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The Palin Doctrine

She would go beyond various Bush 'doctrines' and 'do whatever it takes' against terrorists.

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Sarah Palin may be excused for not knowing "the Bush doctrine." The term was thrown at her like a curve ball during an interview last week by ABC's Charles Gibson, whose own description was incomplete. But her assertion of a potential new "doctrine" – one she might bring to the White House – is far less pardonable.

She said during that interview that the United States "must do whatever it takes" to fight terrorism. This implies the same amoral existentialism that terrorists use. It goes against the very principles of Western civilization that the jihadists seek to destroy.

Ever since these Islamic radicals began attacking US citizens and others, some in the American security establishment have practiced this unprincipled "doctrine." Just think of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq or the use of torture against top Al Qaeda figures.

But her do-anything approach appears to go beyond the set of foreign policies put forth by President Bush and that have been dubbed by the media and others as "the Bush doctrine."

When first in office, Mr. Bush set his mark as president by unilaterally withdrawing US support for a few international agreements, such as the Kyoto accords on global warming. Then after 9/11, he warned countries backing terrorists that they are vulnerable to attack. This led to the ousting of the Taliban rulers in Afghanistan.


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