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September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin on attacking Iran: “We can’t second guess Israel”

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In her much-publicized interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin was asked: “What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?”  Her answer:

PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.
GIBSON: So if we wouldn’t second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.
PALIN: I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.
GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.
PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Forgive me, but is it wise to have this type of blind faith in any country’s decision to attack another country’s nuclear program?  When you’re talking about a full-scale military attack taking place in the world’s most volatile region, with over 200,000 American troops stationed in two neighboring countries, and with as much uncertainty as there is about how close, if at all, Iran is to obtaining nuclear weapons…isn’t it okay to think about it a second time?  Or maybe even a third, just to be on the safe side?

It’s a shame Gov. Palin was so well-scripted in this interview, because she never once gave us a glimpse of her actual inner workings.  She stuck to the talking points, even to the point of becoming like a broken record.
I, for one, am very nervous about this fact – because interviews like this are supposed to give us a picture of how she will make decisions, should she ever be called upon to assume the office of the President.  But we know absolutely nothing about her actual thoughts, and are confident only in her ability to recite pre-screened talking points.  And the points she stuck to are less than up-lifting for anyone who hopes to see a negotiated solution to the challenge of Iran’s nuclear program.
For anyone looking for a more well-reasoned and thoughtful approach to Iran, I recommend reading this letter from Sen. John Kerry, who will likely become the new Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next January.  (h/t, Iran Nuclear Watch)

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