The appeal of Sarah Palin as a GOP nominee is not just about domestic resentments. It is also about foreign policy revanchism. And it seems rash to me to dismiss the importance of this. There is something about an attractive woman wielding military force that reaches those parts of the psyche that no-drama Obama never will or can. Ask Thatcher or Meir (or Elizabeth I or Indira Gandhi).
It is therefore fitting that Palin's first major foreign trip will be to Israel and even more fitting that it was arranged by a Christian tour operator, and will, accroding to current reports, include meetings solely with Likudniks. Israel is the place where the neocon alliance with the evangelical right was always intended to have the biggest impact. Palin, like Huckabee, favors Greater Israel and the permanent annexation of the entire West Bank. This springs from theological convictions about the Jewish Biblical claim to land granted by God and also less conventional ideas about the in-gathering of Jews in Greater Israel as a harbinger of the End-Times (when all those Israelis will convert to Christianity or die). It is impossible to imagine any American pressure on Israel if Palin or Huckabee become president. The very idea of peace with Palestinians is abhorrent to evangelical principles within the ancient territory of Israel.
Among primary voters, those who care most about foreign policy favor Palin over the others, according to a recent poll. What she truly represents is a chance at a civilizational war against Islam. And unlike other more prudent types, she would not hesitate to unleash it.
(Painting: John Opie's Queen Boudica.)
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