PALIN: We can't have an artificial time schedule, though. We cannot. We have to leave when the conditions on the ground mandate finally then the opportunity to leave and our commanders will tell us when we're ready to do that.
GIBSON: Why did you say this, though? "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
PALIN: It was an honest answer for the question that day by a reporter asking me about Alaska "Business Monthly" issues, was my focus being on energy independence and security, those things that Alaska could supply to help make this country better and safer.
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said -- first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side. That's what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It's an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.
Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."
PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That, in my world view, is a grand -- the grand plan.
GIBSON: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?
PALIN: I don't know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a real easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer.
What my son and every other American man and woman serving in uniform today has decided to do voluntarily is to serve something greater than self, to do all that they can in where they are in life today to protect America. And I ask, Charlie, am I doing the same? Are you -- are all Americans, are all elected officials doing the same? Are we on par with what these young men and women are ready to do for us to protect our country?
GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?