Saturday, July 28, 2007

Barack Obama and Genocide

Americans say they want the truth from their candidates, but it's precisely the truth that they can't handle.

Because what they really want is platitudes and mythology. My fellow Americans cling to the past image of our once-great country: the non-aggressing leader and savior of the free world. We had a creditable claim to that mantle until Bush and Cheney cast it aside on March 20, 2003. Bush said he was going to spend his political capital but, by invading Iraq, he squandered our previously vast American moral and diplomatic resources.

The truth is that we live - still - in a world which has walls and limits: psychological, physical, economic, and geopolitical limits. When we squander our resources in the short term, the shadows of our limits lengthen for us in the long run.

I missed the Senator's statement on Friday, until this morning when I noticed it plastered all over the pro-war echelons of the Internet. I haven't found the unadulterated version of his statement, and believe me, there are plenty of adulterated and altered versions smeared against the walls of the blogosphere. But my reaction to what has been said against the Senator was so strong and overwhelming, I'll just have to go with what I have. In the standardized headline, the Senator says:
Don't stay in Iraq over genocide.

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.

We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done. Those of us who care about Darfur don’t think it would be a good idea.

There’s no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in Iraq without a continuing U.S. presence there.

It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for not only terrorist activity but also irresponsible behavior by Iraqi factions.

We have not lost a military battle in Iraq. So when people say if we leave, we will lose, they’re asking the wrong question. We cannot achieve a stable Iraq with a military. We could be fighting there for the next decade.
Now, as far as that goes, I'd have to say the Senator has nailed the truth upon an oak that will not fall. My only worry is that Obama's handlers will 'advise' him to back off, clarify or refine, this statement.

Speaking as a small-d democrat as well as an American capital-N Nationalist, I have always felt that nations rightfully go to war when they have to; when they are attacked, not when they feel, imagine, fantasize, or wish they might be attacked. Had not Bush and Cheney so wantonly, recklessly and thoroughly whacked off our wad in Iraq, then all of Obamas' critics' sensibilities about Darfur (and their other holocausts past and future), would not ring so hollow. But, thanks to those two fools, any possibilities of our contributing to the collective security of others is as about as plausible as drawing to an inside straight.

Iraq is broken. But we don't own it. Bush and Cheney, who lied and stampeded our wounded post-911 country into this invasion - they own it. The longer this occupation lasts, the more the damage Bush and Cheney have caused is compounded.