Whorled View

September 16, 2008

Bush-Doctrine Schmoctrine

I learned something pretty funny that I thought I’d pass on.  If you caught Charlie Gibson trying to be a barely-tolerant condescending snob to Sarah Palin for not knowing what the “Bush Doctrine”, you’ll think this is hilarious: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

“… if Charlie Gibson using a more obscure definition for “Bush Doctrine” isn’t funny enough … Gibson got the document wrong and Palin got it right, and after reading it I can only guess he’s never read it himself.”

In short, according to the originator of the term “Bush Doctrine” (coined even before 9-11) the definition Gibson used in the interview is NOT the original definition (Bush Doctrine: one-sided foreign policy), neither is it even the most widely understood definition (Bush Doctrine: spreading democracy throughout the world).  It is however the moveon.org favored definition (and a mangled definition as I’ll show in the next 2 paragraphs) used by ultra-liberal organizations in a way that misrepresents Bush’s policy on preemptive strikes.

Yes, if Gibson using a more obscure definition for “Bush Doctrine” isn’t funny enough, if you actually read the document to which Gibson refers to for his narrow definition (http://web.archive.org/web/20080307001029/http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2002/nss5.html) you’ll discover that the document is more about what Palin said than what Gibson said.  That’s right: Gibson got the document wrong and Palin got it right, and after reading it I can only guess he’s never read it himself.  Palin said the document was about protecting us from extremists, whereas Gibson wrongly thought the document was about preemptive strikes against any nation we found threatening.

“In other words, the document and Bush’s policies have never allowed, let alone advocated preemptively striking simply any nation that we might find threatening.”

Preemptive strikes was just one of the many strategies in that document, including additional strategies such as “enhance diplomacy” and “build coalitions”, but more importantly the document is very specific that it applies only to rogue, terrorist-sponsoring states who target civilians and non-combatants for terrorist activities.  In other words, the document and Bush’s policies have never allowed, let alone advocated preemptively striking simply any nation that we might find threatening.

Kudos to Palin for not being so narrow minded and misinformed and rude as Gibson seemed to be.  Double kudos that she wasn’t a condescending snob about enduring such a tedious interview with someone simultaneously so clueless and full of himself.

“I think we’ll start tuning into CBS, as apparently the ABC anchor is just as misinformed and unprofessional as those found on NBC.”

We’ve been getting our daily world news from Charlie on ABC World news report, but after this shameful display I think we’ll start tuning into CBS, as apparently the ABC anchor is just as misinformed and unprofessional as those found on NBC.

Edit: Sadly, CBS then proceeded with Katie Couric’s heavily edited and one-sided interrogations (Biden nor Obama got any) … seemingly trying to out do ABC in their efforts to sway the public to their opinion.



  1. The news media in general is getting to the point that they disgust me. I try not to even watch the news on TV unless there is something important, like a Hurricane on its way to South Florida. I prefer talk Radio 100 times. I also feel sorry for those who do not know about talk Radio or who are so brain washed by the TV news media that they refuse to listen to any talk Radio shows. These people have no clue, how bad Obama is and how Socialism is going to ruin this Country and help all those lazy non working tax money bleeders. Crime will rise and ignorance will rein.

    Comment by Dave Perry — September 16, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  2. Dave, you are right. I love listening to Air America and Democracy Now!!!

    Most people view the Bush Doctrine harshly based upon the use of preemptive strikes, which is a pretty new strategy for American foreign policy. I can’t think of a time where we struck a country first. Also, the term “rogue terrorist state” is an oxymoron b/c there is no such thing. Terrorists are fanatical, fringe groups that are not state sponsored. That isn’t saying they can’t be state sponsored by another state, like the US funding groups in Iran and Iraq (ehem, Bin Laden) during the 80’s or like what is currently going on (but wasn’t before the war) in Iraq. But to attack a sovereign state to attack a group of people within the state is precedent setting and goes against many international agreed upon rules of warfare. Gibson’s question was very poorly worded for whatever reason, but the jist is still the same, regarding Bush’s use of pre-emptive use of force, which Palin almost 100% agreed with regarding her comments on Russia.

    Comment by Steve — September 16, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  3. You’re right … “rogue terrorist state” as a term is at best confusing. Thankfully the document upon which Gibson based his definition doesn’t use this term (I’m embarrased to admit it’s my weak summary) but better defines what these nations must do to qualify for pre-emptive strike:

    “Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means … Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction—weapons that can be easily concealed, delivered covertly, and used without warning.

    The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare”.

    When you read the NSC document it becomes clear that any state that fits that definition really is indeed rogue, and really is practicing terrorism WITH REGARD TO CIVILIANS. But that’s the key isn’t it, the terrorism being WITH REGARD TO CIVILIANS?

    I’ve often though that “terrorism” is an entirely inadequate word because it can be so easily manipulated to mean anyone who might scare others. It needs to be replaced with a word that inherently specifies that civilians or non-combatants are the targets. Sadly I don’t think such a word exist. Bully? No, not strong enough. All big countries bully around smaller ones, but only a few intent to kill the civilians and non-combatants of another country.

    And that is exclusively what the document is about, and what Bush’s Doctrine on the matter is about.

    Incidentally, here’s where Krauthammer first defines “Bush Doctrine”: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer050701.asp

    He he he … no wonder liberals hate Krauthammer. It’s funny because based on this piece you’d think he was a hard core conservative, but socially he’s one of the most liberal neocons I’ve ever encountered.

    Comment by lullabyman — September 16, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

  4. I think another thing people fail to remember is that this war started in 1991, was put on hiatus at 2002 when Sadaam agreed to certain UN resolutions that stated if he did not comply then we’d be back at war. With this in mind, I think the 2002 NSC document was entirely unnecessary as Bush should have stuck to his guns as merely giving substance to the UN’s authority and that the consequence had to be carried out. Of course, Sadaam didn’t comply with the UN resolution that allowed him to stay in power in 1992 and he was making the UN a laughing stock, with no belief that anyone would actually carry out the consequences of the UN resolution.

    Now Bush is considered a cowboy in the UN that dismisses it’s power does the entity more harm than good, but the fact of the matter is that without the US Sadaam would still be thumbing his nose at the UN, rendering it entirely useless as a governing authority with policies it never had the stomach to enforce on it’s own. Kind of like the honest cop (bear with me, I know everyone hates Bush right now) in an otherwise ineffective pussy-willow police department. Nobody likes him, especially the other cops, but they’d be over-run without him. In the case of Bush, though, as a cop he makes his own rules, and sometimes his brashness and stupid pride cause some of the stakeouts to go very bad (see I told you to “bear with me”).

    Comment by lullabyman — September 16, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  5. We were just talking about this in institute today. I had no idea. But we have a very outspoken man in the class who went off on it.

    This is the first election that I have really been interested in and I think it is because of Palin.

    Comment by Robin — September 16, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  6. That’s funny Robin. I have strong opinions about it but I’d never voice them in institute, church or even with family or friends unless they wanted to talk about it (in which case I’m entirely too willing to oblige – just ask my wonderful liberal-democrat in-laws, who despite their political leanings are some of my favorite people). That’s really why I do the blog. Blogs serve a different purpose for each person … for me its so I can get it all out so my family and friends don’t have to be the sad recipients to my political blatherings.

    Comment by lullabyman — September 16, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  7. good reason for doing a blog…..hmmmmm, I know a few people who should blog

    Comment by Linda — September 20, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  8. Sadly, given Couric’s interviews I’d have to say ABC is no better or worse than CBS. While Fox news does tend to err on the right instead of the left, it does at least seem to be most balanced.

    Comment by lullabyman — October 6, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

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