Barack Obama up until now has been a strange enigma in my mind. On the one hand, he is among the most left-wing senators in our country and I completely disagree with him on most of his policies. On the other hand, he seems to be a genuine and honest person. He does not seem to be overly tainted by Washington politics…yet. And he is generally likeable and charming. I have wondered if the race for President came down to Giuliani v. Obama, would I really consider voting for Obama? Me, a right-wing conservative? Well, up to last week, the answer was yes, I would consider it (though not likely).
Anyone who reads this site fairly regularly is aware that I believe that success in Iraq is essential to U.S. national security, U.S. long-term interests, and to the preservation and rebirth of America’s image world-wide. I have also argued that if the sole reason we stay in Iraq is for humanitarian reasons alone it would be worthwhile and justified. So, when I read the comments of Mr. Obama on Iraq last week, you could imagine my extreme disappointment. He essentially said that maintaining troops in Iraq for humantiarian problems and preventing Genocide in Iraq is not enough of a reason to keep our troops there.
Now before I get into his justifications for this remark and my interpretation of what he is saying, allow me to interject something about what the Left (of whom he is a significant part) is suppossed to be about. The left continually supports human rights and life, they are suppossed to be the U.S. humanitarians, they support Amnesty International, condemn U.S. actions across the world that are remotely deemed as insensitive and hurtful, and they are currently staging a large advertising campaign to raise awareness for the genocide in Darfur. Aside from Obama’s obvious lack of understanding about the realities of the War, this is what is most disappointing in him. He and candidates of his party should hold the line that they don’t agree with the war, they believe that political success is highly unlikely, but if only to save lives we should maintain a presence in Iraq. Very disappointing and really causes the left to lose even more credibility.
Now, back to Obama’s specific statement. Is he saying that the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people is not as important as the loss of another 1-2 thousand American lives? That is what it sounds like to me. Many of you may think that 1-2 thousand more American lives are not worth it, but personally I think that is sad. In a situation like this in Iraq that we essentially created, I personally would be willing to make such a sacrifice, and when I signed my name on the dotted line to join the Military, that is exactly what I said I was willing to do.
To emphasize his point Obama said the following:
“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.
“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,” he said.
What a completely stupid and asinine argument. It infuriates me that he could be this short-sighted and moronic. The problem with his argument is that we had nothing to do with the problems in the Congo and Sudan. We did not cause them. In Iraq, we are the reason the Iraqi’s are in the situation they are, for good or bad. Al Qaeda in Iraq is there because we ousted Saddam and they see an opportunity to take advantage of the situation in attempt to earn themselves another country from which to field their operations. We have an obligation to the Iraqi people to help them and protect them from people who commit atrocities like those AQI has committed. We have no such obligation for Sudan or Congo.
Further, regarding the deployment of US forces his argument is off on the wrong foot immediately. Our troops are already deployed there for a military engagement mission. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is in no way the basis for our deployment there, but it should be part of the mission now that we are there. He is right that we should not engage in war or deploy troops solely for such reasons, but that is hardly applicable to the situation in Iraq. Thus, he has a complete lack of understanding of what is happening there and what our mission is. Obama then added the following:
It is my assessment that those risks (of genocide) 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,” he said.
Wow, what can I say here? I am almost speechless. He is wrong, wrong, wrong. If we left too early AQI, Iran, and other groups would push into Iran harsher and faster to establish a new Taliban like state, to build a new Islamic Republic, or just to gain political power at the expense of anyone who stands in their way. These groups are not just there to attack Americans, they are smarter than that. When they see our weakness and wavering they push harder and are more ruthless, but the one thing remotely holding them back is the presence of American troops. For evidence of this read Michael Yon’s blog.
I am extremely disappointed in Barack. I recognize that he is a politician and is trying to earn votes, but this is unacceptable. Primarily because it is a poor and not-thought-out argument. It makes him look ill-suited to serve as commander-in-chief and leader of the free world.