Obama on Genocide

Although I wouldn’t count myself among those who are Obama supporters for President right now, I do like him. However, this week, I liked him just a little bit less. It had nothing to do with his comments about talking with Chavez, Castro, or anyone else, which is what the Clinton campaign assailed him for this week. No, the comments that have me disappointed are the ones he made, that he have been fairly overlooked about the U.S.’s obligation in the face of a genocide, particularly if one were to erupt in Iraq. The conservative columnist, Jonah Goldberg, wrote a column about it in the SL Tribune that you can find here. There is a discussion page where you can find two thoughts that I posted on it here. My opinion might not amount to much, but my biggest concern is that the postion advocated by Obama seems to be just as selfish as the views of those that got us into this nightmarish war. I was against the war from the beginning, but considering that we are responsible for creating the conditions in Iraq that could erupt into a full out genocidal conflict if we were to precipitously withdraw from Iraq, I think we bear in the responsibility for that. It wasn’t a war of my choosing, but how can we with a straight face withdraw and leave those people to their own devices when WE were the once who took away their stability in the first place? Doesn’t it make us just as terrible as Portugal or Belgium who did the same thing to their colonies in Africa?

I am not naive enough to believe that we are saviors to the world, spreading truth and democracy. And I don’t think my view is paternalistic, but I just think we have some responsibility in doing something to ensure that potentially millions of people don’t lose their lives just because we wanted to go home now. I hate the foreign policy approach that got us into the war, but I also recall how much I hated Clinton I’s policy approach in Rwanda as well. And we didn’t even create the conditions that caused the genocide there (France and Belgium are more responsible for that), but since the genocide, countless commentators and experts have shown that not only that our leaders knew what was going on, but that we could have done something to stop it as well. Even a minimal intervention could have saved lives. The whole Clinton doctrine of “National Interest” that he put forward after Somalia led to some of the greatest atrocities not only of that decade but of the entire 20th century being perpetrated right under our nose but without any notice by our country.

Like I said, I realize that my opinion doesn’t matter much to most, and is completely out of sync with 99% of everyone else who thinks we need to either “stay the course” or “get the hell out”, but I just can’t stand the thought of people dying because of something that we caused and got too tired of dealing with. It isn’t easy to resolve. The Bush administration ensured that when they screwed up so royally and had us get involved in this stupid war in the first place, but we have to deal with the facts as they are now. I wish I could go back and change President Bush’s decision to go to war, but I can’t. But should we withdraw and a genocide erupt, Mr. Obama, do you think that America is innocent of that blood?

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