Friday, 12 September 2008

Palin: War With Russia? Perhaps

From Sarah Palin's first TV interview as VP candidate, with Charlie Gibson of ABC News (bolding mine):

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.

Commentary from Daily Kos, and D.C gossip blog Wonkette:
...When you’re asked in an interview under any circumstances whether we’ll have to go to War with Russia, you should never respond “Perhaps so,” BECAUSE WAR WITH RUSSIA WOULD BE THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE.

You don't say! Really? For fuck's sake...

MORE: John Demetriou; The Daily (Maybe)

Here is an (edited) YouTube video showing Palin making the remarks discussed in this post.


JuliaM said...

So, she should lie? Or say 'Oh, NATO, that's just for show, we don't mean it when we sign that document!'.

Somehow, I don't think that would satisfy those incisive political minds at Daily Kos and Wonkette either...

Letters From A Tory said...

Palin is out of her depth and I hope people are starting to realise this.

JuliaM said...

So how would you have answered that question, LfaT?

richard allan said...

Agreed with JuliaM. How would anyone else have answered that question? At least she said "Perhaps" and not "definitely, yes".

The only other alternative that I could see would be "No, NATO treaties are not binding. And imagine the shitstorm if she'd said that!

QT said...

Well, her first fuck-up was to say that Georgia should be admitted to NATO, without any preconditions.

Yes, Obama has talked about a 'membership action plan' for Georgia, but to simply respond "Yes" [I favour 'putting Georgia in NATO'] simply betrays a lack of aptitude for diplomacy - her answers (not just here, but at other points in the interview) give away just how shallow her understanding of foreign affairs is.

The quoted excerpt follows on from that. At this point, we are talking about a hypothetical World War 3! You cannot simply shoot back say "perhaps so"! A better, more diplomatic answer would have deflected the question somewhat, saying something along the lines of "NATO would be under obligation to respond".

JuliaM said...

A 'lack of aptitude for diplomacy'?

Well, she'll probably do better than Miliband then! ;)

JuliaM said...

"The quoted excerpt follows on from that."

Do you really think she could have done or said anything at all that would have had a 'Actually, I don't agree with her politics, but she might be right on that one' from those two sites?

I, NATO (11) said...

I think you're spot on on this one, Ian.

If I were in favour of Georgia joining NATO, and someone asked me that question, it would've been perfectly possible for me to reply that Article V of the NATO treaty does not state that all members of NATO would be automatically forced into an armed conflict with Russia in that situation-rather, "taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary" could include all kinds of measures. After all, I could go on to say, as many a European leader has discovered, war against Russia is never "necessary" because nothing pointless, futile and suicidal can ever be "necessary".

QT said...

Haha, @i, nato.

I do like that suggested answer, but it might be expecting a little bit much of the former Mayor of Wasilla to remember a line as complex as that. It would have taken her all day with her handlers to get that right, and she wouldn't have had time to, say, learn all about the Bush Doctrine.