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.  “Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of  U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now—where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife—which we haven’t done,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

It takes a true coward to not understand the damage done by craven surrender.   Mr. Obama, the concern here is that if we don’t finish what we started in Iraq (i.e. helping Iraqis to secure a functioning non-jihadist democracy), the horrors following our surrenders in Cambodia and Vietnam will almost surely be repeated.  In those countries, millions–millions—of people were slaughtered as soon as we tucked tail and ran (in Cambodia, a third of the population was massacred).   Their blood is on our hands, because of our failure to honor the voluntary commitment we made to them. 

Whatever anyone thinks of the original strategic decision to invade Iraq, it is (or should be, dammit) obvious that we owe them what we promised them.  We owe them MORE than we ever  would otherwise.  All of the brave Iraqis who have stepped up and helped us; who have taken positions in the new government even though it makes them targets  24-7; the magnificent Kurds—how long do you think they’ll survive if we bail out and run like worthless cowards? 

It’s not a difficult concept, but the vapid Obama seems incapable of grasping it nonetheless.  A simple analogy:  suppose that somewhere in the city where I live, a stranger is losing his home to foreclosure and is beset by creditors on all sides.  I owe that person no duty.  But imagine if I’d convinced that person to take out a mortgage on his house (the one he now owes) and promised to give him the money to pay it, after successfully persuading him that I was his faithful friend.  In that case, I am directly responsible for his suffering because I created the situation he is now in.  I owe it to him to fulfill my promises and not let him be destroyed: if I do not live up to that responsibility, I am a lying coward.

I too loathe the idea of sending American troops (that great mass of people includes my baby brother) to right every wrong around the globe.  But when we undertake a task like the one we’ve undertaken in Iraq, for whatever reason, we must finish it.


~ by lewdandlascivious on July 20, 2007.

11 Responses to “Ugh.”

  1. Hmmm. Your perspective expressed here certainly can’t be defined as “conservative”, can it? In fact, this entry sounds downright Wilsonian. At what point should the military intervene in an humanitarian crisis? By what criteria are you making these decisions?

  2. I don’t think you’re gettin me—at no time did I say that the military should intervene in a humanitarian crisis. My point is that we have a duty not to CREATE a nationwide slaughter by withdrawing our forces before Iraq is stabilized.

    I’m saying that when we decide to do a full-scale military intervention for the purposes of nation-building, we need to finish the job. That goes beyond partisan divisions. It’s about honoring our promises–honoring commitments that we have voluntarily taken on.
    I am conservative in that I do not believe such massive interventions should be undertaken unless our national interests are at stake—which should be rare. I happen to agree with the Iraq invasion, but I am rarely in favor of such interventions.
    I believe that a strictly humanitarian crisis is not appropriate for the U.S. military to handle: isn’t that the entire purpose of the UN? Humanitarian crises are for humanitarian bodies to deal with.

    All I’m saying is, once we decide to go in there, it’s unacceptable to bail out and leave millions of people to die.
    It’s about finishing what you start. What happened in Vietnam and Cambodia after we left was a bloodbath, and a direct and foreseeable result of our surrender. We should learn from history and not repeat the mistake.

  3. 5 minutes on google:

    Obama: “Next, the United States should support the immediate deployment of an effective international force to disarm militia, protect civilians and facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance in Darfur. Thus far, the African Union has offered 3,000 troops and the United Kingdom has indicated that they would offer some troops. However, international pressure is required for the Sudan regime to accept an international peacekeeping force. The U.S. must ensure humanitarian intervention with or without Sudanese government permission. And, we should urge European governments who are not willing to send troops to Iraq to take on this mission.”

  4. If someone enters your house, starts destroying all your possessions, and then wants to help clean up, does that person have a right to stay and help if you tell him to get the hell out?

    That’s what your position on Iraq amounts to. Both Sunnis and Shi’ites overwhelmingly want us to leave Iraq. Do we have the right to force our assistance on them?

  5. You also base your position on the belief that we can help the Iraqis. Considering our inability to decrease violence at all–even in the midst of a troop escalation–I’m not sure where you draw such optimism from.

  6. violence is decreasing moron:

    this is one of many examples. If you don’t at least address this is your argument that we should leave you’re just showing that you’re uninformed.

  7. For my part I dropped the “conservative” and “liberal” labels and began embracing Wilsonianism full-throttle long ago. That we ought to (or can arguably even afford to!) ignore the events that go on outside our own little tent in an ever-shrinking world when we have the power to make a difference is the antithesis of all my politics.

    I rather liked seeing us proactive in the Balkans. I rather hated seeing us AWOL in Rwanda. I desperately want to see us more proactive in Darfur. And I *sure as hell* want to see us stay the course in Iraq.

    Ignoring for the moment what I found disingenuous about Eric’s analogy (The Iraqi population at large never really owned their house; the Ba’athists did. Of course they want that house back. Of course they want us out of it eventually, but they aren’t asking us to leave yet, are they? They ain’t stupid) there is truth in the matter that the House of Iraq is in disorder indeed, and that we bear part of the responsibility for mending it. We’ve made numerous commitments and sacrifices with regards to that country which cannot be said of anywhere else.

  8. I think that the Queen of Sword’s point is much akin to pregnancy. We are under no obligation to have as many babies as possible; but, once pregnant, you don’t get to bail on the situation by having an abortion.

    Likewise, we are in Iraq and it’s our job to continue to stabilise the country. Now, if I’m not mistaken, the rape rooms have been decommissioned, Saddam is dead, there are actual elections with voter turnout that beats US voter turnout (despite the fact that these voters have crazy nutjobs willing to kill them), and no one is making mass graves for 10-year-olds.

    Just checkin’.

  9. um, the hydralisk’s interpretation of eric’s analogy is incoherent. whether or not the Iraqis truly owned their “house” prior to the invasion, they still overwhelmingly want the US to leave iraq. it isn’t that they want us out “eventually.” all polls show that they want us to begin withdrawl NOW. So apparently they truly are “that stupid.”

    But what more could one expect from a bunch of murderous Arabs?

  10. Your faith in polls is touching. AActually, the Iraqi government in the past year has NOT wanted us to leave just yet, although there is continuing talk of withdrawal plans, and keying strategies to that goal (like the so-far successful “surge”). Governments deal with governments, not pollsters. If polls governed our country, the entire Congress would be out on its ass right now. Which sounds good at first, until you realize that would leave us without a functioning government.
    When the Iraqi government pushes us to leave–likely through withdrawal legislation agreed upon by its new parliament–I feel quite sure that we will.
    But in the absence of such an order, we need to finish what we started. At this point, that means helping the Iraqis stabilize problem areas and help them take over more and more of those security operations, to the greatest extent possible. That’s what we’re doing, and that’s what the people charged with governing Iraq want (for now).

  11. John, I’m curious as to what your ideas are for dealing with global terrorism, whether located in distinct states (Iran) or flung out in cells across the globe. Constructive ideas are required of anyone who wants to write in here and get all pissy.
    No one’s interested in snide little drive-bys, although they are amusing.

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