Another botched foray into international affairs sees Sarah Palin mistakes North Korea as America's ally. A little 'refudiation' is required just days after Barbara Bush suggested it would be best for the beautiful Sarah to stay in Alaska.

Barbara Bush – W’s ‘mommy’ has never been hailed for her tact and wow did that tell-it-how-it-is trait ring true this week, particularly when it came to Sarah Palin and her latest unsolicited foray into foreign affairs.

It goes like this. When Larry King asked the Bush matriarch what she thought of Sarah Palin, she replied that she once sat next to her and thought she was beautiful… seemed to be very happy in Alaska, and it is to be hoped she stays there. Yeeeooow.

South Korea will endorse the oh-so-wise Mrs Bush, as Palin has now shown she doesn’t even know the difference between the ROK and the DPRK. That’s all very fine if you are Snookie from the TV reality farce that is Jersey Shore. It is not OK if you are a serious (word used advisedly) contender for President of the US – who, come to think of it, also just so happens to have a TV reality show.

But back to real reality. Palin phoned her Fox News colleague Glenn Beck during his radio show to offer her doubts about whether the Obama White House had the guts to take charge of the recent outbreak of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.

She conceded America had to “stand with our North Korean allies”. Interesting. Obviously she knows there is a North and a South Korea, so that’s good. It may however prove a little more difficult for Caribou Barbie to ‘refudiate’ any analysis that she didn’t know which side the US was on in the Korean War. This is the woman who thought Africa was a country, and drove McCain advisers to distraction as they tried to teach her some basic history and geography. They failed.

Beck – when he is not crying, blubbering, pointing to charts revealing his alternative world of ‘facts’ or encouraging pensioners invest in gold coins sold by a company that happens to sponsor him – can be awfully helpful to the likes of Palin. He quickly interrupted to correct her North-South dyslexia. The strange thing is she didn’t seem to get the gravity of the mistake/slip – call it what you will, as it will be quickly blamed on a conspiracy involving what she calls the ‘lame-stream media’.

A conglomeration that obviously excludes Beck & Co. so is not necessarily a slur.

Anyway while Palin replied to her gracious host’s corrections with an “Er yes” and on she went, it is clearly not the White House and its commitment to its ally South Korea that is the worry.

Perhaps to take the heat off herself, Palin can continue her weekly exploitation of her own children with the strangely named Sarah Palin’s Alaskatelevision reality presidential campaign. This week’s episode included various encouragements for Bristol to either club the hell out of a madly flapping freshly landed fish which needed to be quickly stunned to preserve the quality of its flesh; to never give up trying to shoot a clay pigeon – just reload; or, not to worry about her highly publicized and extremely unstable baby-producing pre-marital sexual liaison because, as Mumma Grizzly knows, there are “plenty more fish in the sea”. Presidential wisdom so inspiringly crafted by television script writers.

And while Palin goes about her deeply shallow political striptease, the country’s actual allies on the Korean peninsula wonder what to do about the particularly unstable and trigger happy Kim Jong-il. 

He truly is the Levi Johnston of politics at the moment.

What is he playing at?

Perhaps, as Palin shows off Alaskato her brood which she drags around the State on a luxury bus, Kim too is showing off to his heir Kim Jong-un.

If power is to pass from the frail father to the neophyte, then there’d better be some power to plop in the poison chalice.

Baby Kim has just been made a four star general – the nice thing about dynasties is never having to bother with the first three stars – but he needs some sort of kerfuffle to establish his military credentials. Nothing like a little surprise attack on Yeonpyeong island which Pyongyang has never conceded belonged to the South anyway.

It gets world attention straight away and angers patron China, but not in a way (so far) that has led to China openly chastising Kim and Son. After all China would rather put up with some antics from North Korea than see it collapse and produce a flood of refugees over the border and an economic disaster which China would be expected to pick up most of the tab for.

Or perhaps Pappa Kim is feeling left out and unloved now that he has no more official nuclear talks going on at the moment. He does have a habit of creating a little havoc and then trying to appear reasonable in suggesting everyone just calm down and get on with sorting out what he wants in exchange for non-proliferation co-operation.

While it wasn’t initially intended to find similarities between Palin and the Kims, they’ve just sort of crept in and become difficult to avoid.

Like Kim senior, the half-term Governor of Alaska has been very busy getting attention through book tours, telly shows and lobbing missiles into the Republican Party “blue bloods” as she calls them. They are trying to sideline her apparently as they work to avoid an internal war with Tea Partiers. Kim knows only too well how lonely it can be outside the nuclear club.

And then there’s the issue of inexperience and the audacity to believe it is somehow a leadership virtue.

On the one-hand there’s an unknown about to take over a nuclear nation, and on the other a failed vice-presidential candidate for a nuclear nation who couldn’t even stick out one term as governor in an albeit stunning but nevertheless extremely isolated state.

While we know she can see Russiafrom her house, Sarah Palin should not have been asked Katie Couric trick questions such as “what do you read?” She should have been asked which side Russiawas on in the Cold War. It is now plausible Palin would have answered “ya gotta watch those Ruskies ‘cause they were against America’s ally North Korea”.

No wonder she keeps watch on them.

Seriously, America (and South Korea) should hope Mamma Bush gets her wish and a certain person remains huntin’ shootin’ an’ fishin’ in her much loved state of Alaska. The ‘lamestream’ media will understandably be hoping Mamma Grizzly takes her own advice and rather than giving up, reloads.

Comments (2)

by stuart munro on November 26, 2010
stuart munro

Perhaps we should not be completely surprised by a deterioration in North South Korean relations, given the announcement last week that the sunshine policy was officially over, it having unofficially ended with the election of the current president.

The shelling of Yeonpyeong was a relatively modest affair by the standards of North/South Korean skirmishes, but more consistent with the poplar tree incident and the prevailing relations in the 1970s than of recent affairs. The barrage began with about 15 shells, then a 40 minute lull, then it resumed with up to 200 -half off which were into the sea. The pause may have been to minimise casualties, the bombardment being an act to consolidate Kim Jong Eun's credibility as a successor,not so much for foreign consumption.

I'm not sure that China is embarrassed by North Korea, like Myanmar and a number of other states it allows China a degree of distance from possible territorial issues with other states.

by Graeme Edgeler on November 26, 2010
Graeme Edgeler

I fail to see a big deal. People make slips of the tongue all the time. Presidents and Prime Ministers are among them. And it is absolutely clear what she was saying:

Interviewer: How would you handle a situation like the one that just developed in North Korea?

Palin: Well, North Korea, this is stemming from a greater problem, when we're all sitting around asking, 'Oh no, what are we going to do,' and we're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is going to do. So this speaks to a bigger picture that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policy. But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies – we're bound to by treaty....

Interviewer: South Korean.

Palin: Yes, and we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes.

This is on the level of Barack Obama's 57-state US. Or John Key's "President Clinton". There are reasons to oppose the potential candidacy of Sarah Palin. This is not one of them.

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