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View Full Version : Pre-emption vs. Preventive War - the Bush Doctrine



ink
09-12-2008, 03:27 PM
The writer makes a good distinction ...


American foreign policy has long recognized the concept of preemptive action: if you know somebody is just about to attack you, there's no debate about the legitimacy of acting first. (This is like "shooting in self-defense.") The more controversial part of The Bush Doctrine was the idea of preventive war: acting before a threat had fully emerged, on the theory that waiting until it was fully evident would mean acting too late.

Gibson used the word "preemptively" -- but if a knowledgeable person had pushed back on that point ("Well, preemption was what John F. Kennedy had in mind in acting against the imminent threat of Soviet missiles in Cuba"), Gibson would certainly have come back to explain the novelty of the "preventive war" point. Because he knows the issue, a minor mis-choice of words wouldn't get in the way of his real intent.

Sarah Palin did not know this issue, or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.

http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/the_palin_interview.php

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 03:37 PM
Is the Bush doctrine an official name on a official national security plan or a media made up label applied to policies of a person like so many other "doctrines"?

ink
09-12-2008, 03:42 PM
Is the Bush doctrine an official name on a official national security plan or a media made up label applied to policies of a person like so many other "doctrines"?

It's a fair question Sly. In fact, David Gergen made the same point on CNN last night. But the writer is making another point. He's saying that Palin was speaking about the doctrine of "pre-emptive" war, when she should have known that Bush had (very controversially) departed from that when he went to war in Iraq. His doctrine is "preventive" war.

QuietWyatt
09-12-2008, 03:43 PM
The Bush doctrine is what we've seen in the past 8 years. No way to spin that.

b1e9a8r5s
09-12-2008, 03:50 PM
I'm confused, Ink. Doesn't that article say that Gibson used the wrong word, and she answered according to the word he used, but not the word he should have used?

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 03:50 PM
The Bush doctrine is what we've seen in the past 8 years. No way to spin that.

I think your statement is spin enough actually. :)

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 03:53 PM
It's a fair question Sly. In fact, David Gergen made the same point on CNN last night. But the writer is making another point. He's saying that Palin was speaking about the doctrine of "pre-emptive" war, when she should have known that Bush had (very controversially) departed from that when he went to war in Iraq. His doctrine is "preventive" war.

That is a fair point but when asking somebody something with an office label when an official label like that may not actually exist unlike the Monroe doctorine its not really a fair question. Its like asking a poster on this board about the Sly Williams doctrine and just making my posting history in to an official doctrine where I do not have one. :)

Also we did not only go in to Iraq to prevent a war. We also went in to enforce a treaty that Saddam had ignored repeatedly for years.

ink
09-12-2008, 03:54 PM
I'm confused, Ink. Doesn't that article say that Gibson used the wrong word, and she answered according to the word he used, but not the word he should have used?

I know what you're saying, but no, he used exactly the right word. And then he clarified the question for her.


Two details in Charles Gibson's posing of the question were particularly telling. One was the potentially confusing way in which he first asked it. On the page, "the Bush Doctrine" looks different from "the Bush doctrine." But when hearing the question Palin might not have known whether Gibson was referring to the general sweep of Administration policy -- doctrine with small d -- or the rationale that connected 9/11 with the need to invade Iraq, the capital-D Doctrine. So initial confusion would be understandable -- as if a sports host asked about Favre's chances and you weren't sure if he meant previously with the Packers or with the Jets. Once Gibson clarified the question, a person familiar with the issue would have said, "Oh, if we're talking about the strategy that the President and Condoleezza Rice began laying out in 2002...." There was no such flash of recognition.

b1e9a8r5s
09-12-2008, 03:57 PM
Also, I think that is a good point Sly. My understanding is that the term "Bush Doctrine" is a term that the media has used to refere to the foreign policy of the Bush administration (mainly that of premptive war) but not an actual Policy itself.

ink
09-12-2008, 03:58 PM
That is a fair point but when asking somebody something with an office label when an official label like that may not actually exist unlike the Monroe doctorine its not really a fair question. Its like asking a poster on this board about the Sly Williams doctrine and just making my posting history in to an official doctrine where I do not have one.

The author makes an important distinction that a potential VP should know about. The doctrine of "preventive" war is very controversial and is not at all accepted by many of America's friends and allies.

ink
09-12-2008, 04:00 PM
Also, I think that is a good point Sly. My understanding is that the term "Bush Doctrine" is a term that the media has used to refere to the foreign policy of the Bush administration (mainly that of preventive war) but not an actual Policy itself.

Fixed that for you. :) It's not a semantic argument about policy or doctrine. It's about an entirely different rationale for war.

b1e9a8r5s
09-12-2008, 04:04 PM
I think this point is a non issue. Now wait for a second before you jump on me. To people that think she is too inexperienced, this just reassures that point. To those on the other side, she made a small gaffe, like Obama 57 states, Biden "the Biden administration" or McCain with the houses. I don't think this on its own, will sway any one in the middle one way or the other.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:06 PM
I think this point is a non issue. Now wait for a second before you jump on me. To people that think she is too inexperienced, this just reassures that point. To those on the other side, she made a small gaffe, like Obama 57 states, Biden "the Biden administration" or McCain with the houses. I don't think this on its own, will sway any one in the middle one way or the other.

LOL you left out Biden asking a paralyzed man to stand up recently. :)

Small gaffes are only allowed on one side. Dont believe me? Ask Keith Olberman. :)

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:07 PM
Fixed that for you. :) It's not a semantic argument about policy or doctrine. It's about an entirely different rationale for war.

When a bunch of American colonists fed up with high taxes started dumping tea in Boston Harbor was that a preventive war or a preemptive war? :)

ink
09-12-2008, 04:11 PM
I think this point is a non issue. Now wait for a second before you jump on me. To people that think she is too inexperienced, this just reassures that point. To those on the other side, she made a small gaffe, like Obama 57 states, Biden "the Biden administration" or McCain with the houses. I don't think this on its own, will sway any one in the middle one way or the other.

I agree. I didn't post it for that reason. The article just has very good information and he makes very good points.

It's not a small gaffe at all really. Forget about the impact on the election for a second. It's important that a potential leader understands exactly what rationale was used to get America to war. If her supporters don't call her on it, you know that allies and enemies alike will. This is knowledge she really doesn't have. Cramming doesn't count. It's a weak point.

Aside from that, the difference between pre-emptive and preventive war changed history. That merits a thread.

ink
09-12-2008, 04:13 PM
When a bunch of American colonists fed up with high taxes started dumping tea in Boston Harbor was that a preventive war or a preemptive war? :)

Neither. It was a revolutionary war.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:16 PM
I agree. I didn't post it for that reason. The article just has very good information and he makes very good points.

It's not a small gaffe at all really. Forget about the impact on the election for a second. It's important that a potential leader understands exactly what rationale was used to get America to war. If her supporters don't call her on it, you know that allies and enemies alike will. This is knowledge she really doesn't have. Cramming doesn't count. It's a weak point.

Aside from that, the difference between pre-emptive and preventive war changed history. That merits a thread.

Will the media be asking Obama about all his executive experience running a business, a city and a state? How many paychecks has Obama signed personally? How many goods and services has Obama produced? I would hate to think the unbiased media (cough cough) would only focus on 1 kind of experience to benefit one candidate.

By the way of the 2 men actually running for president who has more foreign relations experience? Obama or Mccain? :)

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:18 PM
Neither. It was a revolutionary war.

Would Obama have been for it or against it based on the taxes? Would he have fought in it himself? Or would he have looked to cut funding for the people fighting it?

Just joking. :)

ink
09-12-2008, 04:20 PM
Will the media be asking Obama about all his executive experience running a business, a city and a state? How many paychecks has Obama signed personally? How many goods and services has Obama produced? I would hate to think the unbiased media (cough cough) would only focus on 1 kind of experience to benefit one candidate.

By the way of the 2 men actually running for president who has more foreign relations experience? Obama or Mccain? :)

I'm not responding to the posts where you do the "well he did it too" thing anymore. Sorry. It's not the topic of the thread, and it throws all of the threads off topic when it happens.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:25 PM
I'm not responding to the posts where you do the "well he did it too" thing anymore. Sorry. It's not the topic of the thread, and it throws all of the threads off topic when it happens.

Is Obama off limits but all attacks on Palin are in play? Is this MSNBC? :)

ink
09-12-2008, 04:28 PM
Is Obama off limits but all attacks on Palin are in play? Is this MSNBC? :)

The thread is about pre-emptive vs. preventive war and Palin's interview. If you want to debate something Obama did, start an Obama thread.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:37 PM
The thread is about pre-emptive vs. preventive war and Palin's interview. If you want to debate something Obama did, start an Obama thread.

OK Ink,
Fair enough but this board has been 75% (guesstimate) about Palin attacks the last 2 weeks. I'm just hoping one day Palin will get the same kind of treatment Obama gets from the media. Not likely I know. :)

ink
09-12-2008, 04:43 PM
OK Ink,
Fair enough but this board has been 75% (guesstimate) about Palin attacks the last 2 weeks. I'm just hoping one day Palin will get the same kind of treatment Obama gets from the media. Not likely I know. :)

Palin has entered into federal politics at the 11th hour for an extremely distinguished position. There are a lot of completely legitimate questions for her, especially since there are so many contradictions between her words and her actions.

QuietWyatt
09-12-2008, 04:48 PM
Don't forget to include this into the Bush Doctrine:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 04:51 PM
Don't forget to include this into the Bush Doctrine:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/

LOL my street has some pot holes is that part of the Bush doctrine as well? How can there be a an official Bush doctrine if people just randomly decide what is or is not in it?

QuietWyatt
09-12-2008, 04:55 PM
It's directly related to the pre-emptive strike. C'mon stick to the subject.

ink
09-12-2008, 04:55 PM
LOL my street has some pot holes is that part of the Bush doctrine as well? How can there be a an official Bush doctrine if people just randomly decide what is or is not in it?

:speechless:

What on earth are you talking about?? lol. The guy made a post about how the controversial doctrine was pushed through. Hardly as arbitrary as the pot-holes in your street. You're really grasping at straws.


Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released Tuesday by two nonprofit journalism groups.


"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda," the report reads, citing multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to revive it.

The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn't do enough to investigate the claims.

"Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical," the report reads. "These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq."

That was the justification that was used for the preventive war.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 05:00 PM
It's directly related to the pre-emptive strike. C'mon stick to the subject.


Can you point me to the official national security document that names the official Bush doctrine? Thanks in advance.

ink
09-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Can you point me to the official national security document that names the official Bush doctrine? Thanks in advance.

You're still missing the point. That's NOT what the thread is about. It's not about semantics. It's about a controversial doctrine that got us involved in a war.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 05:05 PM
That was the justification that was used for the preventive war.

If Saddam didnt ever have any of these weapons since 1991 shouldnt Bush feel misled by the Clintons, Gores, and Kerrys that all kept publicly insisting Saddam did have them and that Saddam was a major threat even before Bush was President? :)

ink
09-12-2008, 05:06 PM
If Saddam didnt ever have any of these weapons since 1991 shouldnt Bush feel misled by the Clintons, Gores, and Kerrys that all kept publicly insisting Saddam did have them and that Saddam was a major threat even before Bush was President?

:confused: I'm trying to bring the thread back on topic but you're determined not to let that happen. I'm out.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 05:11 PM
You're still missing the point. That's NOT what the thread is about. It's not about semantics. It's about a controversial doctrine that got us involved in a war.

That is your point. My point is when you ask somebody to comment on a doctrine that doesn't even really officially exist that can lead to confusion. :)

SLY WILLIAMS
09-12-2008, 05:17 PM
:confused: I'm trying to bring the thread back on topic but you're determined not to let that happen. I'm out.

LOL Ink I'm sorry but I'm trying to get at the makings of what this official Bush doctrine was since that is what started this line of questing where Plain was confused. When Wyatt brought something along those lines up that seemed OK.

If the subject is only did Palin get confused by some of the questioning I think that has already been covered. She was confused after it was asked in a easy to confuse way. Can we have some more attacks on Palin threads? I'm tired of all the Biden attack threads already. :)

b1e9a8r5s
09-12-2008, 05:17 PM
Wait, was this thread about just the doctorine itself (the war it got us into) or is it about Palin not "knowing" what the doctrine was?

ink
09-12-2008, 05:25 PM
Wait, was this thread about just the doctorine itself (the war it got us into) or is it about Palin not "knowing" what the doctrine was?

The author of the article sums it up pretty well himself. He is talking about the interview, and the part I excerpted talks about the Bush doctrine.

DenButsu
09-13-2008, 01:56 AM
OK Ink,
Fair enough but this board has been 75% (guesstimate) about Palin attacks the last 2 weeks. I'm just hoping one day Palin will get the same kind of treatment Obama gets from the media. Not likely I know. :)

Dude, you've got to be kidding me. Obama went through - and is still, in fact, going through - this **** for months and months and months. Please.

DenButsu
09-13-2008, 01:59 AM
Can we have some more attacks on Palin threads? I'm tired of all the Biden attack threads already. :)

Biden has to actually do something in order to be noticed. I'm sure when that happens, you'll see threads appear (or start some yourself).

He's been a disappointment since the convention. Obama's having to do both his own job (campaign proactively) and Biden's (go after the McCain camp) at the same time. He really needs to make himself heard. It's long overdue.

Uncle Funster
09-13-2008, 12:17 PM
What does this thread have to do with the elections? This is a policy implemented by the current administration (that is not involved in this election).

Off topic much?

ink
09-13-2008, 12:19 PM
What does this thread have to do with the elections? This is a policy implemented by the current administration (that is not involved in this election).

Off topic much?

Hardly. It was brought up in the only interview Palin has been allowed to do.

Uncle Funster
09-13-2008, 12:21 PM
Hardly. It was brought up in the only interview Palin has been allowed to do.

Allowed to do? Nice backhanded repsonse.

This is a thread about the policy itself rather than Palin's reaponse to Charlie Gibson's questioning regarding it.

So, this either belongs in that thread, or in another forum.;)

Sorry for being too logical.:o

ink
09-13-2008, 12:24 PM
Allowed to do? Nice backhanded repsonse.

This is a thread about the policy itself rather than Palin's reaponse to Charlie Gibson's questioning regarding it.

So, this either belongs in that thread, or in another forum.;)

Sorry for being too logical.:o

It's the truth. She is being very carefully handled. Moreso than any other political nominee in memory. That merits being mentioned. And it belongs in this forum because it is a question about the most controversial foreign policy the previous administration implemented. It's completely fair game to determine how closely the new R ticket aligns itself on these issues. My apologies for being logical.

DenButsu
09-13-2008, 12:24 PM
C'mon, Funster.

"Election Center 2008" is the de facto "political" forum. I think that kind of goes without saying.

We've had threads about immigration, abortion, etc. even when the candidates themselves weren't discussing them.

Although I do understand a Palin supporter's reluctance to go there, it's relevant.

Uncle Funster
09-13-2008, 12:29 PM
C'mon, Funster.

"Election Center 2008" is the de facto "political" forum. I think that kind of goes without saying.

We've had threads about immigration, abortion, etc. even when the candidates themselves weren't discussing them.

Although I do understand a Palin supporter's reluctance to go there, it's relevant.

Then at least merge the threads.

But all Palin did was ask for clarification on a broad question. To expound on the Bush Doctrine with no specific reference is ridiculous in a relatively short interview. I don't think that Charlie (Lib Gib) Gibson knew what the hell he was asking about in the first place.

DenButsu
09-13-2008, 12:32 PM
Then at least merge the threads.

But all Palin did was ask for clarification on a broad question. To expound on the Bush Doctrine with no specific reference is ridiculous in a relatively short interview. I don't think that Charlie (Lib Gib) Gibson knew what the hell he was asking about in the first place.

Sure he did. And everybody who reads the newspapers did, too.

He was asking her:

"Do you support the foreign policy philosophy introduced by George Bush that it is acceptable to use military force pre-emptively against nations that have not attacked you when you believe they pose a threat to American national security? Or do you not?

Quite simple.

ink
09-16-2008, 10:51 AM
Jay Leno on the ABC interview:


If you watched TV last night, you know that Charlie Gibson did something John McCain has never done: interviewed Sarah Palin.


In the Gibson interview, a lot of people thought Charlie Gibson was unfair to her. They thought he was talking down to her. That was one of the comments. Like when he asked her about the so-called Bush doctrine. Most people aren't familiar with the Bush doctrine. I mean, we are, but we know it by another name: "Murphy's Law."


That was the big bone of contention on the cable talk shows. Supporters of Palin say that it's OK she doesn't know what the Bush doctrine is because the average American doesn't know what it is. Shouldn't the bar be a little higher for this job? Shouldn't it be a little above average? I'm mean, let's be honest we already had an average guy as president. It didn't work out that great.

http://blogs.kansascity.com/tvbarn/2008/09/sarah-palin-tin.html