Obama: International community should not avoid action during genocide

On the campaign trail in 2007, Senator Obama was having a tough time using the prevention of a genocide in Iraq as a good reason to keep our troops in Iraq. President Obama yesterday insisted the international community should not shy away from acting when a genocide is occurring.

Can someone please ask the president what he means?

I understand that people don’t get the reason why we needed to act – with military intervention – in Iraq while the United States did not act – with military intervention – in places like Darfur. Quite honestly, the United States must first be concerned with the health and security of the United States, and the Middle East takes precedence when it comes to our safety and economy.

That’s a tough pill to swallow when a genocide is happening in Darfur, but what has/is the “international community” done for Darfur? Not much I presume.

Hat tip to Jim Hoft, a.k.a the Gateway Pundit.

Here is the story in the USA Today article from 2007.

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.

“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.

And now from an AP story yesterday, where there was an interesting line dropped in the middle of the story, which I have emphasized.

“Threatening Israel with destruction or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews is deeply wrong and only serves to evoke in the minds of the Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve,” Obama added.

It was a pointed message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has expressed doubts that 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis and who has urged that Israel be wiped from the map.

“He should make his own visit” to Buchenwald, Obama told NBC in an interview Friday. He added: “I have no patience for people who would deny history.”

Earlier, the president told reporters: “The international community has an obligation, even when it’s inconvenient, to act when genocide is occurring.”

Obama is the first U.S. president to visit Buchenwald, and the stop was personal. A great-uncle helped liberate a nearby satellite camp, Ohrdruf, in early April 1945 just days before other U.S. Army units overran Buchenwald.

Ohrdruf no longer stands. But Buchenwald’s main gate, crematorium, hospital and two guard towers have been kept as a memorial.

What is the president’s definition of action?

Is it strong diplomatic efforts followed by strong military action if diplomacy does not work? Or is it strong diplomatic efforts followed by strongly worded United Nations letters followed by more diplomatic efforts, more letters and the threat of military action.

I’m not implying that President Obama has taken the military option off the table, I’m suggesting that terrorists and our enemies – and yes they are out there – are betting that Obama will not go the military route at all.

It may be a pretty good bet.