Monday, September 15, 2008

There is only ONE Bush Doctrine.

There is no sight on this planet more repulsive than the Republican Party seeking to defend one of it's own who has slipped, and there are apparently no limits to the lengths they will go to in order to rescue that person, especially if there is an election at stake.

This is how we arrive at the bizarre place where we now find ourselves with Peter D. Feaver, who worked on the Bush national security strategy as a staff member on the National Security Council, now claiming that it is no surprise that Sarah Palin was unable to define the Bush Doctrine as almost no-one can.

Feaver, ridiculously, claimed he has counted as many as seven distinct Bush doctrines.

They include the president's second-term "freedom agenda"; the notion that states that harbor terrorists should be treated no differently than terrorists themselves; the willingness to use a "coalition of the willing" if the United Nations does not address threats; and the one Gibson was talking about -- the doctrine of preemptive war.
The "freedom agenda", "states which harbour terrorists" and "coalitions of the willing" have bugger all to do with Bush's Doctrine as Feaver I am sure fine well knows.

Before Bush made his scandalous Doctrine public, we all understood that self defence under international law was defined under the principles established after the Caroline incident in 1837.
This incident has been used to establish the principle of "anticipatory self-defense" in international politics, which holds that it may be justified only in cases in which the "necessity of that self-defence is instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation". The Carolina Affair (Case) is also now invoked frequently in the course of the dispute around preemptive strike (or preemption doctrine).
In other words international law demanded "imminence" before one could claim to be acting in self defence when attacking using a preemptive strike.

The only thing which the Bush Doctrine removed was the need for imminence. It said that one didn't have to wait until a threat became "imminent" before one was allowed to deal with it. Anyone claiming that there is anything confusing about this Doctrine, or that there are many versions of it, is simply a liar.

And there are many liars about. I linked to the Wikepedia page on this subject the other day, soon after Palin made her schoolgirl error, so I have only recently read it. On returning this morning I note that page has endured a massive rewrite and what was clear a few days ago is suddenly murky. It previously spoke of pre-emption and imminence but this morning talks of confusion and how scholars debate it's different meanings. I'll give the Republicans their due, they're efficient.

Thankfully, there are any other sources which Republican hacks cannot re-edit. SourceWatch defines the Bush Doctrine as the rest of the planet does:
"Preemption, rather than reaction" summarizes the Bush doctrine.
That's it, in a nutshell. Anyone who claims that Palin was debating in her head the very many conflicting versions of the Bush Doctrine available is simply a Republican hack liar.

The Bush Doctrine removed the need for imminence in self defence which the Caroline Affair established. That's it. It's not difficult to understand, and there aren't many versions of it.

Sarah Palin, the woman who wants to be second in line running the free world, didn't know that. And now the usual Republican liars are spreading the story that the Doctrine - which anyone paying attention understood easily - is suddenly complex and confusing.

There is no limit to the lengths these people will go to in order to convince you that black is white and that little Sarah is actually completely ready for the job because "you can see Russia from Alaska". I can see the West Mid hospital from a friends lounge window but I doubt that makes him able to carry out brain surgery.

It's crap. And the lengths that the Republicans are going to in order to cover this up proves just how large a whopper Palin dropped.

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