Friday, August 14, 2020
Blog
May 5

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:26 AM 

Sarah Palin has changed foreign policy course. She has traded in the neoconservative bent she entered national politics with, which envisions an apparently unlimited global role for a nation-building United States, for an outlook emphasizing national interest as the criterion for embarking on military adventures. This shift manifested itself in a recently reported change of advisors, from a team composed of Randy Scheunemann and Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb, to the Hoover Institution's Peter Schweizer. (NB: Schweizer edits Breitbart's BigPeace.com, where work of mine appears.) It also may foreshadow what I expect will become -- what I hope will become -- a long overdue debate within the Republican Party as conservatives grow weary (again, I hope) of reckless and feckless power projections into the Islamic world that win us nothing, from Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Libya.

It is early yet in Palin's post-neocon assessment of the world (here is her first policy address), and it is not clear how far or how deeply her views will evolve. But it is welcome indeed to see any politician on the national stage actually demand that the precondition of deploying US troops be a vital US interest. What is amazing is that such a demand is notable -- let alone that it draws fire as in these recent Washington Post online comments by blogger Jennifer Rubin, late of Commentary's blog Contentions (noted here).

Accusing Palin of sounding "like she swallowed the Ron Paul briefing book" -- the ultimate neocon insult -- Rubin quoted the following Politico report on Palin's policy address as proof positive that Palin no longer sounded like what Rubin described as "the VP candidate who echoed Sen. John McCain’s forward-leaning foreign policy." This, by the way, is not seen as a declaration of independence, but as a Bad Thing. What follows is the Palin Heresy:

First, Palin said, “we should only commit our forces when clear and vital American interests are at stake. Period.” That point led to her second, dismissing nation-building as a “nice idea in theory,” but not the “main purpose” guiding American foreign policy.

Palin continued down that track by insisting that a president must be able to articulate “clearly defined objectives” before engaging in foreign interventions — a standard she has recently said Obama failed to live up to in Libya. As her fourth point, Palin declared that “American soldiers must never be put under foreign command. . . . We can’t fight every war, we can’t undo every justice in the world.” Sunday’s attack on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was “an effective use of force,” Palin said, unlike the “ill-defined” mission in Libya.

If requiring "vital American interests" to be a precondition of US military involvement is heretical to neoconservatives, they have more in common with  Samantha Power  and other "humanitarian interventionists" than with what I imagine is still the conservative base. But we shall see, I hope, as this debate evolves.

If it evolves, that is, past this unfortunate pettiness. After noting that Palin's Arziona "blood libel" comment indicated she wasn't " taking counsel from those with a sophisticated foreign policy bent and sharp political radar," Rubin notes:

Her about-face in foreign policy tells us a couple of things. First, her views then and perhaps now don’t spring from a well-grounded understanding of foreign policy but from briefing cards. Change the cards, and presto, a new foreign policy! ...

Is that what it tells us? Maybe Palin's new tack indicates that in finally formulating that well-grounded foreign policy she decided to toss out the neocon "briefing cards" -- as epitomized in the following remarks of Bill Kristol, which Rubin quotes in closing:

“The surge in Iraq works. The surge in Afghanistan works. There’s an Arab Spring. The world obviously needs American strength and leadership more than ever. And now everyone (even Palin, to some degree) decides, hey, time to back off? It’s foolish substantively and politically. ..

Tags:
Archive
<August 2020>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
Monthly
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West