Here’s Why Palin Wasn’t Giving Interviews

If you’re wondering why John McCain’s campaign had been refusing to allow reporters to interview VP choice Sarah Palin, here’s why:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin left open the option Thursday of waging war with Russia if it were to invade neighboring Georgia and the former Soviet republic were a NATO ally.

“We will not repeat a Cold War,” Palin said in her first television interview since becoming Republican John McCain’s vice presidential running mate two weeks ago.

Palin told Charles Gibson of ABC News that she’d favor including Georgia and Ukraine, both former Soviet republics, in NATO despite opposition by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Asked whether the United States would have to go to war with Russia if it invaded Georgia, and the country was part of NATO, Palin said: “Perhaps so.”

Look, we know Russia is Palin’s neighbor and all, but suggesting that we might go to war with them is probably not a good idea. Nor is letting her speak without a script, apparently.

175 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Laughing Boy says:

    Asked whether the United States would have to go to war with Russia if it invaded Georgia, and the country was part of NATO, Palin said: “Perhaps so.”

    I would hope so.  What’s the fucking point of having NATO?

    You guys are hilarious this week.

  2. RedGreen says:

    She didn’t have a clue what the Bush Doctrine is. Nor would she give a straight answer when Gibson — repeatedly — pressed her about cross-border incursions into Pakistan. But she had the buzz-phrases memorized.

    • Another skeptic says:

      Gibson asked a cub reporter question. Got a skilled politician’s answer.

      Gibson looked like a stern old fart who had no business being stern about anything.

      • Half Glass Full says:

        TOTAL deer in the headlights moment.

      • Go Blue says:

        She looked like a moose in highlights; clueless.  

      • Another skeptic says:

        Check around the web, you’ll find a lot of disagreement about what the Bush doctrine is. There are several views of it, and Palin, smartly, asked Gibson to be specific about the one he had in mind. He didn’t explain it very well, but he sure was smug.

        • That’s a patently ridiculous statement.  The Bush Doctrine is as plain and simple as Charlie Gibson eventually had to spell out for Palin.  It has been the same since 2002 when Bush first espoused it.

          Moreover, she didn’t have the slightest clue what he was talking about.  Her first response – “his worldview?” – shows that.  She wasn’t confused about interpretation – she truly didn’t know there was such a thing as the Bush Doctrine.

  3. twas brillig says:

    Deer in the headlights:

      • Libertad says:

        Our national leaders have the obligation to to first strike in the defense of the homeland. Even President Clinton agrees on that.

        • RedGreen says:

          You mean the four times she hemmed and hawed about cross-border incursions into Pakistan, never once giving a direct (much less a coherent) response?

          You’re right that Gibson looked uncomfortable. He’s used to interviewing capable subjects, not watching an embarrassing melt-down as he tosses soft-balls.

          • Bob99 says:

            Half the comments on here are criticizing the fact that she said we should go to war with Russia IF it invaded a neighboring soveriegn nation.  The other half are criticizing her for NOT specifically saying we should invade Pakistan without their government’s permission.  You can’t have it both ways.

            Personally, I would be more afraid of Pakistan than Russia.  Pakistan has nukes and is unstable.  The Russians like to throw their weight around, but aren’t looking to start a beef with the US.

            Gibson was trying to pin her down to a policy decision that would have damaged the McCain candidacy.  She did a great job of not committing to something that could be used negatively, but emphasizing she would not shy away from a military response if needed.  

            • I’m more worried that she wants the Ukraine and Georgia in NATO, and sees no potential problems with the commitment we’d face if that happened – namely, mutual defense against a country with a modern military much closer and much less stressed (currently) than our own.

              I have to admit, Palin is good on the politicking side of things.  As you note, she does a good – if a bit heavy-handed – job of avoiding direct answers to questions that would be politically damaging.  But that doesn’t change the fact that those answers – and we all know what they are – are damaging, and don’t fit with McCain’s goal of winning this election.  She didn’t answer the “mission from God” question because it would show her as the radical Dominionist she is, and she didn’t answer the Pakistan invasion question because it would make Obama look good for suggesting it (and getting ridiculed by left and right up until Bush made it our official policy earlier this week…).

              • Libertad says:

                Are you also concerned that more countries might join the U.N. or the E.U. too?

                • Bob puts it excellently below, but in case you’re ignoring his posts, I’ll rephrase it.

                  Georgia as a NATO ally means a potentially nuclear intervention for a not terribly stable state, in a region that NATO’s forces aren’t well-placed to defend.  We are much better off diplomatically and strategically having Georgia as a buffer state.

                  As to your ridiculous follow-on question about the EU and UN…  The UN exists as an umbrella organization for the world’s nations – why would anyone other than the NWO conspiracy kooks here in the U.S. care if more nations joined the UN?  The EU, on the other hand, isn’t an organization of which the United States is a part; it isn’t for me to say who should be in it, except to say that I don’t think the U.S. would benefit or be comfortable as a member.

        • Half Glass Full says:

          The hell with the truth. Just keep repeating the Big Lie.

        • CO Democrat says:

          Oh and she did such a good job at getting her point across too.  So Articulate.  Her direct responses seemed so genuine in her discussion.  Man, “a blizzard of words”. yeah that’s real direct.  

          Hell, based on those lofty standards, you could be on the ticket with McCain.

        • Libertad says:

          In the interest of national security you do understand there are certain places neither camp (McCain-Palin or Omaba-Biden) will go on their answers?

          maybe the media should have national security questions first edited by Dem/Rep Senate leadership … a good one might be on the role of the Congress in these matters.

        • Go Blue says:

          You have reality staring you in the face and you still ignore it. Palin froze and responded to Gibson with a question, “You mean his wordlview?” WRONG.

          It’s been painfully clear that she was gimmick pick. Tonight’s foreign fiasco will be played over, and over, and over.  

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        Ready to lead ?  Don’t think so.

    • MissingWashPark says:

      Or maybe not; I might still sleep better at night. The thought of her at the helm was scary enough before she had much public exposure and I could only guess how she might behave. I find the thought petrifying now; when you’re president, you don’t have time to consider the implications of your actions (let’s go to war with Russia) after the fact.

      On that note, does anyone know which Lincoln quote Palin had in mind when she justified calling the troop deployment a “task from G-d”?  I’ve done a brief search and found a couple instances (2nd inaugural speech and something from “Meditation on the Divine Will”) where Lincoln says that G-d’s will/purposes may be entirely independent from either side in a war, but never did he seem to “pray that G-d is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on G-d’s side.” (quote from Jonathan Miller’s blog on Politico).

    • The realist says:

      She is in no way ready for Presidential “prime time.”  There is a giant chasm between mouthing platitudes about getting the terrorists determined to destroy us, and being able to demonstrate the ability to make well-informed and subtle judgments about actions the U.S. must take now and in the future.  

    • CO Democrat says:

      Yes, that was painful to watch.  She just didn’t have a grip on anything.  It is beyond choppy.  She is NOT ready for prime time.  No stump speech=no charisma.

    • Go Blue says:

      This is very disturbing. Anyone who has been paying attention in the last few years knows what the Bush Doctrine is.  

    • Go Blue says:

      She’s really lost.

      Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?  “In what respect Charlie?” is not an answer. It’s a dodge followed up by a hail mary “his world view?” question. And after trying to BS her way with a third follow up, she still gets it wrong. And when Gibson begins to explain what the Bush doctrine actually is, she sighs… and realizes she just failed.

      And for you apologists, just saying “having all options on the table” isn’t the same as actually knowing what those options are.

      I bet she doesn’t even know where Waziristan is on a map.  

    • WesternSlopeThought says:

      Palin was absolutely clueless when Gibson asked her about the Bush Doctrine.   Guess we all know who Palin patterns her own interviews after.

      I’m trying to figure out which one gave the best responses.

  4. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    I seriously hope to God nothing happens to McCain.  However, there are many scenarios short of death  that would prevent him from carrying out the duties of the office of POTUS.  He would take office from 72 to 76 years old.  So much could happen short of death that would make this woman your Commander in Chief.

    Can you imagine Palin discussing a strike with the Joint Chiefs?

    • RedGreen says:

      How about just losing the election?

    • Libertad says:

      The President takes options from the JCs then prescribes the mission solutions.

      You do realize both sides have been receiving daily national intel breifings don’t you.

      Same goes for Obama, McCain and Biden. These are all very serious people. The more important questions are setting mid and long range foreign policy and implementing it.

      • CO Democrat says:

        Because she sounded SOOOO serious and informed in that interview.  She may receive daily intel briefings, but that doesn’t mean that she reads them.  

        • DavidThi808 says:

          …that she understands them.

          That’s what really bothered me, she showed not depth of understanding or intellectual curiosity. Instead every answer was a generic bromide designed to deflect the question. Her goal was not to explain her policies and positions, but to survive the interview.

          Charlie Gibson impressed the hell out of me. He was calm, professional, respectful – and fought like a pit bull to get her to answer his questions.

  5. ClubTwitty says:

    the figure is closer to 5%.  

    War with Russia, 7 years after we have failed to win in Afghanistan as 2008 shapes up to be the worst year yet for U.S. troops there, as we spend $10 billion a month in Iraq.  Yeah, rattle those sabers Sarah.  Let’s defeat Russia too.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      If they are a member of NATO we’d be obligated to militarily defend them.

      THe freak out continues.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        My god!  Are you so blinded by partisanship that you think she should be our president???

        Seriously.  Yes, we’d be obligated, and she supports bringing them into NATO, against the wishes of most other members of NATO, not that the Palin/McShameful/Bush crowd really care about what any of our partners, ofr the ‘free government’ of Iraq actually thinks about anything…

          • Half Glass Full says:

            Why not all of them?

            • Libertad says:

              so many Americans (based on the polls) believe the GOP stands far above the Dems on national security.

              What’s the saying they have … Pubs are Dems with facts?

              Your assignment … go to Barnes and Noble and get a Lincoln and Truman book dealing with the military. That means one book of each, not either or.

              • CO Democrat says:

                Because she showed the depth of knowledge of Lincoln or Truman.  

                Your assignment…realize that it’s not 2002 anymore.  We’re in a war that is unpopular and there is no plan to end it responsibly and any way because the Republican President blocks any efforts to do so.  Or what about the fact that after 7 years to the day, we don’t have the man who orchestrated the attacks against us on 9/11?  

                Real strong on National Security.  

              • DavidThi808 says:

                And I hate to break it to you but the Sarah Palin in the interview is no Truman. And Truman was no Lincoln.

                Truman & Lincoln understood the limits of power. They understood how to work with the military to get the results they needed.

                And both understood that while in one war, don’t get in another. Lincoln swallowed every insult from England to avoid war with her. Truman worked very hard to stop the Korean War from becoming a war between the U.S. and China.

                It is an insult to both of them to even try to compare Sarah Palin to them.

                • Libertad says:

                  You do remember Lincoln went through many General’s to reunite our nation, right? Many, many, many dead, right? Many battles under resourced, right?

                  Now that’s not the issue. It was their resolve and leadership; it’s what you can learn from their successes and mistakes too.

                  I did not compare Palin nor Obama, McCain to them. I only suggestted the blogger read more.

                  Do I think Palin has these qualities of resolve and leadership, yes.

                  Shit bro she has five kids and kicked the shit out of entrenched GOP leaders to become Governor.

              • bob ewegen says:

                I probably have a dozen lincoln books and several on truman in my own library.  If you’re nice to me, I’ll even loan you a biography of Joseph E. Johnston.  

          • Go Blue says:

            is what McCain will be doing at 3am while Palin trying to figure out if the Bush Doctrine gives her the right to attack Russia for oil.  

  6. ClubTwitty says:

    Ready from day one, Charlie, ready from day one.  Can’t second guess, Charlie, Islamic terrorists, must not blink Charlie, hellbent Charlie, all options, Charlie. Ready from day one, Charlie, ready from day one.

    Ohhh, the debate is gonna be good!

    • RedGreen says:

      but beside the point. If Biden makes her cry, say hello to President McCain and Vice President Palin.

      • Laughing Boy says:


          • Libertad says:

            Redgreen feeling blue?

            • CO Democrat says:

              I’m feeling Blue after watching that interview.  VERY VERY BLUE!!!!

              • Libertad says:

                … you guys need to drop the purple crap claim too; just claim victory in blue Colorado and grin fuck your way to the election.

                • redstateblues says:

                  You hittin’ the sauce tonight buddy? Cut out the profanity.

                  • Libertad says:

                    I am choosing to stay on topic in the thread and well … Bob’s channelling of Lusty Larry has brought new humor to my life.

                    I know you had Hope for Change, I will not be the Same.

                • CO Democrat says:

                  So, I need a lecture about being a puppet when every post you have made has been a puppet post for your oh so articulate and resolved leaders and your initiatives to take the rights of workers away.  But man you are in rare form tonight.  But man do you seem edgy.  

                  • Go Blue says:

                    the Puppet Palin should crumbled all over network TV when asked very simple softball questions like “do you support the Bush doctrine?” or how she was caught in yet another lie:

                    GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?

                    PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

                    GIBSON: Exact words.


                  • Libertad says:

                    Bob will be soooo proud (thats scarcastic).

                    Seriously, I like the international and security stuff.

                    I do think Bush f’ed up on Iraq. He should have taken longer and screwed with Saddam more … the result may still have been the Same 😉

                    I support his resolve, but the kill was too quick IMHO. There could have been greater benefits with a slower delivery of freedom to Iraq.

                    Our attention span of a gnat is a weakness.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      instead of Mr. Cole’s talking points thing working out for you, Libertine?  You seem to be heavy on the sauce, which explains the overuse of the abbreviation for fire truck, but at least you are actually saying something instead of pasting in a section of a law that was superceded 61 years ago. For you, that’s progress!

                    • Libertad says:

                      Ewegen channels Lusty Larry.

                      Why do you keep coming back to the peoples right to choose … the Right-to-Work?

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      as the Right-to-Work-for-Less

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      of average wages in so-called ‘Right-to-Work’ states and those which are not.

                      Then get back to me.  

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an

                      average worker in the 22 states with right-to-work laws earns about

                      $7,131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656

                      versus $37,787). Nationwide, union members earn $9,308 a year more

                      than non-union workers, $41,652 versus $32,344.

                        If 47 wins, Perdue will move here from Arkansas and open thousands of minimum wage jobs plucking chickens. Such a deal

                        Union busting not only turns good paying union jobs into chicken plucking jobs, it depresses the pay level of non-union jobs.

                      These statistics are courtesy of George W. Bushes labor department, by the way.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      was hoping that Libertine had the gumption to post some facts and then try to argue his case that 47 is good for workers.  I figured he couldn’t.  But thanks for the stats.

                      Vote NO on 47.

                    • Libertad says:

                      Are these direct quotes from that festering boil of corruption Ernie Duran at the UFCW?

                      Have you asked Ritter, Hickenlooper, & Salazar when they plan to call off their Big Union supporters from ruining Colorado’s economy?

                      Have you asked Ritter why he gave state workers the Right-to-Work, yet opposes equal rights to choice for the rest of Colorado?

                      YES on Amendment 47, Coloradans Deserve The Right to Work With Less Union Corruption

             has the proponent facts

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an average worker in the 22 states with right-to-work laws earns about

                      $7,131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656

                      versus $37,787). Nationwide, union members earn $9,308 a year more

                      than non-union workers, $41,652 versus $32,344.

                      These statistics are courtesy of George W. Bush’s labor department, by the way

                    • Libertad says:

                      How is the unemployment rate running in those “free bargaining”, closed-shop, forced union states?

                      Where are jobs being created … in Right-to-Work states.

                      Where do we see Forced Union Dues influencing politics … Forced Unionism States.

                      Where do we see GDP growth … in Right-to-Work states.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an average worker in the 22 states with right-to-work laws earns about

                      $7,131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656

                      versus $37,787). Nationwide, union members earn $9,308 a year more

                      than non-union workers, $41,652 versus $32,344.  

                    • Libertad says:

                      Why is Ritter against economic development?

                      Why is Ritter against the peoples Right-to-Work?

                      Why are all Union back Democrats and GOPers against Amendment 47 … because it makes the Unions earn the respect of their members.

                      Lazy Unions stop k-12 reform.

                      Forced Unionism is Un-American.

                      Why don’t you want Coloradans to choose YES or NO on their Right-to-Work?

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      The Colorado constitution sets civil service rules that prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Ritter’s executive order did not grant a “right to work” it merely obeyed the constitution.

                      You’re entitled to your vicious anti-union rants, but not to lie.

                      So, how’s that wide stance thing working out for you?

                      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an average worker in the 22 states with right-to-work laws earns about

                      $7,131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656

                      versus $37,787). Nationwide, union members earn $9,308 a year more

                      than non-union workers, $41,652 versus $32,344.  

                    • Libertad says:

                      As you prefer, if “The Colorado constitution sets civil service rules that prohibit union membership as a condition of employment.”, shouldn’t we extend these rights to freely associate to all Coloradans?

                      Obviously we have an equal rights issue here.

                      “It’s your job, it’s your Right-to-Work”

                    • Libertad says:

                      Why won’t he support those rights for all Coloradans?

                      p.s. Bob how do the cost of living and unemployment stack up in these forced union state you cite?

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      Surprise–corporations paying crappy wages like to locate in right-0to-work-for-less states.  You’re making my point here as well as demonstrating your shillitude.  

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      runs a union-busting firm in Golden and is the co-sponsor of the right-to-work-for-less amendment 47.  What, you never learned the name of the guy you’re gofering for?

                      The other is Ryan Frazier, an Aurora city councilman.  In case you didn’t know it, it was actually Pete Coors laundering the money through Jonathan that paid to put the initiative on the ballot.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      if I recall.

                      Should have just stopped by the Fed Center in Lakewood for recruitment.

                    • Libertad says:

                      I knew who Julian Cole is, I thought maybe you were referencing Juan Cole on intl relations.

                      So it wasn’t lil’ J after all? Didn’t you say a day or so ago that you know Pete. Is there a new story out there on 47 or is this a teaser to watch the Post for a future story?

                      RTW facts CNBC’s study on business climate promoted by Governor Ritter, area Workforce:

                      Many states point with great pride to the quality and availability of their workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them.

                      Some key findings in looking at the “workforce” category:

                      *All 12 states ranked ahead of Colorado are right-to-work states.

                      *Of the top 25 states in this category, 19 are right-to-work states.

                      *Of the bottom 20 in this category, 100 percent non-right-to-work states.

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      Did I mention that jobs in right-to-work-for-less states average  $7,130 less per year than in free bargaining states?;-)

                    • Libertad says:

                      Remember the Post Editorial from May? Its Ritter in the hot seat for this one.

                      Ritter gave state workers the Right-to-Work , yet now he opposes it for the rest of Colorado.

                      That seems odd, maybe you should follow the money Bob

                    • bob ewegen says:

                      The Colorado constitution’s civil service rules prohibit mandatory union membership, not Bill Ritter. Pete has been moving family money through Jonathan to back right to work for less because he didn’t want to renew the union boycott of Coors beer. He recently admitted to a group of about 60 people that he’s really behind it?

                      So, how’s that wide stance thing working out for you, Libertine?

                    • Libertad says:

                      You your hanging out with Pete at Right-to-Work fundraisers, sweet. Forward me your next invite so I might attend.

                      Its your job, its your right to work

  7. co4mac says:

    Come on! Even the liberally biased MSM admitted that most people (including journalists) do not know the Bush Doctrine. It has changed many times during the past 8 years.

    I thought Palin did quite well considering she was grilled in a manner to which Obama has never been subjected.

    Please attempt at least a modicum of fairness.

    • Jambalaya says:

      ….and she had no time to prepare!

      (kinda like her VP selection)

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      But “most people” aren’t running for VP.

      Statistically speaking Palin has a 1 in 3 chance of serving out the remainder of McCain’s hypothetical first term.

      She looked befuddled and unknowledgable.

      If we have learned anything from Bush, it is that bluster and ignorance are not a good basis to build a foriegn policy.

      • RedGreen says:

        “Islamo-terrorism” enough times convincingly, that could pass for a national security policy.

        And I would bet “most people” posting here knew what the Bush Doctrine was without having to guess from Charlie Gibson’s exasperated hints. (And no, co4mac it has not changed several times over the last eight years, it was first enunciated in 2002 and had a definite meaning.)

    • Half Glass Full says:

      Her “answer” was painful to watch. It was like someone being called on in class to give a book report when they hadn’t read the book.

      In fact, almost all her answers sounded like a 7th-grade civics student’s answers to a pop quiz.

  8. hobbylobby says:

    My god, is she channeling George Bush?!? I can’t believe that I’ve heard her say “nucular” at least three times now – why hasn’t that crack bunch of ex-Bush aides at least corrected her pronunciation?  There’s no way they’re going to have her trained in time to be a stateswoman, but they could at least work on the superficial gaffes.

    • The realist says:

      that she had been coached to say “Caucasus” but then pronounced Iraq “eye-rack.”  I’ve said this repeatedly to people — don’t select who you’re voting for based on soundbites and a candidate’s performance after intense coaching.  Look for good judgment.

      • RedGreen says:

        for her convention speech (which did not stop scrolling, despite the repeated telling of that tall tale) spelled it out for her: “new-clear”.

        Where was her teleprompter in Alaska? It appears she can’t operate without one, or at least pronounce common words.

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    She was a disaster on this for a couple of reasons.

    1) NATO requires assistance if a country is attacked. But this recent war started because Georgia attacked South Ossetia, then Russia responded. So in this case, the NATO treaty would not require that we fight. I want a VP that understands when we are obligated to go to war because that is a major decision.

    2) The truly great international accomplishment of the 2nd half of the 20th century was winning the cold war without a war. It was a long bi-partisian effort that, while not perfect, was well handled. Yet she tosses off the idea of war with Russia as no big deal.

    3) We can’t beat Russia in Georgia. It’s not clear we could beat them in Europe. And to fight we would have to abandon Iraq & Afghanistan. Yet no thought to the trade-offs inherent here – do we fight the terrorists or Russia – because we can’t fight both.

    4) Europe is presently bravely standing up to Russia. But if they think America is going to fight a hot war with Russia in Europe, then you’ll see them compromise with Russia real fast. Europe does not want the devastation of that kind of war fought in their land again.

    5) She talks about not invading a democratic country, yet we attacked Serbia which was a democracy. It was run by a thug and was practicing genocide – but it was a democracy.

    Listening to her I heard someone who knows less about the intracies of international affairs than what my daughters learned in High School.

    If this is all she can do after a week of intensive prep then she is not only not qualified, it’s not clear she can learn fast enough to ever fully grasp these kinds of issues.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      than anyone in the US

    • Half Glass Full says:

      Thanks for so clearly explaining why Palin should remain governor of Alaska. If that.

    • Yokel says:

      But this recent war started because Georgia attacked South Ossetia, then Russia responded.

      It’s a bit more complicated than that.  Unless you’re taking the Kremlin’s word for it.

      • redstateblues says:

        I agree with Libertad. Yokel is right. [I just threw up in my mouth.] 🙂

        I have yet to see any proof that what Putin is spouting off on Russia Today and other pro-government news sources has any validity.

      • South Ossetia is officially – to everyone except Russia – a part of Georgia.

        Okay, left-right kum-ba-yah moment over.

      • Native Son says:

        You are all wrong…

        March 2008 – Georgia’s bid to join NATO, though unsuccessful, prompts Russia’s parliament to urge the Kremlin to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

        April 2008 – South Ossetia rejects a Georgian power-sharing deal, insists on full independence.

        August 2008 – Fighting breaks out between Georgian and separatist South Ossetian forces. Georgia says its forces have “freed” the greater part of the Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

        Yes, I realize that the Telegraph and every other paper that is not the Washington Times is a mouthpiece of Pravda but there is no evidence of your assertion.  There was an armed conflict between Georgian and South ossetian groups before Russia invaded.

        We can have long talk about Russian nationalism, imperialism and ethnic identity but please don’t simplify the situation with Cold War “Soviet Aggression” crap.

        Rice is the old Soviet expert and “real-politik” expert…so treat them like a great power.  

        • Car 31 says:

          We have slighted the Russians for quite awhile now and the bear is pissed.

          Imagine if the tables were turned, Russia’s version of NATO expands to Mexico and Canada and missiles are placed in Cuba as part of a missile shield.  Other countries begin leaning towards the Russian club.

          We’d get testy as well…

          Another reason why four more years of the same isn’t a good idea.

        • Yokel says:

          But they’ve been giving away Russian passports to South Ossetians and Abkhazians for a while now (to defend “Russian citizens”) as well as paying off local thugs to attack Georgian troops and civilians (to incite a response).  

          Not exactly lily-white, eh?

          • Danny the Red (hair) says:

            But IMO we’ve cocked the whole thing up going back to Bush I.

            The disintigration of Yugoslavia and the piecemeal nibbling at the Russian sphere of influence (Moldova comes to mind) was not conducted with a strategic plan.

            I’m not blaming anyone, no one was thinking strategically back then, or at least framing the post soviet era in the proper strategic framework.

            Our georgian problem was exasperated by the purposeful weakening of international structures that the Bush II administration engaged in.

            Once you set yourself up as a unilateralist, disdainul of international law where force is the only authority, it is very difficult to keep Russia (or any other power) from engaging in aggressive territorial actions.  Especially when our forces are clearly stretched and we are begging our allies to provide troops to our current military commitments.

    • bob ewegen says:

      1-since South Ossetia is legally part of Georgia, it’s not clear that Georgia was committing aggression, any more than Lincoln did when he sent Sherman to seize Atlanta.

      2-If we won the Cold War without a war, why are the names of 58,000 of my comrades carved on a wall in Washington.  Korea was another nasty business that killed more than 50,000 GIs and god knows how many Koreans on both sides and Chinese.

      3-Technically, the bombing campaign against Serbia was carried out under the aegis of NATO, not a unilateral U.S. action. Yes, we did the heavy lifting, but in Serbia, like Afghanistan but unlike the “coaltion of the willing in Iraq of the U.S., Britain, and three guys from Estonia, Serbia enjoyed the diplomatic and economic backing of a strong international coalition.

      • redstateblues says:

        that nobody has brought up until this point Bob: international backing for war. I think that everyone on here who thinks that “perhaps so” is enough to lead our country to war with a former arch-enemy, and current wannabe superpower is either George W. Bush or wishes he could run for a third term.

        Good luck getting that international backing for war with Russia. That is why the majority of NATO member countries don’t want Georgia to join. Hmmm, maybe we should try listening to our allies?

        • bob ewegen says:

          to NATO requires a unanimous vote?  Let’s hope France, Greece, Germany and, in the case of Georgia, Turkey, think this through. I’d much rather have Georgia a buffer state between Turkey and Russia than extend our “nuclear umbrella” to a nation that we could not defend by conventional means.

          I had grave doubts about Slovenia, but at least it’s not nuclear or nothing.

  10. Laughing Boy says:

    I thought it was unilateralism you lefties didn’t like.

    Now, it’s somehow outrageous for Vice President Palin (hehe – just wanted to see how you all like the sound of that) to have a knowledge of how the NATO charter works?

    nato logo  Washington D.C.

    4 Apr. 1949

    The North Atlantic Treaty

    Washington D.C. – 4 April 1949

    The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.

    They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area.

    They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. They therefore agree to this North Atlantic Treaty :

    Article 1

    The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

    Article 2

    The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them.

    Article 3

    In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.

    Article 4

    The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

    Article 5

    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    She has terrified you so much that you’re really losing your marbles, you guys.

    • CO Democrat says:

      You are right that she does terrify us.  Though you’re wrong as to why.  

    • RedGreen says:

      to a long document and quote the pertinent part?

      You bolded one part of the sentence but not the other pertinent part:

      … if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

      Since Georgia provoked Russia’s response by its own armed attack, it’s questionable whether Article 5 would even apply, but it’s not remotely as cut-and-dried as you maintain.

      Remember when we invaded Argentina after it attacked our NATO ally? … Oh, right — we took the action we deemed necessary . A trained monkey can spout prepared answers (“NATO ally attacked? We go to war!”) — I have higher standards for the presidency.

      Palin has you so hypnotized you’ve lost your critical faculties.

      • Half Glass Full says:

        In concert with DavidThi808’s. You guys each have better credentials to be McCain’s replacement than this twit does.

        Oh excuse me, was that sexist? Well, Bush is a twit too.

      • Yokel says:

        You appear to be buying the Kremlin’s story hook, line and sinker.  

        Georgia provoked Russia’s response by its own armed attack

        You see, Russia provoked Georgia’s attack by giving away Russian passports and paying local thugs to attack Georgian troops.  

        Was Saakasvili’s response the wisest?  No.  But you can be damned sure that accepting the Russian propaganda without criticism doesn’t help the bigger picture, either.  

        Particularly when you consider the Bush Doctrine – which is apparently an incoherent jumble not worth actually ever rebutting, but must be perfectly recited when a Republican has to talk about it.  Hypocrites.

        • redstateblues says:

          is exactly why Georgia should not be in NATO. Why do we want to become even more embroiled in the Caucuses?

          Let’s finish what we started in Iraq and Afghanistan before we open the can-o-worms that is Russian expansion into former Soviet republics.

          And the fact of the matter is that we do not have the capability to fight an effective war against Russia right now. What Palin said was provocative–something that the Bush administration often accuses states like Iran and North Korea of being–but no different than what Senator McCain has been espousing for some time. I cannot fault her on following her boss.

          • Libertad says:

            stop free trade and the spread of self-determination for all?

            • redstateblues says:

              Which is why I am in favor of our continued support for Georgia. It is in our interest to have a democratically elected government there.

              What I don’t see is how we are going to fight three wars in two different theaters, and still be strong enough to ward off China from Taiwan, and continue to track down Al-Qaeda and other extremists all over the world.

              Realistically, adding Georgia to NATO is not going to happen because the other NATO allies will not approve–for the same reasons I stated above.

              However, if somewhere down the road, when tensions calm down, and Georgia and Ukraine were to join NATO; if they were directly attacked in the same manner Russia attacked Georgia–we would have to defend them with the full force of the military power of NATO.  

        • DavidThi808 says:

          But what they were doing there was very similiar to what we did in Kosovo. And as in Kosovo the central issue is that the majority in South Ossetia don’t want to be part of Georgia. Like the Balkans, Africa, and Arabia, geographical borders in that area were drawn with no attention to nationalities on the ground.

          As to the Bush Doctrine, it has been clear from the begining and is what took us into Iraq. I’d say understanding it is important for a VP.

          The fact that she doesn’t know much doesn’t mean you have to vote for Obama. But refusing to admit her lack of knowledge is refusing to face clear evidence.

    • bob ewegen says:

      Well, it sounds better than Vice President and Power Behind the Throne Dick Cheney.

      Progress is where you find it, I guess;-)

  11. DavidThi808 says:

    Ok, how does this affect the election? For those that do understand the details of things like the Bush doctrine, her answers will be worrisome. But there aren’t that many undecided voters who fall into that category.

    So how will it play for people who don’t understand that but watch the Q & A? Here’s what I think those in the middle will see.

    1) I think the casual acceptance that we may go to war with Russia wills scare the hell out of a lot of people. With all the problems we face, this country is not in the “we’re big, we’re bad, we can do anything we want” mode. This will hurt.

    2) I think people will see her as trying to not answer the questions. That will annoy them. But I don’t know if they will see it as lack of knowledge, she’s pretty good at appearing competent. So they may just see it as her being difficult.

    But the thing is, I do think those in the middle are unsure of her with all the stories going around about questionable actions on her part. And so I think her trying to avoid answering will hurt her – some.

    I think this has another big negative for McCain/Palin. This has to scare the you-know-what out of them – she’s clearly not ready for prime time and easily could say something that really hurts in an interview.

    This means they will work to minimize interviews and Q & A and restrict her to the scripted speeches – which she is good at.

    But we Americans want our politicians out there talking to us and answering our questions. If she doesn’t mix it up, that will add to voter’s uncertainity over her.

    I think we’re going to see Sarah Palin turn from help to hinderance. She’ll remain an energizer for the base, but for the rest, she’ll start to be a negative for McCain.

    • Dabee47 says:

      I really wonder how many people are going to see a whole lot about it.  Sure, Olbermann and Maddow will harp on it tomorrow, but Fox is…well, ya know…and CNN will be constantly going to Anderson Cooper “Live in the Gulf” for hurricane coverage.

      Not a whole lot of people watch the evening news anymore and if it doesn’t get heavy cable coverage tomorrow, who knows what will happen…

      • redstateblues says:

        National Weather Service in Houston said that those who do not heed the evacuation order, and live in 1 or 2 story buildings, face certain death.

        I am not exaggerating that quote either. They were predicting the storm surge could be tsunami-like.

      • Go Blue says:

        I’m sending this clip to every person I know and asking them to forward it on. I’m hoping the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign jump all over this tomorrow.  

      • parsingreality says:

        The tidal surge was already breaching the 16 foot seawall in Galveston this AM….

        If any Polster has friends or family in hurricane territory – which might include Ohio in a few days! – I have done extensive research on hurricane prep.  While my paperwork is geared for my family, it has a lot of good ides (ahem!) and useful information.  Just email me, paulv um, .

        • Ike isn’t even close to Galveston yet.  Note that under an alternate scale developed after Katrina, Ike’s kinetic energy level is actually just a bit HIGHER than either Katrina or Wilma.  It might look like a Cat 2 storm – don’t treat it like one.

    • RedGreen says:

      will be on the establishment press, which has already started to realize McCain will say and do anything to be elected president (the Obama-Kindergarten ad, followed by the Lipstick crap, started to open their eyes), and is now moving beyond US Weekly-style infatuation with Palin simply because she’s a curiosity. This cements it.

      The Great Undecided probably won’t obsessively watch the Palin interviews until they’ve all aired by Friday night, but reporters, assignment editors, bureau chiefs and anchors definitely will. The effect — news that actually calls it like it is when McCain lies or Palin fumbles.

      A week ago, you never would’ve seen AP stories like this:

      From the The AP on Palin’s interview:

      John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy, unable to describe President Bush’s doctrine of pre-emptive strikes against threatening nations and acknowledging she’s never met a foreign head of state.

      The Republican vice presidential nominee told Charles Gibson of ABC News in her first televised interview since being named to the GOP ticket that “I’m ready” to be president if called upon. However, she sidestepped on whether she had the national security credentials needed to be commander in chief.

      And here’s the opening to an AP analysis article on McCain campaign’s trouble with the truth:

      The “Straight Talk Express” has detoured into doublespeak.

      Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a self-proclaimed tell-it-like-it-is maverick, keeps saying his running mate, Sarah Palin, killed the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere when, in fact, she pulled her support only after the project became a political embarrassment. He accuses Democrat Barack Obama of calling Palin a pig, which did not happen. He says Obama would raise nearly everyone’s taxes, when independent groups say 80 percent of families would get tax cuts instead.

      Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week. It has infuriated and flustered Obama’s campaign, and campaign pros are watching to see how much voters disregard news reports noting factual holes in the claims.

  12. cpolevoy says:

    So is it all going to come down, once again, to who can tell the biggest and most lies in order to become President? Is it all going to come down to the print and broadcast media once again ignoring their role in keeping our politicians straight, in not calling them out when they simply repeat lies over and over again? Palin would risk war with Russia? She is the first vice-presidential candidate in 32 years – 32 years – to NOT have met with any foreign heads of state. But she states clearly that most vice-presidential candidates have NOT met with heads of state. She allegedly fired a state employee over a family matter. Palin accepted earmark funds in the hundreds of millions of dollars during her tenure as Alaska governor, yet she claims to run as a change agent. McCain has loaded his campaign with prominent lobbyists for the banking, oil and other important industries. Yet he claims to run as a change agent.

  13. Nancy L Baldwin says:

    It reminds us all of Obama’s next door neighbor Bill Ayers.  A known terrorist.  One that is rumored to even have babysat the Obama children.

  14. One Queer Dude says:

    I don’t imagine they’ll risk letting her go for another interview. . . unless maybe it’s with the editorial board of the F.O.T.F. newsletter.

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