Bob Herbert, In the New York Times, With the Candlestick
Not only didn't she know what the "Bush Doctrine" was, claims the clueful Herbert, she's all confused about who we're fighting in Iraq and why.
"I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”
"Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?"
But it isn't Palin who's being clueless here, it's Herbert.
You would expect a man who has risen to be an OP-ED columnist at the New York Times would have heard of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Qaeda, the very terrorist organization responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks declared Iraq its central front in its war against the United States. Does Herbert think al Qaeda in Iraq has nothing do with Osama bin Laden's larger terrorist network?
Perhaps his own newspaper confused him by referring to al Qaeda in Iraq as al Qaeda in Mesopotamia for so many years. But he must know that al Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Right?
Perhaps Herbert was confused by a Washington Post Sept. 11 story that mistakenly asserted the same thing.
According to the Post's Anne Kornblut's story:
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
(The Post has since rewritten part of the story for its web site but has shamefully not issued a correction.)
Anyway, there is nothing "clueless" about telling outgoing troops to Iraq that they are going to defend the innocent from enemies who planned and cheered the deaths of thousands of Americans.
Al Qaeda in Iraq has been severely crippled and is on the run. But it still has agents there who love to kill Iraqi civilians who have chosen to ally themselves with us over them.
Which raises the question: Is Herbert deliberately distorting Mrs. Palin's comments to the troops or is he just being stubbornly ignorant?