Palin Doctrine Emerges as Arab League Echoes Her Demarche on Libya
The call by the Arab League for Western military intervention in an Arab state — in this case asking that a UN “no-fly zone” be imposed over Libya – is not only without precedent but it puts in formal terms what Governor Palin stated three weeks ago should have been America’s response to the political and humanitarian crisis now unfolding there.
The former GOP vice presidential candidate was being interviewed on February 23rd on national television by Sean Hannity on a range of issues. On the Libya crisis, she proposed a no-fly-zone to protect the armed and un-armed opposition to the Qaddafi regime. Mrs. Palin’s formulation had been blogged about for nearly a week when it was echoed by the man who, before the Iraq war, had led the Iraq democratic movement in exile, Ahmed Chalabi.
A long-time foe of Saddam Hussein who has emerged as a leading figure in Iraq’s democratically elected legislature. Mr Chalabi recounted in the Wall Street Journal how President George H. W. Bush’s 1991 call for a popular uprising against Saddam had been heeded by the Iraqi people, only to have Saddam then murder some 30,000 of them from helicopter gunships while the Western world stood by.
Not again, Mr. Chalabi pleaded in his essay, and explicitly demanded a Libyan no-fly-zone. But it now it seems Qaddafi will be allowed to repeat a Saddam-style repression, even as President Obama, and the rest of what he likes to call the international community, is “watching carefully.”
Mrs. Palin also continues to link America’s energy policy — a realm in which she has experience — and U.S. foreign and anti-terrorism policies. She recognizes that the ongoing transfer of billions of U.S. petro-dollars to unstable or even hostile Mideast regimes has, since the formation in 1973 of the Organization of Petoleum Exporting Countries, been an drain on U.S. financial resources.
In a critique of Mr. Obama’s energy policies published yesterday at about the same time the Arab League was adopting her prescription for a Libya no-fly-zone, Mrs. Palin laid out how the president’s “war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security.” Nor is Gov. Palin’s insight into complex international issues limited to areas of her immediate expertise.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin — certainly no knee-jerk advocate for Sarah Palin — wrote just a few weeks ago that Palin turns out to have been correct in the prediction she made to Barbara Walters, in a much-noted November 2009 interview. Palin stated she was opposed to Obama’s opposition to Israel’s settlement policies because “[m]ore and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.” Now, as Rubin noted, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics confirms that the pace of immigration to Israel rose 14% to 16,633 from the level in 2009, most coming from Russia or America.
Mrs. Palin will be in New Delhi later this week delivering the keynote address to the annual India Today Conclave. She has been asked to speak on “What America Means to Me.” She will speak as a crisis is simmering between America and Pakistan, India’s nuclear-armed neighbor to the northwest and will be the first high profile trip by a potential Republican contender to South Asia.
More broadly, Mrs. Palin’s address in India will be another step in the growing outline of what might be called The Palin Doctrine. It contrasts sharply with the foreign policy being conducted, if that is the word, by President Obama, who is perplexing not only the Arab world, to which he reached out in his Cairo speech at the start of his presidency, but even his own supporters in the liberal camp, and many in between, who are upset by what might be called his propensity for inaction. It’s an inaction that suggests the Arab League won’t be the only institution that might find itself surprised by the logic of the alert Alaskan.
Mr. Korn, director of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, holds a degree in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.