Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin And Iran

The second portion (broadcast Tuesday, 9/25/08) of the interview by CBS News' Katie Couric of Sarah Palin featured this exchange about Iran:

Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can't just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off-base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That's beyond naïve. And it's beyond bad judgment.

Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …

Palin: It's dangerous.Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?

Palin: I've never heard Henry Kissinger say, "Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met." Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren't gonna go right.

I doubt the Alaska Governor is lying. It is highly unlikely Kissinger actually uttered the exact words in this exact order: "Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met." However, at the forum of five former secretaries of state held on 9/15/08 (and aired on 9/20/08) at George Washington University in the District of Columbia, Kissinger came awfully close:

Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran..... we ought to have a clear understanding of what is it we're trying to prevent. What is it going to do if we can't achieve what we're talking about? But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations.

Immediately after the interview was aired, Couric announced that Richard Nixon's Secretary of State had been contacted and confirmed that he supported direct talks with Iran without "preconditions." (By the way, aren't conditions in fact preconditions?) And Kissinger had previously, in a March 15, 2008 interview with Bloomberg News, strongly implied the same.

Sarah Palin is governor of a tiny state (in population) which is detached from the rest of the country and prospering from the same high energy prices bedeviling most Americans in arguably every other state. But she is also smart and shrewd. Having spoken the day before with Mr. Kissinger, she probably was aware she was inferring that he is "off-base," "naive," and guilty of ideas "beyond bad judgement." The Repub vice-presidential nominee has been thoroughly briefed by the McCain campaign and is not ignorant or stupid- just detached and unconcerned about world affairs.

No comments:

And "Genocidally" is Not an Adjective

Respectfully, councilwoman, you've been punked, as the tweeter may have been. I was, too, when I saw the tweet with the associated vide...