Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Palin Slams Obama! On “Foreign Soil”!

One of the most idiotic of all the right wing demagogic memes is the one about it being some evil thing to criticize the United States “on foreign soil.” We heard it about Bill Clinton protesting the Vietnam War while at Oxford, as though it was okay to criticize the war in the US but you can’t say that once you cross a border. We also heard it with the Dixie Chicks when they criticized Bush during a concert overseas.

In the 1992 campaign, George Bush raised the criticism of Clinton for “demonstrations he led against his country from a foreign soil.” In a speech to Republican contributors, Bush said:

“I can’t understand someone mobilizing demonstrations in a foreign country when poor kids drafted out of the ghetto are dying in a faraway land,” he said in the speech, which was broadcast by satellite to Republican donors around the country. “You can call me old-fashioned, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Bush said he had no objection to protests mounted on American soil. But he seemed to invoke the old dictum that “politics stop at the water’s edge.”

He wasn’t alone. Tom DeLay also ripped into Clinton:

”Here’s a flower child with gray hairs doing exactly what he did back in the 60’s: he’s apologizing for the actions of the United States. Wherever he went. It just offends me that the President of the United States is, directly or indirectly, attacking his own country in a foreign land. It just amazes me.”

This was for Clinton apologizing for America’s role in slavery while in Africa. Apparently it’s not okay to even mention that America might have done something less than perfect when one is “on foreign soil.”

All the more ironic, then, that Sarah Palin goes to Hong Kong and blasts the Obama administration. Which I’m personally fine with. I couldn’t care less who criticizes whom and on what “soil” they do it. I only care whether the criticism is accurate or not. But where’s the outrage from the right? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, that’s what I thought.