Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says that, although she supports U.S. efforts to topple Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi and backs helping the rebels, President Barack Obama’s mixed messages on Libya are confusing, we need to win and get out, and “no nation building.” Palin, who just returned from a trip to Israel, also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren the Obama administration must show stronger support for the Jewish state.
“I think there’s a lot of confusion as it pertains to our foreign policy in Libya right now, and that’s frustrating for Americans — certainly a frustrating thing for our troops. Our troops deserve better,” Palin said. “We’ve received different messages from our president, and from his advisers, as to what it is we are doing there and what the mission is. And I think Americans are ready to hear, really — what’s the mission.
“I would like to see, of course, as long as we’re in it — we better be in it to win it; and if there’s doubt, we get out,” she said. “Win it means Gadhafi goes, and America gets to get on out of there, and let the people of Libya create their own government, choose their own leader — and no nation building.”
Van Susteren asked whether the United States would have failed in its Libya mission if command is turned over to NATO or another country.
“America will have failed — it will be failure because people across the world look to America to lead on an international affair like this,” said Palin, who is considering a 2012 presidential run. “So it’s odd to know now that we’re going to be engaged in, essentially, a war by committee. I don’t think that this has ever been a part of foreign policy, a military mission, in the U.S. before.”
With the U.S. economy in trouble, Van Susteren wondered whether the cost of the Libyan intervention should be a consideration. Palin said, since the United States is still in costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, America has “to choose our wars, choose our battles wisely.”
“Why not Darfur? Why not North Korea? Why not Iran? When we see other human rights violations, why is that it America doesn’t get in there and intervene and try to clean things up?” Palin said. “One, because we can’t afford it; and two, because it's not America’s role to be out and about, nation building and telling other countries how to live. That’s why we have to be so careful in choosing our wars.”
Palin said she supported the original plan for a Libyan no-fly zone and helping the rebels trying to oust Gadhafi.
“I sure did because the rebels — those who claim to be freedom fighters — are saying after 41 years, finally, Gadhafi has got to go,” Palin said. “America having an opportunity to participate with partners and allies in a no-fly zone, yes, that and economic sanctions, other things that we can do to help, in order to allow people who have that taste of freedom and want opportunity to build a better life for themselves and a freer country.”
“I think Obama . . . finds himself in a pickle here because it's not a popular thing, what he has done, when there isn't clarity in the mission,” Palin continued. “So the left, anti-war crowd is very angry at him for striking — and the right is mad at him because he has not fully informed the American public, as is his duty, his responsibility to do so.”
On the U.S.-Israel relationship, Palin said the White House needs to show more of a commitment to helping the Jewish state.
“I think that there are many in Israel who would feel even more comfortable knowing that there is an even greater commitment from those who presently occupy the White House — that they are there on Israel’s side — and our most valuable ally in that region can count on us,” Palin said. “We need to be even stronger in our commitment to help secure Israel and to help in this peace process.
“Why is it that in the past, too often, the U.S. government has told Israel that they’re the ones, the Jewish community, that they need to back up, they need to back off or there will never be peace?” Palin said “They need to keep conceding? Why aren’t we putting our foot down with the other side and telling the Palestinians: ‘If you're serious about peace, quit the shellacking and the shelling, quit the bombing of innocent Israelis.’”
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