there be a Palin Doctrine, and why not a McCain Doctrine? McCain's foreign policy principles are not that out of the ordinary, but Sarah Palin's are. One might expect that someone with little direct foreign policy experience would be unlikely to get their own doctrine, but the principles guiding Palin's views are not McCain's.

Compared to the Bush Doctrine, Palin is in favor of an even more regular use of the U.S. military to pursue the national interest. What verges on revolutionary, however, is a combination of her stated desire to strike anywhere in the world in violation of others' sovereignty without permission, and her insistence on putting ever more pressure on U.S. adversaries to the point of provoking them into actions that some would decry as contrary to the national interest.

Palin advocates violating Pakistan's sovereignty whenever necessary, squeezing Iran still harder, admitting Georgia to NATO despite Russia's strident opposition, and giving a blank check to Israel (right after the White House recently blocked Israel's plan to attack Iran on its own). How is Palin's public divergence from McCain possible, and might he forgo his own principles in favor of hers?

McCain has recently taken on some foreign policy advisers with views considerably rightward of his own, particularly in the form of the person now in charge of the foreign policy aspect of his campaign. Randy Scheunemann has consistently advocated taking very hard lines in Iraq and against both Iran and Russia.

It's as though Palin has naturally adopted his views. However, it is doubtful that the Scheunemann shop is writing lines that she simply gives voice to in her speeches. What we know about her is consistent with the foreign policy views she is forming and has voiced publicly, and when she is interviewed on her own things become clearer still.

McCain's take on this is different. He may have strongly supported the troop surge in Iraq, but he is not a Bush Doctrine supporter. In fact, in speech after speech, once he makes the case that the surge has worked, McCain sounds very much like Obama when he emphasizes the need for strengthened alliances and robust diplomacy (a.k.a. talking to our enemies).

Contrary to a chorus of claims that there are numerous Bush Doctrines, in fact there is only one: a foreign policy guided by the three pillars of unilateralism (acting alone if necessary), preemption/prevention (attacking an adversary even if it isn't preparing to attack you), and regime change (spreading democracy by force if necessary).

Normally foreign policy analysts speak of grand strategies--sets of guiding principles for an administration's foreign policy--but occasionally in the world of ideas a particular set of unique principles may get defined as a doctrine.

There is no clear process by which this occurs, no specific criteria that a certain set of principles must meet. Rather, someone must first use a term like the Bush Doctrine and at some stage a tipping point may be reached in the public sphere when, voila, the world has a new doctrine on its hands.

In the case of George W. Bush this was almost bound to happen, because his principles amount to a sizable departure from the norm. The U.S. has acted unilaterally in its past, but regime change was new--not the spreading of democracy but the commitment to spread it by force if necessary. Prevention was a virtual revolution in thinking, the most original standard of self-defense ever applied in practice.

Like it or not, the Bush Doctrine is now in ill repute. One needs only to examine how the Bush administration is dealing with the other two members of the "axis of evil" to see how effective this doctrine has been. Moreover, the opinion abroad of the U.S. has never been lower; the number of terrorist attacks has gone up not down; and the country beyond any reasonable doubt is not safer.

This is precisely why some claim there is not a single definition of the Bush Doctrine. In fact, those who claim there is more than one usually have a political axe to grind and are likely to support one of the two tickets.

The people in the past who have had doctrines named after them are usually but not always presidents: Monroe, Truman, Nixon, Kissinger, Reagan, Weinberger, Powell, and Clinton. (In the cases of Weinberger and Clinton, though, it isn't entirely clear the crucial tipping point was ever reached.)

There may or may not ever be a Palin Doctrine, but the American people deserve to know more about Governor Palin's novel approach to foreign policy. Tomorrow's debate would be a good place to start.

Jeffrey Stacey is an assistant professor of political science at Tulane University, where he teaches foreign policy and international relations.

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Comments (64)

KraftPaper Author Profile Page:

Palin has no trouble stooping to pick up mud and sling it. It's her style like McCain who insists he's not an insider. He talks like a cronie and smiles like one. He resembles George with that nervous tick when he lies. And Palin is a fast read. She learned how to deny facts right away. It comes easy to someone who memorizes the truth and promulgates it to anyone who listens. She is dangerous the way a cult is. She's not a bobby soxer nor is McCain an honest broker. They're bottom feeders and the ugly truth is 40% of the nation is fooled by them.

jfern03 Author Profile Page:

Palin will make Dick Cheney look like an altar boy.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

Well,......

There is a Zakaria-inspired hatred for Palin doctrine, and I give kudos to those who would dare oppose Zakaria.

However it appears that a class of Muslims want to see Senator/President Barak Obama come in the harm's way. Physical threat is what these Muslims want to happen to Obama.

Read the following letter in DAWN (Pakistan's major newspaper) and the link,

http://www.dawn.com/2008/10/04/letted.htm#10

with the entire text below.

Obamacons/Obamanians watching ?

=================================================

Threats by and to Obama

THIS kindness shown by K. Chaudhry towards boththe US presidential candidates (‘Gore Vidal’s prediction’ Sept 29) reminds me of a fable written by the famous Muslim mystic and poet of love, Rumi, who had observed that a Muslim can’t help being kind to others.

While both McCain and Obama have recommended financial aid for us but, also, in their own ways, talked of attacking militant targets inside Pakistan. Barrak Obama has been much more vocal and explicit. But, let’s also examine some of the warnings given to him by various people.

As noted in Mr Chaudhry’s letter, famous American writer Gore Vidal feels Obama will be shot by someone, just as Kennedy had been. Some weeks back, your columnist Mahir Ali had noted that the Afro-American religious and civil fights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson had felt so angry by Obama’s perceived snobbery that he had threatened to – believe it or not – castrate the Democratic candidate!

I have now been wondering what would happen if, given his threats to bomb Al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuaries in Fata, these guys are somehow able to capture Obama? My feeling is that given the fact that his father was a Muslim, they might offer to let him off if he agrees to revert to his ancestral religion but if he refuses, it would result in decapitation.

S. KHAN MEHSUD
Karachi

raschumacher Author Profile Page:

The Palin Doctrine: Never provide substance when a sound bite will do. Substance only annoys The Base.

AnjuChandel Author Profile Page:

Palin Doctrine? ... Is it some kind of a Joke Book?

Please. The world is watching. ... Just remember this, Mr. Journalist.

broeckzele Author Profile Page:

spidermean2 wrote:
Supremacy? Idiots always want to be supreme. There is really no need for a separate defense force and the real question is, why are they building one? There is no other reason but supremacy. Europe want to be supreme. It would happen for a while but in the end, the whole of Europe will burn. The evolutionists would burn just as what God does to everyone who opposes Him.
----------------------
Sorry, my bad.
Spiderman2(!!!!!) is not a 17yo kid!
He is a 15yo delusional "Tom Clancy", who believes that End War is for real. Poor, poor guy, lost his health care pills and now come here speaking about the fire that the gods will send to Europe... because he says so! And are these guys who make opinions in the USA?!!!... This country and people is worst then I thought!!

ZZim Author Profile Page:

"A Palin Doctrine would be further to the right not only of President Bush's policies, but even of John McCain's."

Huh? Based on what? Are you pulling ideas out of the air and spitting them at people? Do you expect us to buy this crap?

There is no Palin Doctrine. Palin has no foreighn policies knowledge. How can she possible have any foreign policy views at all, much less enough of them that they require codification into some sort of "Doctrine".

Your assertion is totally rediculous. What about the "Obama Doctrine"? There's no Obama Doctrine either. You can expect the Obama Doctrine to be the "Whatever Keeps Obama in Power" doctrine. So don't go running around thinking your candidate will have a more-left Doctrine than Palin.

Look, Obama's going to win the election. Palin will go home and continue to successfully and popularily run Alaska. Obama will start off with a very Liberal foreign policy agenda (kinda like the same thing GWB did except to the opposite side of the spectrum). This will lead him into some spectacular foreign policy failures which he will pretend is GWB's fault. Then he will shift his policies swiftly to the center (in the same way GWB did in his second term) while loudly proclaiming that he hasn't changed policy at all. As a result, in his second term he will enjoy some moderate foreign policy successes (in the same way as GWB did) while he denounces as a racist anyone who tries to point out that his policies have changed.

Call it prophecy.

regis18 Author Profile Page:

Gov Palin: My doctrine? That's just another gotcha.

regis18 Author Profile Page:

For zennhead614wheatland

Yes, just trust her advisers to rein her in should she become President. That's the same battle cry we heard just before the Republicans foisted off a totally unprepared, ill-informed, religious conservative, intellectually incurious governor on the nation eight years ago.

Thanks, but no thanks. Never again. (Except in 2004, maybe. Can't expect the American voter to figure out everything in just four years.)

sbates2 Author Profile Page:

Mush!

mmcpherson1 Author Profile Page:

The Palin Doctrine:

If it has more than two legs, shoot it from a plane!

The Earth is 6000 years old...only a few years more than my running mate!

SM33076 Author Profile Page:

Where do we think we will get the funds to continue pursuing our war habits from? China? Japan? Who do you think will lend a bankrupt nation more and more only to waste it on military misadventures? Republicans and Democrats dont seem to know the answer to the simple questions... how to fix our economy.

asoders22 Author Profile Page:

Earl C: Hear, hear. Contempt for science and education is dangerous. Probably it stems from a fear of losing all the prejudices and all the hatred, if having to face facts.

spidermean2: Supremacy...? No.

EarlC Author Profile Page:

Please forgive me for not understanding the open hostility that the right has for academia. By and large, those of us who have advanced degrees from good institutions of higher learning know that we do not know everything. In fact, the more we learn, the more we realize that we do not know. The problem with the right is that they hate facts and those who possess them. They hide behind religion to excuse all of their biases and prejudices on religious grounds. The problem with the right is that their knowledge of all things religious is as inadequate as their knowledge of the world. Those who ridicule those who have "book" learning and world experiences are, by their very nature, not well versed in the greatest book of all, The Bible.

EarlC Author Profile Page:

After reading some of the comments, I am pressed to suggest that even our allies have been alarmed at our use of military might during the Bush administration. Most notably is our war of choice in Iraq. We have forgotten the responsibility that has fallen on our shoulders as the only military superpower in the world. Restraint is a virtue. Throwing our weight around becomes very scary to other countries, regardless of how friendly they may seem.

As we have also seen, wars are expensive. Where a surgical strike in Afghanistan may have removed the Al Qaida cell that was responsible for attacking us, we have created a situation of long-term conflict half way around the world. We have chosen not to rely on resident populations to take care of their own internal political or governance problems. Instead, we have tried to thrust our will on populations who have no tradition or understanding of our culture.

While we have been busy tackling the world, we have allowed America to become extremely polarized. The apparent laying down of political arms yesterday in the Senate is only temporary. President Obama or President McCain will have a lot to do to return Congress back to something other than armed camps sniping at each other.

If anyone can help reverse the negativity and obstinence in Washington, it will be Obama. He clearly has the vision, the temperament, and the intelligence to work with a wide array of people. McCain, even yesterday, continues to demonstrate why he cannot work closely with people who disagree with him. He also chose not to speak to his Senate colleagues.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

asoders22 wrote " why would Europe attack America just because we want our own defense systems?"

Supremacy? Idiots always want to be supreme. There is really no need for a separate defense force and the real question is, why are they building one? There is no other reason but supremacy. Europe want to be supreme. It would happen for a while but in the end, the whole of Europe will burn. The evolutionists would burn just as what God does to everyone who opposes Him.

"Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, SEVERITY; but toward thee, GOODNESS, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be CUT OFF. (Romans 11:22)

asoders22 Author Profile Page:

Spiderman 2 - I am beginning to believe that you actually are 17 years old.

You didn't answer my question - why would Europe attack America just because we want our own defense systems? (There is a lot to be said about what EU is up to, but this is not the place - but believe me, we are not going to attack you.)

Well, we are a continent where a lot of people read books and papers and have the common sense to embrace science and the knowledge about evolution, that is perfectly true. I doubt that makes us dumb, though. Learning usually doesn't do that.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

The BARRACUDA BITE

Biden supports abortion and gay marriage. That alone categorizes him as idiotic. No amount of debate can make him a winner against Palin.

Good values make a person wise. Everything Palin did for Alaska was wise and that explains why 80-90 % of them are satisfied with her job.

What I don't understand is why is she talking to liberal reporters. Wise people should avoid idiots. These people don't intend to learn. They are there to find mistakes.

I hope she would WHIP THE LIBERALS during that debate. She should NOT please them. That is the only way she could win this debate. The same style she used when she gave that speech at the Republican Convention.

Sarah, give them that BARRACUDA BITE.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

asoders22 wrote "Why the heck would we attack - or "challenge" - America? "

Why is Europe building an independent military outside of NATO? Why is Europe building a separate satellite navigation system?(it's called Galileo). These are the questions you should be asking.

I know why because Europe has become dumb. Dumb like the liberal Democrats here in America. Dumb vs dumb. Evolutionists vs. Abortion and Gay Marriage supporters. It's called Doomsday.

You ordinary Europeans are dumb. You don't know what your European Parliament have been cooking.

minco_007 Author Profile Page:

Palin has no doctrine which makes the premise of this article somewhat wanting. She is only parroting a set of themes given her by an outdated think tank of Republican ideas. She would do well at any PTA debate on looks and charm but world leaders would never take her seriously. To the contrary they would probably think America has taken leave of it's senses and be suspect and distant. This level of politics require intellectual curiosity. She genuinely does'nt have it. It does'nt make her a bad person just unqualified to be the #1 world leader. Square glasses, pony-tail and bangs just don't cut it. That's just a little to regular folks! Even that Alaskan, trailer laced, whipper snapper lingo she likes to use may be cute for some but beneath the dignity of President. No Moose eating, beer drinking and farting at a meeting of high level dignitaries from around the world. She won't get a pass just cause she's cute, there are real & dire issues facing our world and the girl next door in the double wide who's not the least bit curious won't cut it!

rclab Author Profile Page:

We will never know prior to the election what Palin really thinks. Since her nomination she has been controlled by her advisers. She has been programed to give a learned response to any question. If it is a questions her programmers failed to anticipate, she simply avoids the question and gives one of her programed responses. We will only see the true Palin after the election when she is either in the White House or back to the State House.

ospreytom Author Profile Page:

The answer of whether Palin is unqualifed is so abunduntly obvious that the mere debate of it is ridiculous and beneath the dignity of rational comment. Amazing that despite so many gaffes (a polite word for blind ignorance of crucial issues) by Palin that her dwindling approval numbers are as high as they are. Palin as president in the terrible event McCain would die in office is too scary to even ponder. God help us if that scenario ever occurred. The current financial meltdown would seem like the good old days.

tharmonwvmastersgt Author Profile Page:

Please John McCain drop Sarah from the ticket, you wanted Leberman at the start.

RichardMorse Author Profile Page:

The Palin Doctrine ought to be: The United States must be self sufficient in energy consumption.

yog2541 Author Profile Page:

Pastor Jeremiah Wright is absolutely correct; The chickens are coming home to roost.

A good verse from the bible; DON'T DO UNTO OTHERS IF YOU DON'T WANT OTHERS DO UNTO YOU. America, we have been supporting tyrants, overthrowing democratic elected govts in Iran, Chile, Central America, supporting military junta in S Korea, Greek colonels, the SHAH of Iran, Saddam Hussein, apartheid regime in S Africa & now we are reaping the storms.

broeckzele Author Profile Page:

spidermean2, reading your comments, I can see you are no more then a poor kid, maybe 17yo, who plays too many video games, who has no perspective of the world, and who should be spanked by your parents at least one time each day. I pity you, since I can see your future... either dead in some stupid war or, more probably, dead in some school shoot out. Dear, dear...

rohitcuny Author Profile Page:

Shoot that moose!

Kill that foetus!

Bomb that building in Baghdad!

Drive that SUV at 70 miles per hour!

--------------

This is today's America.

Jeremiah Wright said, "God damn America" and Obama denounced him.

But maybe Wright was right?

zennhead614wheatland Author Profile Page:

Funny. I didn't think Palin was running for President.
This is scare stuff.
Right now, John McCain is the man in charge.
Yes, he's an old man.
I can understand the fear, but I'd also have to say: she won't do much of anything without advisors. If McCain should win, and then become incapacitated, Sarah Palin would be hamstrung by a heavily Democrat dominated Congress and far fewer Republicans ready to rubber stamp anything she did.
She is clearly a work in study.
Her answers tomorrow will provide more information.
I'd be wondering what Barack Obama will do if he follows through with his threats to take out any targets inside Pakistan needed and available By the time Obama reaches office, if he does, attacking targets inside Pakistan could have reached a point of instantaneous eruption of civil discord in that country because it has allowed such attacks to happen. It's therefore possible that we could be in a third war with Islam if Obama follows through with his threats. Does that sound like a sane thing to do? Start a THIRD war with an Islamic nation, this one with a reputed 40 nuclear devices??

asoders22 Author Profile Page:

spidermean2 wrote:

asoders22 wrote " They both scare me"

Be scared of your own continent. Europe is building an independent military outside of NATO. For what? To challenge America? You should be scared coz for that reason, the whole of Europe would burn.

-----------

That seems to be your tactic, telling non-Americans to shut up. Also, the above quote shows the belligerent, paranoid and threatening American attitude that we are so sick of. Why the heck would we attack - or "challenge" - America? Thank you for the prospect that "the whole of Europe would burn".

Not only McCain and Palin, but people like you, do scare me. You are so rigid and bullying.

McCain is, whether you like him or not, a bit old and easily confused at this point. He cannot control Palin, that is obvious. And she has not used her life to achieve an in-depth knowledge about contemporary politics, history, law, or the main politic currents of the last 150-200 years or so. If you don't know history, you are in risk of repeating it. She doesn't read books or newspapers.

Connecting with ordinary people and understanding them is great, but at this level, you need to know more than ordinary people. Her very rigid views, her ambition and ignorance are together a lethal cocktail.

Anonymous28 Author Profile Page:

I was referring to your use of "coz", and the following: "it's been existing even before Bush have heard of it" which is very clumsy, to say the least.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

Anonymous28, it should not be called as the "Bush Doctrine" but rather the "Bush Policy". It's you who should learn English.

Ask Obama what he thinks of the "Bush Doctrine". He would be wise if he would ask you, which one? Unilateralism, Regime Change, Preemptive Strike, or Military Primacy? These are Bush's policies and non of which is his doctrine.

Anonymous28 Author Profile Page:

Spiderman2:
The point you miss is that "preemption" or "prevention" is new to American foreign policy with the Bush Doctrine, not to the entire world.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is hardly classifiable as "preemptive" because the U.S. was not planning on attacking Japan. No action was "preempted".

Anonymous28 Author Profile Page:

Spiderman2:
The point you are missing is that the innovation of the Bush Doctrine is that "preemption" or "prevention" is new to United States foreign policy, not the entire world.
Also, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is hardly "preemptive" because the United States wasn't planning on attacking Japan, so Japan wasn't "preempting" any action.

And, please, learn English.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

There is NO such thing as the BUSH DOCTRINE. Preemptive Strike is not a Bush doctrine coz it's been existing even before Bush have heard of it. Technically speaking, the Japanese made a preemptive strike when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Is it right then to say that they executed a "Bush Doctrine" ? Some people just name it as a "Bush Doctrine" coz he impremented that policy towards Iraq. Implementing a policy does not make you the OWNER of the policy. Here's what happens if preemptive strike becomes synonymous to the "Bush Doctrine". Questions like the following would easily sound silly.

Mr. Stacey : What do you think of the Japanese implementing the Bush Doctrine on Pearl Harbor?

Spiderman2 : This is what I think. You should undergo a brain surgery. I think you are dumber than the 3 stooges.

If ever there will be a "bush doctrine", I think it would mean REGIME CHANGE. I first heard of it from George Bush and I think it never existed before unlike the phrase "preemptive strike".

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

There is NO such thing as the BUSH DOCTRINE. Preemptive Strike is not a Bush doctrine coz it's been existing even before Bush have heard of it. Technically speaking, the Japanese made a preemptive strike when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Is it right then to say that they executed a "Bush Doctrine" ? Some people just name it as a "Bush Doctrine" coz he impremented that policy towards Iraq. Implementing a policy does not make you the OWNER of the policy. Here's what happens if preemptive strike becomes synonymous to the "Bush Doctrine". Questions like the following would easily sound silly.

Mr. Spacey : What do you think of the Japanese implementing the Bush Doctrine on Pearl Harbor?

Spiderman2 : This is what I think. You should undergo a brain surgery. I think you are dumber than the 3 stooges.

If ever there will be a "bush doctrine", I think it would mean REGIME CHANGE. I first heard of it from George Bush and I think it never existed before unlike the phrase "preemptive strike".

Texan2007 Author Profile Page:

Sarah Palin will be a wonderful Vice President. She has more experience than Obama and she TRULY LOVES this country.

As for President, better than Obama. Why are we not talking about Obama's TOTAL lack of qualifications and he is at the top of the ticket?

Anyway, McCain will live the 4 years in office! Even if ill, he would have the best mediacl care known to man. But it won't happen. Old Man McCain will live to be 100 years old if not a day.

fishingriver Author Profile Page:

Stacey has sounded a wake up call. I can't stop thinking about the terryifying possibilities. Palin surrounded herself with friends when she became governor of Alaska. Qualifying advisors was no more important to her than qualifying her positions. She is religious nut who believes that the world will end in a holy war. Recall her statement that we were sending troops to Iraq by "sending them out on a task that is from God".
Also recall that when confronted with this, she lied. No insult to Charlie Gibson or Katie Couric, but they didn't begin to get at who it is we are considering for VP. The debate isn't about Biden VS Palin, it's about who IS Sara Palin.

ih82blog Author Profile Page:

I hope you realize that "Palin Doctrine" is a pretty deep oxymoron. You know, something like "retarded genius", or "instant classic". In any case it will be certainly the last thing on my mind when/if I watch tomorrow's debate.

rrannikko Author Profile Page:

I live in So Cal , I used to live in New England and have not missed it since. I have had recent conversations with many of my relatives from NE. They have always voted Republican, only because that is what their parents and grandparents have voted. I brought up the point that a person should vote for someone with their mind not their heart. I have not heard back from them yet. If more Americans voted with their mind instead of family mores, we may not have been in this situation, but we are, so let us all work for today and forget the old passions and turn this country around.
landob

thc1138 Author Profile Page:

The Palin Doctrine?

This is Sarah Palin as a sportscaster:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/style/features/2008/rhetoric/gallery.html

She has the slurry sound of a high school girl who pretends to be stupid so guys will treat her like a dimwitted sex object, while convincing herself that it's all a clever ruse.


FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

michaelmelius Author Profile Page:

Prof. Stacey, could you possibly be more vague? I think not. You said almost nothing, but for circular definitions of doctrine and principles. What substance there is--about Palin's foreign policy doctine--is actually unsubstantiated. What is your source for those claims?

cheleyrocks Author Profile Page:

Professor Stacey raises many interesting points and in particular when he states:
"Palin is in favor of an even more regular use of the U.S. military to pursue the national interest." If this is true, Governor Palin might want to consider bringing back the draft to increase troop strength as we certainly will need it! Currently the military is far more than just a strike force--the military is called to fill in the gaps and conduct peacekeeping, peace enforcement, rule of law efforts, do the heavy lifting in areas where interagencies are not present or refuse to act, and diplomacy in addition to traditional roles. Perhaps Governor Palin's son will witness the dramatic expectations and tasks of the U.S. military first hand during his tour in Iraq and can report back to his mom that we might want to finish some of the jobs that we start before spreading ourselves too thin. Additionally, Professor Stacey continues, "What verges on revolutionary, however, is a combination of her stated desire to strike anywhere in the world in violation of others' sovereignty without permission." Indeed. Governor Palin might want to review the UN Charter which creates the legal basis for the use of force and get ready to argue the concept of anticipatory self-defense which really is the only other legal basis to use force. Or perhaps humanitarian reasons but that too is controversial. Bottom-line, I think Governor Palin's views on the military seem rather sophmoric and she might want to take a class in Military 101 to understand the current capabilities and roles of the military as well as the legal basis for the use of force.

rsingh182 Author Profile Page:

In response to Chris33 -> "someone of Palin's stature"?

What Stature? She has no stature......stature is associated with great Leaders, great thinkers, great artists, great public service officials etc.....i think you get the idea.

She is none.

You can blame and cuss the elite media, that is your prerogative.

I have no problem with an outside the beltway, regular "six-pack" American coming into the Executive role but they must clear a minimal threshold of qualifications/experience/aptitude. After all it is the 2nd highest job in this country.

Who ever recruited a Computer Engineer/Research scientist etc... because they were perky, mother/father of 5 kids (i think you get the idea).

chris33 Author Profile Page:

It always amazes me how people in glass houses tend to throw stones. Most posters are leftist liberals,since the Washington Post itself is liberal. These people have no idea what they are talking about whenever they call someone of Palin's stature as an idiot. The Palin Doctrine will simply be one of Service, Honesty, Trust, Patriotism, Truth, and ALL THE WHILE Always Placing America First. I often wonder if there is anything about America that B.Hussein Obama likes. He continues to put America down whenever HE IS given the opportunity! Yes, GOD DOES BLESS AMERICA, AND IN GOD WE TRUST.

Oomingmak Author Profile Page:

What would the Palin Doctrine be? Very simple.

"Ignorance is strength."

Electing her would be tantamount to national suicide.

spike59101 Author Profile Page:

This "attempt" to get the Hillary woman voter by mcbush is as insulting as what he once said to his wife IN FRONT OF A REPORTER (you all know the comment: well at least I don't look like a tarted up wh_ore you c_unt"). As a matter of fact, to any woman voter that has more brains than porky palin (that would be most), mcbush said to American women "here you go you tarted up c_unts" with this choice for a running mate.

This choice for V.P. is the most singularly assinine I have ever seen; and that includes Quale for crying out loud. We are looking at someone who had to go to SIX different colleges, and none of them real institutions of "higher" learning by any means, before getting a degree in communications/journalism: a degree which is as far from "rocket science" as you possibly can get. I've got to admit though that she matches mcbush well in the "holding down the bottom" contest. I guess it is why porky and mcbush are so much like the current seat-warmer in the whitehouse and lie everytime they open their mouths. She STILL tells that tired, over-used lie "...I told congress thanks but..": is she such a complete moron that she does not realize that everyone in the nation has seen and/or read the speeches she gave first when she was running for governor and later as, poor Alaskans, governor? Is she so completely devoid of any grey matter between her ears that she does not know that WE ALL KNOW that she only "said no thanks" after congress told her and her bridge to pack sand?

It is my fervent hope that the investigators back in Alaska get off of their derriers and get to work on her abuses of power while in public office: this is a woman who is much like "idiot boy" - stupid but not afraid to do something stupid to get her way. As close as she is to the title "president" should mcbush get elected voters in this country need to know EVERYTHING about her past. Yes, much of it is unsavory. BFD. She is a buffoon and should not have been elected to the office of Mayor of Podunk Alaska. She damned sure should not get into the V.P. mansion, one little cancer cell/heart attack/.... away from the whitehouse. Our nation cannot afford anymore stupidity emanating from that structure.

jeangerard Author Profile Page:

Dear Hugs from Brazil: Thanks for your amusing and perceptive letter about Sarah Palin. Even though I can't see Brazil from my back yard, you make me want to visit there. If your government is not subjected to regime change during the next U.S. Administration, I am planning to spend several weeks there studying fantasticl realism in order to better understand the political mind of Washington and Wall Street.

bluenose2 Author Profile Page:

If Joe Biden is asked what he thinks of Dick Cheney, he might want to answer - When I met Richard Nixon I thought he was was the biggest "Dick" I ever met until I observed the policies and actions of the current Vice-President. What a DICK!!!

johnycheng1 Author Profile Page:

I have a urgent message for Joe Biden before tomorrow night's debate. Jow should make it very clear at the very beginning that Sarah Palin should be treated as a candidate for the vice president of the United States of American in regardless of her background, sex, experience or education, as he was nominated by the Republican party as such. After such a statement, Joe can debate against a candidate, not a woman or an under qualified person. Thus Joe would not be considered condescending, or patronizing. I am sure Karl Rove is trying to coach Sarah to manipulate the situation as an under dog woman.

agolembe Author Profile Page:

Dear Spiderman2,

You need to very sure you know what you're talking about before you call others idiots.

The Bush Doctrine is laid in the National Security Strategy (NSS). The NSS puts into policy the position of the President in many areas, including Defense of the Homeland. You can read the NSS at the Whitehouse web site.

Every president has a doctrine of some sort. Rememember the Monroe Doctrine or did your high school let you down? There was a Nixon Doctrine, a Kennedy Doctrine, a Truman Doctrine, and a Roosevelt Doctrine, etc.

The NSS of 2002 was the first American Presidential doctrine to include the right of "pre-emptive" strike. It doesn't matter what Israel does, only that no other president of the US has said they will use pre-emptive strike to protect America.

William Safire even wrote an editorial in 2002 about the Bush Doctrine. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06EED8113AF933A15753C1A9649C8B63

It's a shame Americans don't understand the policies of their own government. I was taught that in order to defend the Constitution of the US one must understand the doctrine behind defending it.

Educate yourself first, young man, before calling others names.

Saltywater Author Profile Page:

Now, why isn't anyone asking whether Senator Biden has a doctrine? Is that because he doesn't have one or after 20+ years as a politician, you can pretty much say anything about him and would likely be right? Also when was the last time anyone ever cared whether a VP candidate has a "doctrine"? I'm an undecided independent voter and an avid reader of the Washington Post. This the the first time I've ever posted in response to any news article. Recently, I've noticed some very opinionated articles obviously written by a Democratic leaning writer. I think these obviously very one sided opinions/editorial masquerading as news is really affecting the integrity of mainstream news media.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

asoders22 wrote " They both scare me"

Be scared of your own continent. Europe is building an independent military outside of NATO. For what? To challenge America? You should be scared coz for that reason, the whole of Europe would burn.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

You are obviously an idiot Mr. Spacey. Actually it's my first time to hear that there is such a "Bush Doctrine" in that interview. Pre-emptive Strike is not a Bush doctrine. It's been used by Israel even at the time when Bush was still in his teenage years. IDIOT.

Brazil should take care of the mess they have. You have lots of idiots there to even talk about American politics. If not for American intervention, all of South America are communists by now. IDIOTS.

asoders22 Author Profile Page:

The Palin doctrine may be "If I am a VP, I am already president." During the interview with Couric where McCain was present, she immediately took control and talked before he had a chance to open his mouth. Couric had to literally lean over in McCain's direction to give him space to speak. She also mentioned what an honor it would be if the American people gave "us" the privilege to serve and govern. She is so eager she can barely show any respect for the man who (unfortunately) picked her.

I, as a European, want neither of them in charge - I do care, since American politics has a great influence on our countries. They both scare me.

Dalmo1 Author Profile Page:


SUCCESSFUL WAL-MART MOM OR WAL-MART?

After the first interview to a TV reporter, the success of Sarah Palin was immediate and international due her nonsense remarks. In the Internet is possible to find charges, humor programs and innumerable creative and funny videos mocking the governor of Alaska.
Among so many remarks of Sarah Palin some of them cause me to remember some important personages of cartoons, television and films that marked my infancy and perhaps of many people there…
Palin’s remarks such as “Iraq war was mission of God”, “I can see Russia from my house” and so many others, its makes to remember an old personage of humor in Brazil, success of the TV Globo in 1968, called OFÉLIA.
Ofélia was a good mother, good wife and very loved by her husband. The great problem of her was she did not obtain to be in silent, when her husband received visits in house. And when Ofélia opened the mouth, she scared the visits of his husband. Ofélia committed as much gaffes and still she adored to say “I only opens the mouth when I have certain”.
Sarah Palin loves to speak the word “exceptional” in almost all rallies. To Palin everything is exceptional in USA. But will it be that Palin thinks that Iraq war, economic crisis and other problems there are exceptional too? Who knows?…
Then that makes me remember another person called ALICE of the novel "Alice in Wonderland" written 1865 by author English Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, being considered a classic of English literature.
Alice was a pretty, curious and a tired girl of its monotonous world. She fell in a rabbit burrow and was to stop in a fantastic place inhabited for exceptional and antropomorphus creatures. And Alice was just a spectator of the things who happened around her and lived a fancy without any compromise with the reality.
And the success of Sarah Palin is not restricted only to the Internet, charges of periodicals and humor programs of the TV in USA and in the world, she is success of sales in the market of eyeglasses also. The nice eyeglasses of the “Admirable hockey mom”, a Kazuo Kawasaki frame model 704, in color 34 gray, around $375 (not counting the lenses) is one of the models most sold in U.S.A. and also in some countries.
Nobody knows right if the secret of the success of sales of those eyeglasses is closely on to the success of her gaffes. Or perhaps the consumers really believe that those eyeglasses help to see the Russia of their houses too or the exceptional things that Palin speaks so much...
However one thing all of us has certain: Wal-Mart Mom is Wal-Mart now. Thus as the Wal-Mart Stories, Sarah Palin is international too!

HUGS FROM BRAZIL FOR ALL CONSCIOUS CITIZENS IN USA!!!

citizendave Author Profile Page:

I agree about McCain's VP pick. I thought there were plenty of concervatives (if that was what he was looking for) that would have solidified his base and could have had a seasoned speaker to articulate his message. It seems that the Republicans always think that the message is enough. I think that a good message can get lost with the messanger and a good messenger can sell a tainted message.

Hitler convinced an entire nation that he would create jobs and restore Germany to it's position of global respect that had been squandered by past leadership.

He wrote a book that clearly described his beliefs but people who brought up his writings and associations as proof he was a dangerous man to have in office was riduculed, called Jew lovers, traitors and stupid or of course killed.

We need to ask questions, use all past behavior as a guide to what the man/woman really believes and how he/she will govern. And with any luck be civil enough to be able to run the whole nation and not just one half like we have been doing for almost sixteen years now.

butkus57 Author Profile Page:

Joe Biden needs to give Palin a 3a.m. wake-up call. Highlight McCaine's judgement in his decision to pick her as his V P. I am so tired of the tricky-dicky manuvers of the republican party.
And McCaine claims to be different. All the guy had to do was become an independent. Attract moderate conservatives, independents,and conservative democrates. Keep his integrity, not sell-out, pick a real VP and not a cheerleader. And even if he would have lost doing so democrats who always liked him and respected him, could have kept on doing so. At best he has become irrelavent. At worst he has turned himself into John "The Penguin" McCain.

citizendave Author Profile Page:

What does that mean??? These are the type of comments that I was speaking of. Some details about your position (preferably facts) to clarify what you are talking about.

OldAtlantic Author Profile Page:

Sarah Palin: least experienced taking Wall Street money in and pumping Wall Street bonus bailouts out.

citizendave Author Profile Page:

I have recently started reading some of the commentary on this site and have been suprised at the psycosis of the people that post here in support of the Obama position in paritcular.

I can't help but wonder why are all the Obama supporters and a lot of the McCain supporters are so shrill and childlike in their observations.

I think that McCain and Palin have some obvious if not scarry problems. The question that I have is why is Obama's memoirs and Palin's activities so off limits and then when it is brought up everyone freaks out and starts calling names and acting like school children. It seems to me that Obama and Palin both have some thin resumes and we need these writings, their associations, and their past opinions to make an informed decision.

Just an observation and will appreciate any insight to this bizzare behavior.

Thanks

craigslsst Author Profile Page:

right ON!

It is only proper that the Palin Doctrine be placed next to the Obama Doctrine, and, the Biden Doctrine. Never heard of the last two "doctrines". Just read above "posts".

gloria57 Author Profile Page:

She sets forth the Jed Clampett doctrine. Who on earth wouldn't want Jed as our next president. And along those same lines, isn't the other important theory "Any Woman is better than No Woman." Go Obama!

YouHaveGotToBeKidding!:

Sarah Palin Knows Foreign Policy

Look how close Alaska is to Russia!

Sarah Palin Knows Alaska Law Prohibits her from Taking a Position on Ballot Initiatives

But she violated the law and supports her friends in the mining industry who supported her.

Sarah Palin Knows Witchcraft

And got protection from it at her church!

Sarah Palin Knows Ethics Reform

And has accepted gifts valued at $25,367 from industry executives, municipalities and a cultural center whose board includes officials from some of the largest mining interests in the state.

Sarah Palin Knows the Banking Industry

She went to New York and saw lots of banks. She could even see Wall Street from her Holiday Inn Express room.

Sarah Palin Knows Ireland

She had a layover there once.

Sarah Palin Knows the Bush Doctrine

Isn’t it about shaving down there?

Sarah Palin Knows Iraq

She got close once and saw it.

Sarah Palin Knows Email Security

And thinks Yahoo.com is perfectly safe to conduct government business. Let’s hope Al Qaeda doesn’t find out!

Sarah Palin Knows Lies

And keeps repeating the same ones on the campaign trail, even though she’s already ADMITTED they’re lies.

Sarah Knows Global Warming

And thinks it’s a natural cycle on this 6000 year old planet!

Sarah Palin Knows Education

She’s been to 6 colleges in 6 years!

Sarah Palin Knows Executive Decisions

Having run a state with a population the size of Anaheim, CA for less than two years.

Sarah Palin Knows Government Waste

She collected 27 million dollars in earmarks while mayor of a 6000 person town in Alaska.

Sarah Palin Knows The Bridge to Nowhere

She said yes before she said no, and then kept the money!

Sarah Palin Knows Scams

And paid herself thousands of dollars in travel expenses to live at home.

Sarah Palin Knows State Business

And apparently so do her children, to the tune of a $50K+ travel and expenses tab picked up by the taxpayers.

Sarah Palin now knows Abstinence Only education doesn’t work.

Well, maybe she doesn’t. But she does think it’s the only sex education your children should learn.

Sarah Palin Knows Sexism

It’s sexist when it’s applied to her, but it’s not when it’s applied to Hillary.

Sarah Palin Knows Creationism

And wants to teach it to your children as an equally plausible alternative to the theory of evolution

Sarah Palin Knows Books

And wants to ban the ones she doesn’t like from your local library.

Sarah Palin Knows Rape and Incest

And believes the victims should be forced to bear the child.

Sarah Palin Really Knows Rape

And charged the women in her town for rape kits.

Sarah Palin Knows Welfare

Alaska receives more money from the Federal Government than any other state of the Union.

Sarah Palin Knows Country First

But she believes in Alaska First and supports a group that wants to secede from the Union.

Sarah Palin Knows George Bush

And wants to continue his policies for 4, 8? 12? 16? more years.


Sarah Palin

One 5-time face cancer, 72-year-old man heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Think about that when you go to the polls.


John Saboura San Diego CA:

God help our country if McCain wins with Palin on his side. every time she opens her mouth she puts her foot in her proverbial mouth. Besides running a state the size smaller than the population of san diego, she talks as if she is already making decisions. If Russia is going to attack the USA it won't hit Alaska, dear Sara....
it can reach you in Washington if you ever get there.... God help us!

At least we know Obama willTHINK FIRST.... Not like Mc Cain.... shoot first.... IMULSIVE versus THOUGHTFULL and STUDIOUS HARVARD GRADUATE.... The latter qualifiocations are enough for this independent voter, who votes for the merits of the person and not his/her sex, sexual orientation, religion, or color. God help make America blind to all the above. LOOK FOR THE MIND AMERICA!

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.