Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin Facebook Post About ISIS Illustrates Republican Confusion on Obama, Iraq, Foreign Policy

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Sarah Palin
asecondhandconjecture/Foter.com

Sarah Palin, erstwhile Republican vice presidential candidate, took to Facebook tonight to respond to President Obama's address declaring a not-war with the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). She's no fan of Obama and that's the angle in her response, which begins:

War is hell. So go big or go home, Mr. President. Big means bold, confident, wise assurance from a trustworthy Commander-in-Chief that it shall all be worth it. Charge in, strike hard, get out. Win.

Charge in, strike hard, get out. This was one of the arguments about Afghanistan—that the war was "won" in the first few months when U.S. forces helped overthrow the Taliban government and degrade Al Qaeda's presence in the country. Then the U.S. military stuck around to nation build and keep the peace, which has pretty much been an unmitigated disaster. Familiar story?

Meanwhile, supporters of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq and stay there point to the "early" withdrawal of U.S. troops (based on a timeline set by Bush but executed under his successor, Obama) as the reason ISIS was able to take root in the first place. Here, Palin appears to take the opposite tack. Hit hard and go home. Does she think Bush should've pulled out in 2003 after declaring "Mission Accomplished"?

She seems more interested in reiterating her opinions of Obama than in providing any kind of new (or old, for that matter) perspective on America's latest war.

Palin's Facebook post continues:

Obama famously claims to despise the "theater" and "optics" of the presidency. In tonight's speech he illustrated the "optics" of toughness. He tried to show a war-weary America that he's tough in his speech concerning the threat of ISIS/ISIL. "The One" who believes in leading from behind can't have it both ways. He sure wasn't concerned about "optics" when he let the crisis starring this Islamic death cult reach this point as he dithered and danced and golfed the time away while the Middle East exploded into chaos.

Does Palin think the American president is responsible for security around the world? Maybe. Lots of people do, especially people who want to be president. How can a president prevent chaos from exploding in the normally serene Middle East while charging in, striking hard, and getting out, as Palin suggested at the top of her post? Who knows. Obama likes to golf. Let's point and laugh.

She's not done. She continues by mangling the recent history of U.S. foreign policy in Syria:

Tonight he announced he's flipped and will finally militarily engage inside Syria – the red line he'd set and then forgotten about surfaced again. This, after three and a half years of civil war, 200,000 people killed, and millions displaced amid horrifying humanitarian conditions.

President Obama didn't quite "flip" on Syria. Last summer, Reason readers will recall, the president was very interested in military intervention. Uncharacteristically, members of Congress, propelled by an emerging coalition of non-interventionist Republicans (some of whom Palin endorsed!), refused to rubber stamp Obama's proposed intervention. Not quite the same thing as forgetting about it.

The beginning of the following passage is a continuation of the above paragraph but it's a new thought so we'll quote it separately:

Last month, he authorized U.S. military action to stall ISIS' momentum as it's taken nearly complete control of Iraq.

Tonight, President Obama pledged to fight Islamic militants "wherever they exist" with a very small coalition of the willing. (Can you blame foreign nations for not trusting the resolve of this president enough to join us? Right now he has a coalition of nine; President Bush had over 40 allied countries that could trust America's leadership.)

Perhaps some of that mistrust in "America's leadership" comes from the spectacular disaster that was the Iraq War? As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), also endorsed by Sarah Palin, pointed out earlier this summer, it's not so much President Obama who's responsible for the chaos in the Middle East but George Bush and his coalition of the willing's misguided war in Iraq. The power vacuum it created allowed Al Qaeda to flourish in Iraq, then in Syria, then to come back to Iraq as ISIS. Obama is, of course, responsible for his share of the chaos too. He blithely threw U.S. support behind an intervention into Libya's civil war, one that has caused thousands of weapons to go missing and spread as far as Nigeria (facing its own virulent Islamist group seeking to challenge the national government's authority) and Syria.

Palin's not finished but I may be. I don't know if I agree or disagree because I'm not sure how to parse it:

Remember the inexperienced presidential candidate speaking from Germany at the Brandenburg Gate (2008)? Or the know-it-all state senator (2002), known for merely voting "present" on the big things, yet lecturing about this "dumb war" he claimed was a distraction from his desire to force income redistribution to create security. Remember him? Today, he seems more worried about contradicting his campaign promises (2002-2008) and typical political poll angst than leading as president (2009-present). These are the "optics" he's worried about.

Palin continues:

The rise of the animalistic terror group, ISIS, is the result of Obama's lead-from-behind foreign policy. He had broadcast his war strategy for all the enemy to see in Iraq, so the enemy could wait us out and strike as soon as America turned tail and turned away from all we'd sacrificed there. Terrorists who we had under control got to regroup and grow after Obama's premature pull out.

As Rand Paul pointed out, however, ISIS is more the result of U.S. intervention in Iraq in the first place not the decision (made by Bush!) to withdraw from Iraq. Also, this passage seems to totally forget that the thesis of this Facebook post was "charge in, strike hard, get out." But by Palin's own argument, that strategy lets the enemy "wait us out." Is it getting out or turning tail? Bet it depends on the party of the president.

The woman who might've been vice president in an alternate reality keeps going:

Those are the facts, and some tough talking speech is still just talk. Ronald Reagan was described by the Soviets as a politician for whom "words and deeds are one and the same." When Reagan said his vision of the Cold War was "we win, they lose," he meant it, and his policies won the Cold War. The real question Americans and our allies must ask is whether Obama-the-lecturer's words will translate into deeds.

What deeds? Going hard and then going home or going hard and then staying the course?

More Palin:

Go big and be real, Mr. President, if you've really changed your mind again and now wish to engage. You must acknowledge reality: the organization calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is, in fact, "Islamic." Not many of us pretend to be experts on the Muslim religion, but these terrorists obviously consider themselves Muslim and they believe what they're horrifically doing to innocents is part of their "religion of peace." So, you can use your soapbox to fiercely encourage the sane, civilized Muslims of the world to tell ISIS and all these sickening terrorists that they're wrong. In the meantime, we must identify and understand the enemy by at least acknowledging their ideological motivation and identity. Our president is naive to ignore this.

I agree with Palin. Not about the president having an obligation to become an advocate of moderate Islam: that's ridiculous. But so is the attempt to trivialize the "Islamic" in the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (which, incidentally, claims sovereignty over Muslims worldwide) or ISIS' nature as a radical Islamist group. This is especially so given the tendency of some Obama supporters to casually compare ISIS, a vicious proto-government that beheads hostages and kills those it disagrees with, with the Westboro Baptist Chuch, a cult whose membership is largely made up of one family, its founder's, and whose actions consist mostly of trolling the bereaved at funerals.

Palin veers off again:

ISIS must be stopped in Iraq and Syria before we need to stop them anywhere else. As they dominate the region they head for us; we're next on the hit list.

I know Palin knows her geography and I assume she doesn't think ISIS is planning on claiming territory in the U.S. next. But it's an important point: the U.S. is not next on ISIS' hit list. The U.S. government acknowledges ISIS doesn't pose a threat. The terrorist group is seeking to provoke a reaction from the U.S. because that legitimizes them and helps them recruit more fighters, from the general population and, crucially, from rival terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

Palin goes on to hope Obama "means" it about ISIS:

For the sake of peace-loving people in America and throughout the world, let's hope Barack Obama means what he says when he uses terms like "defeating ISIS." He is so inconsistent in leading a failed agenda that it's virtually impossible to put any hope in his new promises, because either his past statements shrugging off ISIS as just a "JV squad" was all talk or tonight's new terminology is just all talk.

She ends with a tip of the hat to the military, whose young members are being sent again into Iraq because most of the politicians in Washington look at the military as a tool of foreign policy and not national defense.

Palin:

We should honor and understand our brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces today more than ever. Please do not support politicians who join Obama in diminishing our military. Our finest, trained to fight for what is right and determined to win, deserve our support. Thank you, military, may you be heard when you pray America's leadership understands that if we're in it, then we're in it to win it; no half measures. Troops, we are always with you.

In it to win it. By going hard and going home. As long as you support our troops.

Semi-related, here's comedian Doug Stanhope's routine on supporting our troops, including a suggestion to let them quit whenever they want. "That way they really have to sell you on the war."

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  1. We’ve really got to do something to get this Sarah Palin character out of office and as far away from power as possible.

    1. Out of what office?

      1. The office she holds that makes people think she is an important person whose Facebook posts are with reading.

      2. Can we get an article on Joe Biden’s opinion next? I hear he might be an important person too. Though clearly he’s not as important as Sarah Palin, judging by the number of articles.

    2. She is the self-annointed Queen of the Tea Party. And is/was keynote at most of their big gatherings.

      1. Exactly, which is why no effort should be spared to remove her from office and the halls of power. She’s single-handedly destroying the country. Can’t some liberal retard like you, Weigel, run against her? I have no doubt you’d win. Heck, I’ll even pledge to vote for you!

    3. Not when Reason can get some dittos and mileage out of her.

      I’m interested in Bart Simpson’s take on ISIS. He’s more informed than Palin.

  2. Forget it Ed, it’s Palintown.

    Palin makes the most sense when thought of as a strange kind of performance art where she models, at a magnified level, the juvenile Kosian internet commenter vitriol aimed at her, but directed at Obama.

  3. This is John bait, isn’t it?

    1. John ‘baitin is more like it.

      1. Are we Masters of John Baiting? Or are we just masters of baiting in the john? Ye bunch of master-baiters in the john you!?!

    1. Yep.

      1. Sadly, yes.

  4. What would Palin say if Obama said he was going to nuke the Middle East? She doesn’t really seem to be arguing from a set of principals other than “Obama sucks”.

    “Go big or go home Mr. President! We demand biological and chemical agents!”

    1. We sorta already used chemicals in Syria when we gave ISIS sarin to use against Assad (per BBC, UN and Russian reports).

  5. I believe many of these ‘hawks’ want ground troops but don’t want to say so

  6. Fuck Sarah Palin.
    I mean, look at the MILFy butt.

  7. “Does she think Bush should’ve pulled out in 2003 after declaring “Mission Accomplished”?”

    How could that have been worse than what occurred?

  8. The post seems to assume that Palin has something intelligent to say, but we can dissect it for sense, logic, consistency, etc., like we might view Obama’s speech. But if we assume that Palin will just dump on anything Obama says and does, it just makes so much more sense.

  9. This is a long commentary about a commentator. Nothing memorable here; stop generating this CO2.

    1. But if you relax and hold your breath while perusing the article, Al Gore will send you a carbon credit.

  10. As Rand Paul pointed out, however, ISIS is more the result of U.S. intervention in Iraq in the first place not the decision (made by Bush!) to withdraw from Iraq.

    Bush was President in 2011? Did I miss something? Obama made the decision to pull out. The fact that Bush planned to do the same thing in no way alieviates Obama’s responsibility for doing so. We will never know whether Bush would have followed his planned timeline because BUSH WAS NO LONGER PRESIDENT WHEN IT HAPPENED.

    Further, ISIS arose in Syria. To assume that our intervention in Iraq caused it is to assume that our not intervening in Iraq would have not only kept Syria stable but also ensure that Iraq was stable enough to stay together and not turn into Syria. Those are two rather large counter factual assumptions. We can argue all day about them and people are going to believe whatever fits their narratives. But it is hardly any kind of established fact.

    Palin as usual manages to put Reason into such an incoherent rage that they sound even dumber than they usually do on this topic.

    And lastly, Palin is right. If Obama wants to do something, he should do something that works and is bold. The worst thing to do is half ass it like he did in Libya, which is what he appears to be doing here.

    My advice to Reason is to just stop commenting on Palin. The staff isn’t mature enough to do it.

    1. Jesus Christ man grow some fucking testicles and take responsibility for something for once. What are you trying to accomplish by absolving Bush? He’s not the worst president ever, but the second-worst? Who gives a shit?

      Your continued defense of Sarah Palin, however, is spot on. She truly is one of the foremost minds on international affairs of this or any generation.

      1. Tony, you are retarded but make up for it by being ignorant and hateful. Obama continued the war in Iraq and chose to leave. Now he has chosen to return and wage war in a half assed way. He is President and responsible for his decisions.

        It was his decision to do nothing in Syria. It was his decision to help turn Libya into a failed state and it was his decision to leave Iraq against the advice of his military commanders.

        You can blame Bush all you want but that doesn’t get you anywhere. Regardless of what the situation was in 08, Obama was elected to make it better and he has in fact made it worse. There is not a single area of the world or area of American foreign policy that is not in worse shape today than it was in 2008.

        You need to understand that as a fanatical leftist, Obama is killing your cause. It is long past time you realized that Obama is a complete failure and will be remembered as much. I love it that you are willing to die on this ship. You deserve it. But it sill amazes me that you really are this stupid and continue to cling to the idea that Obama is anything but a complete disaster for the world, the country and your side in particular.

        1. John,

          I think much of what you wrote regarding President Obama can be applied to President Bush (“…it still amazes me that you … continue to cling to the idea that [President Bush]is anything but a complete disaster for the world, the country and your side in particular.”)

          Unfortunately for a great many people in our country and around the world, both men’s respective “sides” will probably never see their similarities and continue voting en masse for Team Blue or Team Red for a very long time.

          Regards,

          Charles

      2. Hope and Change.

        Promises to get out of Iraq in summer 2009.

        Nobel. Peace. Prize.

        This has jack to do with W and everything to do with Chocolate Nixon.

    2. So I guess the fact that the bulk of ISIS forces are ex Al-Qaeda Iraq forces is meaningless?

      1. IN this context yes. They came from Syria. All not invading in 2003 would have done was cause them to not go to Iraq first and go straight to Syria.

        1. I’ll accept that I may be incorrect in this but from what I have been reading the current leader of ISIS , al-Baghdadi, a former leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq? The news stories currently floating around the web seemed to indicate that he was a former leader of Al=Qaeda Iraq and that after Al-Qaeda “vanilla” leadership tried to dissolve them they split off forming ISI. Which then allied with A Syrian terror group and the two became ISIS.

          To me that would indicate that while many of these people are syrian ISIS itself arose in Iraq AND Syria, but Iraq would be the primary focal point.

          I also think that the whole Bush would have done it thing is cheap. I hate bush as much as, if not more than, most communists…maybe.. but It was Obama’s decision, and Bush may have altered his. Obama was the one who made the decision and he did so against advice and only for political points. Hell for all we know Bush himself may have not planned on following that timeline, he and his buds had a habit of not really going by their word.

  11. President Obama didn’t quite “flip” on Syria. Last summer, Reason readers will recall, the president was very interested in military intervention. Uncharacteristically, members of Congress, propelled by an emerging coalition of non-interventionist Republicans (some of whom Palin endorsed!), refused to rubber stamp Obama’s proposed intervention. Not quite the same thing as forgetting about it.]

    Obama says he doesn’t need Congress’ approval Ed. He is going into Syria now without that approval. So do me a favor and stop fucking lying and pretending the decision not to do anything in Syria was the Congress’. It wasn’t and you know that.

    Jesus fucking Christ, how can you post such false idiotic shit like that and have the nerve to call anyone stupid?

    1. I think you got here too late to defend the Klondike Kardashian.

      1. Since you are a racist who hates Clarance Thomas for having a white wife, you should love her. You are the only openly racist poster on here. If Palin really were one too, you would love her.

        1. Don’t give PB too much credit – Tony is pretty egregiously racist, too.

          1. Yeah, Weigel is clearly retarded and doesn’t understand his own words or actions. Tony is, however, a straight up old school progressive.

  12. Charge in, strike hard, get out.

    That’s what I think every time I see that hot, hot, Sarah Palin. Mmm, mmm, mmm….thanks for the invitation, honey.

    1. And she might let you or she might (more likely) shoot you, but at least she’d never claim that you were using the Established Patriarchy to oppress her.

  13. I would so love to see Palin in a porno.

    Please no links to the porn look alike. I don’t like fake breasts.

    1. I don’t like fake breasts.

      You SCOUNDREL!

  14. The Red Party is utterly confused when it comes to Iraq.

    Most rank and file Red legislators — maybe out of fear or loyalty but most likely out of an inability to admit a mistake — STILL think the 2003 invasion was a good idea and think attacking ISIS is also a good idea. Of course, they are completely incapable of realizing the 2003 invasion led directly to ISIS by creating a power vacuum in the region.

    But they also don’t want Obama to do it or don’t trust him to do it properly (as opposed to how properly Bush planned and executed the 2003 invasion, I guess…).

    It’s quite a conundrum for the Reds.

    1. The invasion, whether it was a good idea or not, isn’t solely responsible for the creation of ISIS. It was the handling of the aftermath and, more importantly, the decision of the Iraqis not to allow an American force to remain. Add in shortcomings in the Iraqi government and general unrest in the entire region and you have a situation that isn’t nearly as neatly summed up as you say it is.

  15. Sarah Palin should debate Al Sharpton in a pay-per-view. That would be entertaining until it became maddening.

    It’s funny to me that so many progtards make fun of her, Bush, Dan Quayle, and whoever else for being stupid, while the utter stupidity of folks like Biden and Sheila Jackson Lee is invisible to them.

    1. Don’t forget the current Chairman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

      1. Maybe our politicians willingly work against basic economic assumptions because they’ve already seen that there is no such thing as scarcity when it comes to stupidity among their own ranks, nor gullibility when it comes to voters?

      2. Jew Swine! Right?

  16. I’m actually with her in that I think our wars should be be fought more briefly and ruthlessly.

    Of course I’d be far more reluctant to go to war than anyone that’s occupied the Oval Office in generations…

  17. ISIS is not the result of US intervention. It is the result of Islam.

    1. How can you be so certain it wasn’t the result of the Hatred for our Freedoms(TM)?

  18. Oh Gawd! Can’t you even think straight? Let’s start with the geography first. ISIS has targets in the UK and US. The reason they have targets so far from home is that they have a deep seated hatred for us. The UK and the US both have issues with home grown Islamic terrorists. We have been attacked several times in the last 20 years and there is no putting an end to these attacks until the Wahabi Islamists are wiped out.
    If you want to know what an Islamic state is like I would direct your attention to what the moslem empires were like in the old days. Why do you think the serbs hate the Albanians so much? Why do the palestinians (who identify with the old ottoman satrap) hate Israel? Life for a non moslem, in an Islamic state, is horribly crushing. The normal choice is either pay a special tax every year to the caliph or convert.
    It is not necessary that the US see itself as the world’s policeman in order to go to war against ISIS. It is only necessary that they declare war against a state which has declared war against us.
    What Palins status as a former VP candidate has to do with anything is beyond me.
    ISIS has beheaded two american journalists and put the pictures up on the internet. The whole country is reacting viscerally, except for president Obama. While this may sound like a good thing there is a point where people like Joe Biden for his “..follow ISIL to the gates of HELL” statement more than Obama and his coalition of the willing.

  19. “if Obama is for it, I’m against it” is not a strategy

  20. This woman is a blathering idiot. Interesting that the superposed small government tea party goes gaga over this big government Republican.

    1. You are actually giving her credit for being something other than a whore?

      Amazing!

      She is a circus performer. A freak who found that people (in this case, from the GOP) would give her money for her act.

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