“Palin Interview Sullies Gibson’s Reputation” Dennis Prager enunciates the Jar Jar Binks Doctrine of International Relations



By: Dennis Prager


When he asked Mrs. Palin whether she agreed with the Bush Doctrine without defining it, he gave the game away. He lost any pretense of fairness. Asking the same unanswerable question three times had one purpose – to humiliate the woman. That was not merely partisan. It was mean.

I couldn’t answer it – and I have been steeped in international affairs since I was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International Affairs in the 1970s. I have since been to 82 countries, and have lectured in Russian in Russia and in Hebrew in Israel. Most Americans would consider a candidate for national office who had such a resume qualified as regards international relations. Yet I had no clue how to answer Mr. Gibson’s question.

I had no clue because there is no right answer.

There are at least four doctrines that are called “Bush Doctrine,” which means that there is no “Bush Doctrine.” It is a term bereft of meaning, as became abundantly clear when Mr. Gibson finally explained what he was referring to:

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a pre-emptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that – the right to pre-emptive attack of a country that was planning an attack on America?

That’s the Bush Doctrine? “The right to pre-emptive attack of a country that was planning an attack on America?”

Isn’t that just common sense? What country in history has thought it did not have the right to attack those planning to attack it? I learned the “Bush Doctrine” when I was a student at yeshiva in the fourth grade, when I was taught a famous Talmudic dictum from about 1,800 years ago: “If someone is coming to kill you, rise early and kill him.”

And pre-emptive attack is exactly what happened in June 1967, when Israel attacked Egypt and Syria because those countries were planning to attack Israel. Would any American president before George W. Bush have acted differently than Israel did? Of course not. Did they all believe in the Bush Doctrine?

That is how Mr. Gibson added foolishness to his meanness.

All the interview did was reconfirm that Republicans running for office run against both their Democratic opponent and the mainstream news media.

Let me put this another way. Charlie Gibson showed far greater hostility toward the Republican vice-presidential candidate than Dan Rather did in his interview with Saddam Hussein or Mike Wallace did in his interview with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

We might call it the media’s Gibson Doctrine: Confront Republicans, act obsequious toward tyrants.


One Response to ““Palin Interview Sullies Gibson’s Reputation” Dennis Prager enunciates the Jar Jar Binks Doctrine of International Relations”

  1. rosettasister Says:

    See also:


    In “The Gibson Doctrine” Dennis Prager, the epitome of a “kinder, gentler” conservative columnist, deconstructs Charlie Gibson–oh so kindly and gently–and leaves the bastard bleeding on the floor.

    Charlie Gibson trying to assume Dan Rather’s mantle: “Exact words”=”Fake but accurate” for an audience that cannot keep its eye on the ball.

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