Update: Over at The Nation, Mark Ames has put Palin’s pronouncement into context much better than I ever could, especially with regards to the intersection of lobbyists and a hypothetical war with Russia.
In her first interview with the press since accepting the GOP nomination for Vice-President, Sarah Palin spoke about the recent Russia-Georgia crisis (she is an expert after all). Here is the transcript of the entire exchange on Russia (via The Page):
Sarah Palin on Russia:
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: 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, but…
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: 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, at this point and I think that we need to — especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, 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.
GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.
PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
One point, which probably doesn’t even need making: Holy shit, Sarah Palin is willing to go to war with Russia over Georgia! Doesn’t she realize that that would entail a nuclear exchange and, possibly, the end of the world as we know it? She mentioned the Cold War. Doesn’t she know that each side’s strategy throughout the entire conflict was to reduce the likelihood of a direct confrontation, no matter what little country was involved? I really can’t believe that she said that and I hope hope hope that Biden goes out and hammers her for such an irresponsible and uninformed statement. Even a 10th grader knows that a war with Russia would reap catastrophic consequences. You could almost see her thought process – (a) Georgia/Ukraine in NATO = good; (b) Georgia/Ukraine in NATO = collective security provision; and (c) collective security provision = war with Russia….ohhhh, wait. This statement not only demonstrates what a foreign policy novice she is – it also shows what a bankrupt idea it is to include two countries that you aren’t willing to defend in an alliance in which you are obligated to defend them.