Saturday, September 13, 2008
Which Version Of The Bush Doctrine
Was Charlie Gibson Speaking About?
I guess I have to ask these expert Obama Cultists which Bush Doctrine they profess to know so much about?
According to the person who coined the term, "The Bush Doctrine," there is no one, single "Bush Doctrine."
The person who coined the term "Bush Doctrine" is Charles Krauthammer, and he explains how Gibson failed miserably in grasping what he thought would be a question that Palin couldn't answer. WaPo:
[Gibson] asked Palin, "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?"
She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"
Sensing his "gotcha" moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine "is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."
I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush Doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto treaty, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush Doctrine.
Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror.
"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush Doctrine.
A year later, when the Iraq War was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.
It's not. It's the third in a series and was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address.
If I were in any public foreign policy debate today, and my adversary were to raise the Bush doctrine, both I and the audience would assume -- unless my interlocutor annotated the reference otherwise -- that he was speaking about the grandly proclaimed (and widely attacked) freedom agenda of the Bush administration.
Not the Gibson doctrine of preemption.
Presidential doctrines are inherently malleable and difficult to define. The only fixed "doctrines" in American history are the Monroe and the Truman doctrines which come out of single presidential statements during administrations where there were few other contradictory or conflicting foreign policy crosscurrents.
Such is not the case with the Bush Doctrine.
Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.
It doesn't look like Gibson did his research either. It looks more like he was concerned with a "gotcha" moment. And he failed in all his attempts.
Keep at it Libs, no matter who or where you are - keep at it - keep attacking Sarah Palin. Whether you're a network news anchor, a journalist, a pundit, a talking head, a blogger or just one of the mindless drones following The Pied Piper from Illinois. Keep going "negative", keep up the attacks.
Newsbusters documents Charlie Gibson's 2007 puff-ball questions to Barack Hussein Obama, Junior.
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