Friday, September 12, 2008

Proof Positive Why Sarah Palin Should NOT Be President, Vice President, or a Policy Maker of Any Kind

Read this first:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/11/palin.abc/index.html

We have been antagonizing Russia by including former Soviet Republics in NATO, placing missle defense systems in Soviet Bloc Nations as putative defenses against "Middle Eastern" nuclear missles, and being very hypocritical in our take of their treatment of Chechnya (while ignoring our own closeby invasions). Vladimir Putin saw through our ruse, knowing full well that that missle shield is our effort to shore-up our missle defences against a growing Russian prosperity and the cockiness money gives to pseudo-despots like Putin. In a brilliant move, designed to make us show our cards, he offered to let us build the missle shield against these supposed Iranian or North Korean warheads in Russia.....of course, we found a reason not to do so, even though a Russian site would've been strategically better (arguably).

Palin seems to ignore any concept of Russian concerns and fears about Western influence building in their periphery, much the same way we might if Russia and Mexico signed a mutual-defense treaty or something similar to the idea....Mexico isn't important, it being in our historical sphere of influence is.

Economic sanctions are like trying to cut down a tree with dental floss...you might scar the bark, but nothing will happen. When have sanctions ever worked? Since Russia supplies the bulk of oil and natural gas to most of Europe, how does Palin think our NATO allies would react to sanctions against their energy supplier? Would they be on board and risk their economies and the prospect of their people freezing to death (in some countries) over Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, or some other miniscule place? These same NATO allies didn't flinch to help Rwanda or Sudan out of their genocide (All NATO members are signers and ratifiers of the Genocide Convention, yet none acted in Rwanda until after the slaughter had abated). I see a clear lack of understanding of the issues in Gov. Palin's speech and rhetoric. She reminds me of the football players at my high school in suburban Atlanta in the 1980's. If someone did something they didn't like, they would shove them, place both of their hands near their waist and making a "come hither" gesture to the person, they would utter in a classic Cherokee County drawl (that few have anymore), "Come on, faggot!" Isn't this what Palin's doing?

She says that we should include Georgia in NATO, and then go to war if Russia invades. Ma'am, they're already there. Should we include them ex post facto and hit Russia with a pre-emptive strike? Have we not invaded Iraq unjustly? Could not Russia propose or impose sanctions against us and the "Coalition."

I don't want this or any small-town mayor with only two years of governor experience in a backwater state like Alaska to be the potential executive of our foreign policy. It beggars description how someone so lacking in experience is suddenly spewing out neo-conservative war-hawk rhetoric about things that she obviously doesn't want to understand.

I mean, please, she didn't even know what the vice president did in this recent interview! Start watching at 2:40.



One thing is certain, with her 19-year-old son about to ship off to Iraq, he should be reassigned to a non-combat zone now, for his safety against militants trying to kidnap him, and for the safety of his unit members. Would you want to have him next to you on patrol?

For the record, I'm not saying that we should pussyfoot around Russia, I just think a little decorum and detente instead of this reckless brinkmanship could do wonders for our relationship with the Bear, because, we started this fight by insisting on expanding NATO when Russia was weak....why wouldn't they doubt our motives?

6 comments:

Matt the Treehugger said...

Given that Putin is so brilliant, let's all move to Russia. Better yet: let's elect a president who wants to make friends with Putin and his buddies in Venezuela. This approach worked well for Kennedy, so why won't it work well now?

Mac said...

Matt,

Apparently, you drank the Palin Kool-Aid, but failed to read the entire post. We started the fight with Putin and Russia. We kicked them when they were down by encroaching. As I said in the post, I don't think we should back down from Russia, but in dealing with anyone, you can learn much about them, and sometimes even reach a mutually beneficial agreement, by talking to them instead of about them in the press. I lived through the Cold War; I don't want another one. We can try and avoid it through negotiation and tactfulness, something entirely lacking during the last eight years. If Russia insists on bullying, then we can talk about containment...but sanctions are bullshit, and you know it. She's just sabre-rattling trying to "consolidate" the base. It's debasing to us all.

brent said...

Mac,

I'm no Palin fan, but I think you're being unfair.

1. You seem to be singling out Palin on economic sanctions in a way that makes no sense to me. Lots and lots of very smart politicians and foreign policy wonks believe in economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool. I happen to disagree with them. But your logic here indicts not just Palin, but almost every president for the last half-century. Was that your intent? How does her support of economic sanctions make her uniquely unqualified as an executive when several other executives in recent memory have done the same?

Perhaps I'm missing a nuance here.

2. I respect your opinion on the reasons for Russia's bellicose actions, but there's also a wide divergence in opinions on the reasons for the Georgian invasion among intelligent people. I personally find it hard to believe that the number one reason Russia invaded Georgia was to poke holes in some American/NATO "ruse."

For example, if you "follow the money," there's pipelines in Georgia which keep Russia from asserting a monopoly on the west Asian market. Similarly, there's the fact that many ethnic Russians in Georgia are allegedly being treated wrong. There are also historical issues, in that the Russian people have been angry at the amount of land and prestige lost by Russia in the last 20 years. And then there's the Russian justification: that diplomatic negotiations between Russia and Georgia had broken down in terms of both Ossettias.

It may be that this NATO issue plays a part; I don't know, because Russia isn't saying. I do think though that you seem to be giving Russia a get-out-of-jail-free card by pointing to NATO treaties here.

3. "I don't want this or any small-town mayor with only two years of governor experience in a backwater state like Alaska to be the potential executive of our foreign policy."

I assume this means you're going to join me in not voting for either major party this year, given that Obama's never had any executive position and has no relevant foriegn policy experience. Or does Obama get a free pass here because he speaks well?

For the record, since the Palin nomination, I think both sides are being really hypocritical as it relates to the other side lacking relevant experience.

Mac said...

Brent,

I’ll respond.

1. I was indicting any politician who favors economic sanctions, no matter their party or nationality. They don’t work, they are toothless against the leaders, and I can’t think of a single time when they’ve worked, save maybe, and I mean maybe, Libya. Her support doesn’t make her uniquely unqualified, it was a minor point to the more war-mongering points she was making in her interview that I linked. One thing is certain, given the price of oil, and Europe need for Russian oil, sanctions against Russia will do precious little…and they might lead to war.

2. I wasn’t insinuating that reason for the invasion was to poke holes in the ruse. Rather, I think that he hardline stance comes from rigorous grooming by her handlers. Of course the invasion was about Ossetians self-determination, and Russian determination to get their “fari share” of what used to be “their” oil (I’m speaking from their mindset). I’m not giving Russia a get out of jail free card. I do think that the new president should sit down with them and have a frank discussion of what their actions have done for world stability and how they might be forcing our hands….but then again, I think we started this fight, and we’re not happy with how it’s turning out. If you poke a bear with a stick, don’t be shocked when he takes a swipe at you.

3. Obama thinks before acting. He doesn’t have that “certainty” without thought that Palin showed in her interview last night. When she was asked about her decision to accept the VP nomination she said she didn’t “blink.” Had she described how she had wrestled with her thought processes, the effects her decision would have on her family (like the global announcement of her daughter’s pregnancy), I wouldn’t’ve reacted, because at least I would know that she could think things through. Her “didn’t blink” comment just smacks of someone who reacts without deliberation, without careful forethought. I feel that Obama, with Biden at his side, has the qualifications to lead on foreign policy, because, like Kennedy, he was capable of analyzing consequences and seeing the endgame.

Matt the Treehugger said...

Mac,

To further your analogy, you don't sit down and hold pleasant conversations with a bear. Just ask the guy who did that documentary in Alaska. Oh wait; the bears ate him.

As to Obama's tendency to be on par with Kennedy, I completely agree. That's what worries me. Kennedy's pussy-footing around with "the bear" almost started WWIII.

As to Palin's answers in her interview, she was acting the part of a politician. That's what politicians do when they are running for office. Certainly, neither she nor McCain nor Obama will pull the trigger first and ask questions later. She merely wanted to make the point that she is a decision-maker (probably in retaliation to the recent attacks on her that she's got no experience).

Matt the Treehugger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.