Check out this lede from Philip Elliott, AP writer, in his article titled, “Obama: Don’t stay in Iraq over genocide”.
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.
Obama goes on to say that he believes that there will be bloodshed after we leave Iraq, and yet he thinks that the risk is greater if we stay than if we continue to “occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for terrorist activity”. Well, at least Obama has acknowledged the possibility that there wouldn’t be a painless exit from Iraq. That’s a possibility not many Democrats are willing to even consider.
Barack Obama seems to believe that the answer to Iraq is international forces and more diplomacy. He sees the situation in Iraq as hopeless and chaotic enough that our troops should leave. He appears to suggest that it is time to let the Iraqis deal with the consequences of not meeting their political objectives. Many Democrats agree with Obama on this, but some are more committed to troop withdrawal than others. It’s a sympathetic position to take, even for a few stray Republicans who are deserting the President on this war.
If that’s his position, then how can he then support US military intervention in Darfur? What makes the Iraqis less worthy of being saved from genocide than the Sudanese?
Here’s part of Obama’s statement (with Sam Brownback) on Darfur (bold emphasis mine):
It is essential that the Bush administration shift its approach to confront the new and mounting challenges. Only the United States, working in concert with key nations, has the leverage and resources to persuade Khartoum to change its ways:
First, the administration must help transform the African Union protection force into a sizable, effective multinational force.
In the near term, Washington must pressure Khartoum to allow more advisers from Western nations to embed within the African Union’s mission so they support intelligence, logistics and communications. It must work with other nations to provide military assets to African Union forces, such as attack helicopters and armored personnel carriers, so they can respond immediately to attacks. And it must urge the African Union to be more aggressive in protecting civilians. More important, Washington must immediately spearhead efforts to create a larger multinational force. The African Union has begun discussions with the United Nations about folding itself into a follow-on U.N. mission, but because of the West’s reluctance to offend African sensibilities, all parties seem resigned to muddling along. It has become clear that a U.N.- or NATO-led force is required, and the administration must use diplomacy to override Chinese and Sudanese opposition to such a force and persuade outside troops to join it.
There’s the typical Democrat boilerplate strategy here, involving other nations, etc. Obama and Brownback not only want a diplomatic intervention by the UN and NATO, but they also want a military intervention that includes the United States military. If Obama thinks that preventing genocide in Darfur is important enough to involve the US military, then it should be just as important to prevent possible genocide in Iraq by the same means.
I’m sure some Obama supporter will be able to explain why Darfur is a more fixable problem than Iraq, and why it’s ok to use the US military in Darfur but not in Iraq. As for me, I really don’t understand this logic.