Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy

Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President

Reaching out to hostile regimes has not worked

Misguided thinking is seen throughout the administration's foreign policy decisions. 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 critical ally, now questions the strength of our support. 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 are in the worst shape in years.

The administration cut support for democracy programs. And where the president has not been clear, I ask where is his clear and where his strong voice of support for the Iranians who are risking all in their opposition to Ahmedinijad? We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America's friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face

Source: 2010 Tea Party Convention speeches , Feb 6, 2010

2008: Learned about two Koreas, and Saddam did not plan 9/11

In Sept. 2008, Palin prepped for her first network interview with ABC News's Charlie Gibson. The campaign advisers found that, although she'd made some progress with her studies, her grasp of rudimentary facts and concepts was minimal. Palin couldn't explain why South and North Korea were separate nations. She didn't know what the Fed did. Asked who attacked American on 9/11, she suggested several times that it was Saddam Hussein. Asked to identify the enemy that her son would be fighting in Iraq, sh drew a blank. (Palin's horrified advisers provided her with scripted replies, which she memorized.)

But after cramming furiously, Palin managed to emerge intact from the Gibson interview--stumbling only over whether she agreed with the "Bush doctrine" ("In what respect, Charlie?") and in discussion why the proximity of Alaska to Russia afforded her insight into its behavior on the world stage. ("They're our next door next door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska").

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.397 , Jan 11, 2010

You CAN see Russia from Alaska, but handled topic poorly

Katie Couric asked me how living in Alaska informed my foreign policy experience. So I began by trying to squeeze a geographical primer into a 10-second sound bite, explaining that only a narrow maritime borders separates Alaska from Russia. But Katie interrupted. I wish now I had stopped her and said, "Here's the geographical context. Now may I answer your question?"

There was so much I could and should have said, and I later kicked myself for not doing so. For instance, that Russian bombers often play cat-and-mouse with our Air Force near Alaska's airspace. That melting polar sea ice has created new trade routes but has also created security threats. And that, yes, you can indeed see Russia from Alaska.

And those were just the foreign policy issues (though issues certainly foreign to most governors). But Katie's purpose--shared by most media types--seemed to be to frame a "gotcha" moment. And it worked. Instead of my scoring points for John McCain, I knew that I had let the team down.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.274-275 , Nov 17, 2009

Some dictators hate America & what we stand for

Q: Secretaries of State Baker, Kissinger, Powell, they have all advocated some level of engagement with enemies. Do you think these former secretaries of state are wrong on that?

PALIN: No and Dr. Henry Kissinger especially. I had a good conversation with him recently. And he shared with me his passion for diplomacy. And that’s what John McCain and I would engage in also. But with some of these dictators who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance, our respect for women’s rights, those who would try to destroy what we stand for cannot be met with just sitting down on a presidential level as Barack Obama had said he would be willing to do. That is beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous.

BIDEN: John and Gov. Palin now say we have to bring our friends and allies along. Our friends and allies have been saying, “Sit down. Talk. Talk. Talk.” And John McCain has said he wouldn’t sit down.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sen. Joe Biden , Oct 2, 2008

Two-state solution for Israel/Palestine is a top priority

Q: How would you solve Israel/Palestinian conflict?

PALIN: A two-state solution is the solution. That needs to be done, and that will be a top agenda item under a McCain-Palin administration. Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East.

BIDEN: No one in the Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion. But you asked whether this administration’s policy had made sense. It has been a failure. Bush insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win.” What happened? Hamas won. We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government. We will change this policy with diplomacy that understands that you must let Israel negotiate and stand with them, not insist on policies like this administration has.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden , Oct 2, 2008

When Putin rears his head he goes into Alaskan airspace

Q: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

A: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda mocked, I guess that’s the word. Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. We have trade missions back and forth, we do. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Sep 24, 2008

We cannot meet rogue leaders without conditions

Q: Should the U.S. negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

A: 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 na‹ve. And it’s beyond bad judgment. 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. That’s part of diplomacy.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Sep 24, 2008

Would not second guess Israel if they attack Iran

Q: What if Israel attacked Iran?

A: We shouldn’t second guess Israel’s security efforts because we cannot ever afford to send a message that we would allow a second Holocaust, for one. Israel has got to have the opportunity and the ability to protect itself. They are our closest ally in the Mideast. We need them. They need us. We don’t have to second-guess what their efforts would be if they believe that it is in their best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth. It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That’s not a good guy who is saying that.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Sep 24, 2008

Agrees with Reagan that US is “beacon of light” for world

Q: What is the role of U.S. in the world?

A: I see the United States as being a force for good in the world. And as Ronald Reagan used to talk about, America being the beacon of light and hope for those who are seeking democratic values and tolerance and freedom. I’m not one of those who came from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents give them a passport and give them a backpack and go off and travel the world. No, I’ve worked all my life. In fact, I usually had two jobs all my life until I had kids. I was not a part of that culture. The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Sep 24, 2008

OpEd: Didn’t comment on foreign policy as mayor or governor

Q: Has Sarah Palin ever expressed any opinions on any topic that relates to foreign affairs on foreign policy.

A: I have never heard or read of any statements Governor Palin has made on foreign policy other than to say that we should support our troops.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK , Sep 21, 2008

Cold War with Russia is off the table

Q: What about Russia?

A: What we have got to commit to, especially when we talk about Russia, no Cold War. We have got to know that our mindset needs to be opportunity for pressure and diplomacy and sanctions if need be, as we keep our eye on a country like Russia.

Q: You don’t want to start a war with Russia.

A: We do not want to start a war with Russia. No Cold War. That’s got to be off the table. Opportunity comes with new leadership being ushered in, being elected in into our democracy where we can start forging even better relationships and strengthening the allies that we have. That’s the opportunity that John McCain is going to make sure happens.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” , Sep 17, 2008

Rising democracies look to America as a leader

Q: What do you view as the Bush Doctrine and what do you view as America’s role in the world?

A: Being an optimist I see our role in the world as being a force for good and one of being the leader of the world. Humankind embraces the values that encompass life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s not just in America, that is in our world. And America is in a position, because we care for so many people, to be able to lead and to be able to have a strong diplomacy and a strong military. Also at the same time to defend not only our freedoms but, to help these rising, smaller democratic countries that are just putting themselves on the map right now, and they’re going to be looking to America as that leader. We being used as a force for good is how I see our country.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” , Sep 17, 2008

Visiting injured soldiers in Germany was trip of a lifetime

Q: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?

A: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.

Q: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

A: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.

Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson , Sep 11, 2008

Get Ukraine into NATO, and maybe Georgia

Q: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

A: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

Q: Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

A: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO. Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise.

Q: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

A: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help. But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely. We have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members. We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson , Sep 11, 2008

Peace Corps strengthens US ties abroad & enriches US at home

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Peace Corps” , Jan 29, 2007

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Foreign Policy: Sarah Palin on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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