Saturday, September 13, 2008

Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

By Charles Krauthammer
Saturday, September 13, 2008; Page A17 "At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' "

-- New York Times, Sept. 12
Informed her? Rubbish.
The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

He 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." Wrong.

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 protocol, 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Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "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.

Until Iraq. 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: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

This declaration of a sweeping, universal American freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy's pledge in his inaugural address that the United States "shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It draws also from the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson's 14 points. 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.

Not the "with us or against us" no-neutrality-is-permitted policy of the immediate post-9/11 days.

Not the unilateralism that characterized the pre-9/11 first year of the Bush administration.

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.


Anonymous said...

...and that, shall be the Legasy of the Bush/Cheney Administration,

The Bush Doctrine.

Historians will give it an honored
place, while the George Soros "whimps" with MoveOnDotOrg, their much-chanted hate-mantra of "Bush failed policy in Iraq" will earn only a pitiful foot-note. reb


The Charles Krauthammer Summary contains both the Bush 2nd Inaugural, clearly defining 'doctrine', and the John F Kennedy Inaugural ( P. 3 ) and is a "prinable must" for those that wish to retain or file for future usage. reb

Debbie said...

I thought Charlie Gibson was one of the last few good guys in the MSM. He dug his own grave with this Palin interview.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth</a

Mohamed said...

Hello Mr.reb,

I hope that you're fine.

I'm here to announce you that I've just published my research post that I told you before about.

Today is 15th Ramadan, just the middle of the month, I hope that I'm not too late.

Looking forward to hearing from you and your friends very soon,

You friend, Mohamed

Tom the Redhunter said...

Krauthammer hits another homer with this piece!

He's one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, it's also probably the case that there is "no single meaning of the Bush doctrine" because the administration is confused itself. GWB seems to have lost his way a bit since 2005ish.

Yet despite this Krauthammer does lay out the four meanings of the doctrine very well.

Anonymous said...


editors note:

To any who wish to follow our conversations with Mohamed Fadly, simply point your cursor on his name (blue print) click, and you are magically transported to Egypt !


Winfred Mann said...

It's amazing to watch the so-called unbiased media attempting to besmirch an American hero: John McCain. The MSM cannot miss any opportunity to advance their liberal agenda. They have no shame in this quest.

I believe the American people--at lest those with a brain--will notice the attempts, and come to realize--the MSM is promoting its political agenda.

Anonymous said...

I just got the feeling that this "Charlie Guy" was trying to get her to give some fodder for the drive-bys and left wing bloggers by tripping her up. He kept repeating questions hoping for an answer that was controversial and gave her ALL tough questions about things that Obama might have wanted her to answer to. Am I right? I want to see the press start doing their job ON Barry Nobama and OBiden also. These guys are escaping scrutiny almost completely now..It always attack the Republicans.
Also In the last day or so...Lets see an Investigation in the Democrats role in The "MACS", Fred and Fannie. Know that some of Obama's new circle were involved there. Kindred Spirit, Oak Ridge


Tom The Redhunter,

I printed out "Gibson's Gaffe". On Page 3, Krauthammer has TWO significant presidential doctrines:

J.F. Kennedy's Inaugural, The U.S. "Shall Pay Any Price, Bear Any Burden..."

and G.W. Bush 2nd Inaugural! "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success
of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

That's the true doctrine future historians will record for posterity, and 'Dubya' has never wavered from it! reb


Kindred Spirit (?), call me. reb

Winfred Mann said...

After the past few weeks, and the continued partisan attaacks on Sarah Palin by the so-called unbiased media,how cab anyone doubt that a ferocious leftist bias permeates what is jokingly referred to as MSM. There is a reason why MSNBC (aka DNCTV) and the NY Times are losing viewers and readers: Americans are not stupid; most see through the propaganda.

Why didn't PBS have a poll with the question: Is Obama qualified to be President?

A- No
B- Not at all
C- You must be kidding
D- You talking to me

Winfred Mann said...

It's interesting that the Left has violently protested against so-called far right groups on Cologne, Germany. The so-called far right groups staged "...a rally against "Islamification" and in support of Europe's "shared, 1,000-year history" and "Western values and Christian traditions".

Stamp out opposing speech and rights: the way of the Left.



It's Time...for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down, and stand aside, now.

When Pelosi grabbed that gavel in November, 2006, and smilingly said "It's time for CHANGE, Gasoline was $2.16 per gallon; now it's over $4.00. Truckers are paying Five Bucks for Deisel, and that's "Change" alright.

O.P.E.C. is soaking us to the tune of $700,000,000,000 per yr for Foreign Oil, and that's Change!
Drill Now is just common sense.
Build 45 Nuclear Generating Plants.
Develop Compressed Natural Gas, and Coal, Wind & Solar here in North America. Create a million jobs by Investing in the USA, Now!

That's Real Change. reb


A history lesson, 1928-1929

Wall Street & Broad; The Stock Market Gamblers (speculators) would borrow $100,000 from banks, then BuY A Million Dollar Block on "ten-percent margin" (cash-down). "Easy Money", cuz the The Market was on a Dizzy Upward Spiral. "Paper-Millionaires" were a dime a dozen!

The came the 1929 CRASH! Twelve Years Of Crushing DEPRESSION. FDR Created Jobs, with W.P.A. and C.C.C. and "Gubmint Welfare" fed hungry people by the millions.

Eighty Years Pass. Fast Forward to 2008...The Real Estate Game.

Banks Eager Again to Loan Money to ANYONE wanting to buy a house.

You want that two bedroom? Hey, here's a Four Bedroom-4 Bath, with a swimming pool. Don't make enough to pay the down, or the monthly mortgage payment? No Problem! We can get you a "sub-prime loan" at a little higher interest, but so what? It's an Inflationary R.E. Market. Sell it in a's called "taking a profit", my man!

We can get that loan thru 'Fannie May' or 'Freddie Mac', and it's strictly legal! Listen to me, and you'll be rich in a few years!

September, 2008. Country-Wide, Fannie May & Freddie Mac take a nose-dive into an empty bucket! Big Banks & Insurance Companies are folding up like card-board huts, and begging the Government to prop them back up.

And greedy, do-nothing senators & congressmen (and women) in both parties...are pointing fingers at each other to make "talking points" in time for the next election. (The Tv hate-messages will blur your thought-process).

The Issue: Energy Independence from O.P.E.C.

One Party Slogan, 'CHANGE'...the other party sez "Country First".

November 4th...You Decide! reb

Winfred Mann said...

The mortgage industry was a sham. Appraisers overvalued the houses; originators oversold the mortgages: no income verification (or fudged documents).

No money down: borrow 80% LTV, have a second mortgage to cover the down payment, and have a third mortgage to cover the closing fees. The result: 125% mortgage on an overvalued house.

This doesn't even cover the large number of people buying houses and condo for the purpose of flipping them.

Praise the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.

Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) got $165,000,and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was given $126,349 form Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two who ran the failed institutions are Obama campaign advisors. HMMMMM!

Anonymous said...

I thought the Bush Doctrine was Grab Everything.


Hello Graycrow (Ireland)! A man that loves dogs is a man that I can reason with, and hopefully develop into another friend!
After carefully re-reading 'Charlie Gibson's Gaffe' where you will find the J.F. Kennedy and G.W. Bush Doctrine, you might come to a more rational conclusion.

If you prefer to allign with the negative forces in play, I suggest George Soros MoveOnDotOrg, and the stale "failed Bush policy in Iraq" mantras of DailyKos, Code Pink, and U.F.P.J.

Or, you might find it more enlightening to scroll down a few posts to 'The Mind Is A Sponge'.

This one attempts to explain how
a perfectly healthy mind can be impacted with negativity & hatred.

Josef Geobbels was a Past-Master of the 'Power of Negative Suggestion', and 40 million+ died in a dozen countries in WWII. reb

Anonymous said...

A lame duck is a lame duck, he didn't even go to the convention. A president who has been a total failure. (Foriegn Policy, Energy Policy, Economic Policy, Enviornmental, you name it).
Why do you defend him???


Graycrow. Your political bias is showing; your judgement is flawed.

1) American Policy has NEVER been to "Grab Everything". After WWII American wealth re-built Germany & Japan; today they are Peaceful & Productive (they sell Volkswagon/Mercedes/Toyota & Nissan
world-wide, and they study war no more...incredible! Today, they are USA "Allies". Read about the Berlin Airlift, where Americans "grabbed" food, medicine,
blankets and flew life-saving supplies for the 'East' Germans.

2) Prez Reagan said: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!...and he did!
You really need some WWII History
before you can assume a critical USA posture. See Archives, July, 2006. "History" by Raymond S. Kraft.
Next, Nov 4th, 1979. To be continued: reb



Nov 2006, DEMOCRATS now control both Senate & House (and gasoline was $2.16 per gallon).

Senator Chris Dodd, Senate Banking,
Rep Barney Frank, House Banking. On Feb 1st, GEORGE SOROS Endorses
Barack Obama for POTUS!

These two political hacks, plus Obama bear a major responsibility et al, for the Mortgage Meltdown of Countrywide, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac policy of worthless
sub-prime loans. No Doubt At All!

It's a Financial 9/11...the sky is falling! Tax-payers, please bail us out! We only need 700 Billion Dollars; we must "Act Quickly"...

Sen McCain will be there at Mississippi University for that debate tonight...then watch the Polls! reb


The 'Big Debate' was a dud! Both candidates tippy-toed around the huge issue of the potential money-market meltdown.

So, McCain wins a few points on the twin conflicts in Afganistan and Iraq, but no big surprise there. A Big disappointment.

Now, Senator McCain goes back to Washington D.C. to help his GOP collegues avoid the 700 billion dollar bail-out, and Democratic notions of rewarding the crooked politicians that put this nation in jeopardy with billions in worthless sub-prime mortgages!

That should have been the bulk of this debate, and it was not! So, we wait for the politicians to do their jobs, and come up with needed protective legislation. reb

Winfred Mann said...

Wasn't Sarbanes/Oxley a large contributing factor to this problem. And now our lawmakers are going to create another layer of laws to obfuscate reality???


Addressing Graycrow Concerns:
Mr. Graycrow, Your admitted morbid facination with the
"Right-wingers in Texas" is hardly a valid starting point to understanding, or getting a true picture of the U.S. Political Landscape.

I would invite you to suspend judgement, in the interest of a "fair & balanced" perspective, just long enough to examine my "Vast Left Wing" Peace Foundation Post. See Archives, December 1st, 2007.

IF you haven't heard of "Peace & Justice Funder's Group" (with combined assets of $27,000,000,000)
that adds up to a great deal of power, funds Political Action Committees, (PAC Groups) that buy Political influence, Celebrities, Hate-blogs, and MainStreamMedia propaganda mills.

Hating Dubya Bush is HUGE; demeaning the president's war effort is on-going, and has taken several hundred million dollars to implement, and most of this decade to accomplish this degree of mind-numbing public hatred.

Throwing stones at a "lame duck" is to aid and perpetuate a well-funded negative society, and is hardly a worthy or noble enterprise.

I've studied this weird political phenomena for years; I know the major players in this drama, and we are happy to provide an Informative Weblog to answer serious inquiries.

"Illegitimi Tatum Non-Carborundum"

Cordially, reb (print)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but in my opnion dubya is no good. He only got the job because of who his father is. Nepotisim.