It was reported in The New York Times that Governor Sarah Palin offer to appear at an "anti-Iran" rally at the United Nations was rescinded by Malcolm I. Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a leading promoter of the rally. According to the Times, Gov. Palin and other democrat and republican officials were disinvited after Jewish organizations and members of Congress protested that her appearance might turn the rally into a partisan political event.... This was truly a stroke of luck for all involved.
I think highly problematic for American heads of states to attend the "Anti-Iran" rally. First of all it is in poor taste as the word "rally" connotes images of the rowdy anti-war rallies of old and for presidential candidates to be associated with such imagery when it pertains to a country that we should be exploring negotiations with is wrong. For congressional officials, governors and the like to attend is one thing, but should a president attend it automatically sends a message to Iran that America's position is Israel's position and that positions is "anti-Iran". In fact, let's look up the synonyms for the word "anti"... There are a few but the ones that probably typify what we mean when we say we're "anti" anything are: "opposed to", "dead set against", "unwilling", "defiant".
Now let me be frank, I have absolutely NO problem with heads of states (including the President) speaking out against the ills of rival nations. I do, however, believe that how, why, when, and where they speak out is a matter of national security and proper decorum is paramount! This is especially true in these last days of the Bush Administration's proclivity toward "cowboy diplomacy" mixed with a sever inability to articulate the English language.... Therefore, let's go step by step and examine why the rescinding of Sarah Palin's invitation to speak was a blessing for the McCain campaign and a prudent move to protect the national security interests of America in the Middle East.
Who?: Sarah Palin.
Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska burst onto the national scene about three weeks to go when she was plucked from obscurity and hoisted onto Sen. John McCain's lackluster campaign as some sort of political 'diamond in the rough'. Her first feat of political greatness was to deliver a speech that she did not write with brilliant accuracy; a speech in which we gained no clearer sense of he positions on foreign policy... Prior to that speech the only evidence we have of her having any position on any issue of foreign policy is an interview wherein she said that she ' doesn't think too much about what's going on in Iraq because she is so focused on governing Alaska'
Her subsequent appearance on ABC with Charlie Gibson did little to reinforce the McCain camps assertion that she is equipped to handle herself on the international stage. In that interview we learned that being Governor of the country's largest oil producing state and being able to see Russia from her house were sure qualifiers for dealing with Pakistan. We also learned that she is all for fast-tracking Georgia into NATO and is willing to go to war with Russia in defense if Georgia if necessary. Lastly, we learned that she has no idea of what the Bush Doctrine, which asserts that the US has the right anticipatory strike against nations that MIGHT someday be able to harm us, is... She thought it was his "world-view" .
Sarah Palin has not had the benefit of 2 years of campaigning and 19 nationally televised debates and dozens of touch interviews on the Sunday talk-show circuit to refine her position on national issues and engender trusts in her on the world stage. Thus, It is irresponsible for McCain to subject her the sort of international scrutiny that would come with her speaking at the rally, given the potential consequences that could come from a mistake.
What and When? An Anti-Iran Rally
Our foreign policy towards Iran has already proven to be disastrous. Instead of containing them, our entire policy towards the Middle-East has embolden them and strengthened their position in the region. With our relationship strained and the fear that, not only is Iran in the process of developing a nuclear weapon, but also that Israel is poised to launch an attack on Iran under the same principles that guided the Bush Doctrine. At this time, more than ever America should be positioning ourselves to be an arbiter to tamp down the tensions between Israel and Iran. We should also be putting ourselves in a position where our commitment to Israels security doesn't inherently mean that we share their antipathy toward Iran. Real bargaining can be accomplished from such positioning, but HOW IN ANYONE'S MIND DOES ATTENDING THIS RALLY HELP US TO ACHIEVE BETTER POSITIONING TO DEAL WITH IRAN. In fact, Sarah Palin speaking there, coupled with her misstatement on the potential for war with Russia could only serve to drive Iran and Russia in to closer alliance, should McCain become president.
Where? United Nations.
A rally that is "anti" any country seems antithetical to the idea of a "United Nations".
How? From a position of pandering.
The how poses a particularly serious problem for candidates attending the rally. Since the rally is sponsored by Jewish organizations you can be sure that the whole purpose of the speech would be to pander to the Jewish vote. The problem is that patronizing the Jewish people might win a candidate some votes, but does little to win their Israeli brethren peace and security. Barack Obama, himself discovered this the hard way when he spoke about Jerusalem remain as the undivided capital of Israel, a patronizing statement that he had to recant after push-back from Israeli and Muslim leaders.