Sarah Palin’s speech to the Tea Party convention could have been more original/interesting. But at these “sophisticated/innovative” Obama times reiterating the basics may be more pertinent and that is as true in the foreign policy arena as it is in the domestic one. Doing so while sporting an Israel/US flag pin is just as pertinent given Obama’s post election distancing from the Jewish state. Just as surprising is the scant media attention her symbolic action received. Of course, Barack Obama “changey and hopey” foreign policy means similar distancing from other American allies. A country at war cherishes its allies and fights its enemies. Of course, as Palin argues Obama does not believe he is at war (though he started saying so). Indeed, that is probably the reason he disses America’s allies and seeks to pacify its enemies. Nor does he seek to follow Reagan’s winning (if once much maligned) Cold War strategy: “We win, they [the enemy] lose.” She said:
Now in recent weeks, many of us have grown even more uneasy about our Administration’s approach to national security, the most important role ascribed to our federal government. Let me say, too, it’s not politicizing our security to discuss our concerns, because Americans deserve to know the truth about the threats that we face and what the Administration is or isn’t doing about them. So let’s talk about them.New terms used like “overseas contingency operation” instead of the word “war.” That reflects a worldview that is out of touch with the enemy that we face. We can’t spin our way out of this threat. It’s one thing to call a pay raise a job created or saved. It’s quite another to call the devastation that a homicide bomber can inflict a “manmade disaster.” And I just say, come on, Washington. If nowhere else, national security — that’s one place where you got to call it like it is.
And in that we spirit — in that spirit we should acknowledge that on Christmas Day, the system did not work. Abdul Mutallab passed through airport security with a bomb, and he boarded a flight hell-bent on killing innocent passengers. This terrorist trained in Yemen with Al Qaida, his American visa was not revoked until after he tried to kill hundreds of passengers. On Christmas Day, the only thing that stopped this terrorist was blind luck and brave passengers. Really, it was a Christmas miracle, and that is not the way that the system is supposed to work.
What followed was equally disturbing. After he was captured, he was questioned for only 50 minutes. We had a choice in how to do this. The choice was, only question him for 50 minutes and then read his Miranda Rights. The Administration says then, there are no downsides or upsides to treating terrorists like civilian criminal defendants.
But a lot of us would beg to differ. For example, there are questions we would have liked this foreign terrorist to answer before he lawyered up and invoked our U.S. Constitutional right to remain silent. Our U.S. Constitutional rights. Our rights that you, sir [to male veteran in audience] fought and were willing to die for to protect in our Constitution. The rights that my son, as an infantryman in the United States Army is willing to die for. The protections provided — thanks to you, sir — we’re going to bestow them on a terrorist who hates our Constitution and tries to destroy our Constitution and our country? This makes no sense because we have a choice in how we’re going to deal with the terrorists. We don’t have to go down that road.
There are questions that we would have like answered before he lawyered up like: “Where exactly were you trained and by whom? You — You’re bragging about all these other terrorists just like you. Who are they? When and where will they try to strike next? The events surrounding the Christmas Day plot reflect the kind of thinking that led to September 11th. That…the…threat then, as the USS Cole was attacked, our Embassies were attacked, it was treated like an international crime spree, not like an act of war.
We’re seeing that mindset again settle into Washington. That scares me for my children and for your children. Treating this like a mere law enforcement matter places our country at grave risk. Because that’s not how radical Islamic extremists are looking at this. They know we’re at war. And to win that war, we need a Commander-in-Chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.
Our President spent a year reaching out to hostile regimes, writing personal letters to dangerous dictators, and apologizing for America. And what do we have to show for that? Here’s what we have to show. North Korea tested nuclear weapons and longer range ballistic missiles. Israel, a friend and a critical ally, now question[s] the strength of our supports. Plans for a missile defense system in Europe? They’ve been scrapped. Relations with China and Russia are no better. And relations with Japan — that key Asian ally — they’re in the worse shape in years.
And around the world, people who are seeking freedom from oppressive regimes, wonder if Alaska is still that beacon of hope for their cause. The Administration cut support for democracy programs, and where the President has not been clear, I ask, where is his clear and where is his strong voice of support for the Iranians who are risking all in their opposition to Ahmadinejad?
Just that short list — that short list. And you know, it’s no wonder that our President only spent about nine percent of his State of the Union Address discussing national security and foreign policy, because there aren’t a whole lot of victories that he could talk about that night. And that’s just a short list.
She went on to join everybody and his grandmother and call for sanctions against Iran. As I said, there was nothing innovative in the speech but the fact that she gave it and her focus on foreign policy puts the right pressure on Obama.
By the way, she wore the same pin on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (who has been doing he best to be “fair and balanced” enough for Obama to grant him an interview)and again made sure to mention Israel.
Thank you, Sarah. With Obama in the White House and Ahmadinejad ratcheting up his uranium production, Israel needs all the friends she can muster to limit Obama’a ability to damage her.