In my earlier postings on the prospective presidential candidates’ views and effectiveness in bringing concrete change, I looked at the Democrat’s team as well as McCain. This posting intends to look at Palin, the Republican’s VP hopeful. Again, I intend to leave the facts to speak for her.
Who exactly is Sarah Palin?
In a recent posting, to his blog, Chip Ward described Palin in the following manner: “We have come to learn that Palin doesn’t care much for her former brother-in-law and wasn’t afraid to use her office to go after his job as a state trooper; that she was for the “bridge to nowhere” before she was against it; that she’s against earmarks unless they benefit her constituents; thinks banning books in libraries is okay, considers herself a pit bull with lipstick, and above all else, wants to drill the ever-lovin’ daylights out of every corner of her home state (which John McCain’s handlers have somehow translated into being against Big Oil, since she insisted on a marginally bigger cut of the profits for Alaskans). Oh, and — not that this is very important to Americans or the planet — she now thinks that global warming might possibly be human-made… sorta… though she didn’t before, despite the fact that the state she governs is on the frontline of climate change. And, of course, she’s a classic right-wing, fundamentalist Christian: against abortion etc etc.”
In an interview earlier this month, Palin stated that she believed totally in the “Bush Doctrine” of preemptive strike against any looming threat perceived by the US. While even Bush has admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, in a speech to U.S. troops departing for Iraq, Palin declared that the soldiers would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.” Apparently reviving Bush’s old lies is sufficient for Palin to justify occupation and the genocide that is taking place in Iraq.
When asked to explain her previous remarks that US soldiers in Iraq, were being sent on a task from God, she said: “I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good,” “I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given … and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Again like McCain Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be excluded from having the right to live in peace.
Relation with AIPAC
Within few days of being tapped by McCain, accompanied by Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), she spent 45 minutes meeting the AIPAC leadership letting them now how strong supporter of Israel she was and how she would not “second guess” Israel if it decided to attack Iran.
Her foreign policy experience
She is a politician from a remote U.S. state, that has shown little interest in travel—she obtained her first passport just last year and her only foreign trip was to Mexico spending few days being close to the U.S border. Even the US media have criticized her lack of foreign policy experience. And when the world leaders arrived last week for the UN summit, Palin’s only meeting with a Latin American leader was with Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, whose government has the worst human rights record in the entire region. In a recent article, the Huffington Post explained that McCain’s Colombia policy is informed by “a bevy of advisers who have earned large amounts either lobbying for the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, or representing corporations that do business with that country.”
To overcome her naiveté on foreign policy, the McCain campaign managers lined up Palin to receive some schooling in New York from a right-wing U.S. foreign policy stalwart. While there, she was seen chatting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is famous in Latin America for being the architect of U.S. destabilization of democratic Chile in advance of General Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup.
While everyone by now has come to know that the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan can only be resolved by ending the occupation and letting the people in these countries to decide their own destiny, in her speech at the Republican National Convention earlier this month, she declared twice that victory in Iraq to be “within sight”, and praised McCain for having the “sheer guts” to defend the unpopular war. Beyond Iraq, Palin appeared to see threats everywhere, cautioning the crowd against “dangerous foreign powers” who don’t have America’s best interest at heart. She accused Russia of “wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus. We are back to oil again.
Recently, the former US Army Brigadier Genral (retired) Janis Karpinski (the person respomsible for the torture in Abu Ghraib) said: “I know enough about Palin’s character to assess her as ill-equipped, clueless and unprepared to take control of our nation in the event of McCain’s early demise or incapacitation, much less qualified to serve as the commander in chief of all military forces.”
The London Daily Telegraph commented on how Palin was chosen:
“Sources in the McCain camp, the Republican Party, and Washington think tanks say Mrs. Palin was identified as a potential future leader of the neoconservative cause in June 2007. That was when the annual summer cruise organized by the right-of-center Weekly Standard magazine docked in Juneau, the Alaskan state capital, and the pundits on board took tea with Governor Palin.”
In a recent article, in Antiwar.com Justin Raimondo informs the readers of the reason for Palin’s selection
“The apprenticeship of Sarah Palin is an object lesson in how the neocons took over the American Right and saddled the GOP with their agenda of “big government conservatism” and perpetual war. Her brainwashing limns the experience and fate of the larger conservative movement, which has been reduced, these days, to a militaristic cult that remembers nothing of its origins – a movement of neocon pod-people. You have to hand it to the neocons, however: Sarah Palin will far outdo Dan Quayle in her service to her handlers. And, who knows, what with McCain already well advanced in years, she may prove just as useful to them as was George W. Bush. From the neocons’ perspective, she is indeed ready to become president, should the need should arise, her very inexperience being her chief qualification for the job. Here again, individual experience limns the larger picture: just as her neocon handlers delight in writing on such a blank slate as Sarah appears to be, so they imprinted their ideological prescriptions on an intellectually bankrupt conservative movement, which had long since lost touch with its traditional moorings.”
So let us some up what we have learnt about Palin so far: She has little foreign policy experience beyond a tutorial from Uribe and Kissinger and a visit to Mexico, while even Bush does not believe in the old lie of Iraq having anything to do with 9/11, she revives the old lie to justify occupation of Iraq, she believes that NATO may have to go to war with Russia, she believes that the US and/or Israel have the right to attack Iran, she believes in “Bush Doctrine” of preemptive strike, she is a classic right-wing, fundamentalist Christian that believes Iraq’s war to be God’s war.
Let me conclude by saying that for those who are waiting for the white knight in the shining armor to come and redeem them of the tyranny of the last eight years, I am sorry to disappoint you, neither Obama nor McCain duos are going to be the redeemers that you are waiting for. What people need to know is that in the absence of the coming of the messiah soon, they must wake up and be counted and force the issues on the candidates. Anything short will lead to another four and possibly eight more years of the same bloody old recipe.