Obama’s 180 on genocide

posted at 10:10 am on October 8, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Jeff Jacoby detected a mighty spin coming from Barack Obama’s attempt to define his doctrine on interventionism in last night’s debate.  In Nashville, Obama said that the American military must stand ready to stop genocide whenever and wherever it occurs.  However, Obama seemed to have little concern last year to the genocide that would have resulted from a precipitous pre-surge withdrawal from Iraq:

Though most of the debate dealt with domestic issues, it was a foreign-policy question that sent me flying to my files. Moderator Tom Brokaw asked the candidates what their “doctrine” would be “in situations where there’s a humanitarian crisis, but it does not affect our national security,” such as “the Congo, where 4.5 million people have died since 1998,” or Rwanda or Somalia.

In such cases, answered Obama, “we have moral issues at stake.” Of course the United States must act to stop genocide, he said. “When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening . . . and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.”

But that wasn’t how Obama sounded last year, when he was competing for the Democratic nomination and was unbending in his demand for an American retreat from Iraq. Back then, he dismissed fears that a US’t a good enough reason to keep US forces there,” the AP reported on July 20, 2007 (my italics). withdrawal would unleash a massive Iraqi bloodbath. “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 US forces there,” the AP reported on July 20, 2007 (my italics).

What kind of candidate is it whose moral response to genocide – genocide – can reverse itself 180 degrees in a matter of months? Is that the kind of candidate who ought to be the leader of the free world?

Obama’s answer also ignored the multiple genocides of the Saddam Hussein regime.  We knew well before our entry into Iraq that Saddam had conducted genocides against the Kurds.  He used the chemical weapons that people now claim he didn’t have at Halabja, for which he and his henchmen deservedly received the death penalty (although Saddam had already been executed by then).  He also conducted a genocidal campaign against the Marsh Arabs, draining their wetlands and leaving them to die for their opposition to his regime.  Saddam persecuted the Shi’ites after an uprising in 1991, one that continued in defiance of the no-fly zones — the same tactic Obama recommended as a stop against genocide in Sudan and elsewhere.

Now Obama says that American intervention in Iraq was the wrong move, but in an Obama Doctrine, that would have been an acceptable response.  Saddam was a genocidal tyrant, and no one else in the region was going to act to stop him.  The only difference here is the political juice Obama gets for opposing the Iraq war.

And, as Jacoby points out, Obama can’t even be consistent.  He decries genocide and pledges American intervention to stop it, but earlier said that potential genocide wouldn’t be enough reason to keep American troops in place.  Huh?  Either Obama is confused, or he only cares about genocides when it doesn’t involve Iraqis.


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You guys realize that Obama campaigned RECENTLY for Odinga who has committed genocide, which he promised to do (and Obama campaigned for him ANYWAY knowing this).

This should be the October Suprise, Obama may have stepped into it last night on this issue.

jp on October 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Let’s just say he likes some groups more than others.

With “others” being any group of people who would benefit from American military action when Republicans would get the credit.

Democrats all whined about Saddam Hussein, but when our President actually took some action, they immediately abandoned their position in a cynical attempt to undermine the US military and the Commander in Chief, for crass political gain.

That’s not really accurate. Technically, they waited to “abandoned their position” until such time had passed that their Ministry of Disinformation (aka, the MSM) wsa able to undermine the US publics’ support of the war. When the polling numbers hit 50/50, that’s when Dems suddenly discovered that they’d been “lied to” and “mislead” by the Bush administration.

You want to understand Obama’s “real” positions? It’s actually quite easy. All you have to do is look at the facts that the nutroots continue to support him. That tells you everything you need to know about the real Obama.

The nutroots HATES Christianity, yet Obama claims to be a deeply spiritual Christian. So why do they support him? Because they know that he’s lying in order to get elected. The nutroots hates FISA, yet Obama voted for it…after he promised he wouldn’t. So why do they support him? Because they know that he’ll dismantle it after he’s elected. The nutroots hates the PATRIOT Act, yet Obama voted for it…after he promised he wouldn’t. So why do they support him? Because they know that he’ll dismantle it after he’s elected. It’s simple really.

Abortion…Iraq…Iran…gun rights? When are we going to finally learn that – for Dems – lying doesn’t matter in the least? Winning elections is all that matters. Libertarian, conservative, whatever: for some reason, we all keep operating under the delusion that we live in an actual democracy…one where those who lie their way into office and enact bad policy are eventually punished at the ballot box by an informed electorate. Have you seen evidence of that over the past 60+ years, as Democrats hoist ruinous policy after ruinous policy onto the American public (Social Security, welfare, victimhood politics, rehabilitation over punishment, “feelings” based education, the CRA) with impunity?

The Obamanation’s flip-flops on these issues, as well as many others, don’t matter. Why? Because getting into office is all that matters. Once there, the Ministry of Disinformation will take over and provide cover for him, in exactly the same way they’ve done throughout this election. All of his centrist “stances” will disappear down the memory hole, never to be heard from again.

A functioning democracy is, necessarily, rooted in an informed electorate. Over the past 40+ years, the information streams that are supposed to produce an informed electorate – i.e. education, entertainment,and news media – have been completely co-opted by political partisans who share the same socialist political ideology. IOW, huge segments of America’s private and public cultural institutions – public schools, universities, Hollywood, news networks, newspapers – are actively involved in disseminating political propaganda in order to facilitate public acceptance of one – and only one – political ideology.

Historically speaking: what do we call a political system where public institutions and huge segments of the private sector are dedicated to promoting a single political ideology through disinformation, distortion, and outright lying?

Fascism.

rvastar on October 8, 2008 at 11:31 AM

It’s interesting that Mr “we havel moral obligations” felt obligated to wander down to Kenya — on our nickel — to campaign for a man who is responsible for the slaughter of plenty of black people.

I guess Cousin Odinga gets the blessed Osama Obama Free Pass.

MrScribbler on October 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM
You guys realize that Obama campaigned RECENTLY for Odinga who has committed genocide, which he promised to do (and Obama campaigned for him ANYWAY knowing this).

This should be the October Suprise, Obama may have stepped into it last night on this issue.

jp on October 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM

I’m not up very well on the activities with BHO in Africa. Can either of you post a link where it’s laid out?

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:31 AM

I can just see this crap going on for 4 years. Says one thing, does another and blames everyone else for the mess.

Tim Burton on October 8, 2008 at 11:34 AM

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.

Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis,” Obama said between stops on the first of two days scheduled on the New Hampshire campaign trail. “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,” he said.

Sounds like Ed is quoting an article out of context. If you actually read the article all Obama is saying is that the U.S. can’t act as the world police man and stop all the genocide and ills of the world. In the debate he never actually said that he would use troops to intervene, although it sounded like that was on the table. He just said we couldn’t stand by and idly do nothing.

Furthermore, from the article he was aware of increased risk of bloodshed if the US pulled out but he thought that there would be more bloodshed in the longterm if the US stayed in the region. He has been proven wrong with the success of the surge, but let’s face it- Iraq up to that point had been a giant mismanged fiscao. It wasn’t unreasonable for opponents of the war to be skeptical that Iraq was going to turn around if given more time.

Ric on October 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

I’m not up very well on the activities with BHO in Africa. Can either of you post a link where it’s laid out?

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:31 AM

well Corsi being detained in Keyna is an alarm bell. BUT

go to Youtube and type in their names. There is video of Obama in 2006 campaigning in Keyna for this Radical Socialist who signed a pact with Islamist(against an 80% Christian nation) and has committed Genocide recently there.

Google “Odinga and Genocide”, plenty out there. If accussed they’ll likely have the MSM nuance the argument a good bit.

Never the less, I’m not sure Americans would feel comfortable with a President who recently was in Africa campaigning for such a Radical and Thug

jp on October 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Let’s not carried away with watering down words such as genocide.

Seixon on October 8, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Dude, what about this, this, and even Friggin WIKIPEDIA? Where’s the watering down? Like I said it takes willful ignorance.

Or a medical problem related to memory recall.

Marine_Bio on October 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM

That’s not really accurate. Technically, they waited to “abandoned their position” until such time had passed that their Ministry of Disinformation (aka, the MSM) wsa able to undermine the US publics’ support of the war. When the polling numbers hit 50/50, that’s when Dems suddenly discovered that they’d been “lied to” and “mislead” by the Bush administration.

A lot of what you say is true. But I know there was a lot of self-fulfilling prophesy going on too. I’ve commented before that the comments made by the liberals affected the actual war itself. The insurgents and AQI knew after the Democratic debates for 04s election that we were split politically. When Denny K stood on a stage and said Pres. Bush cooked up the entire war in Iraq in Texas and for oil, (ignoring statements made by almost every Democratic heavy hitter that they too thought he had WMDs) he, and subsequently every other Democrat primary candidate except Joe Lieberman, told a near defeated enemy to fight on. If you can’t mount an offensive, no worries, just stay in the news. Kill a couple American soldiers every day on MSR Tampa and we’ll print that over any other good news story that comes out of that country.

Liberal democrats have blood on their hands as much as the men who pulled the triggers on us.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM

jp on October 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Great. Thanks

I thought I was able to stay informed in spite of the media but I guess a lot still get past that they will not report on. Goes back to my previous post.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Marine_Bio on October 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Exactly Marine and to my point above. Who even remembers the mass graves we found? I’ve flown over most of them. They’re massive. I guess the question of how many thousands of murdered people it takes to qualify as genocide is also above his pay grade to decide.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Obama will use the military to prevent genocide, but as soon as it is prevented they will have to leave. Just like the cops will use their psychic powers to thwart burglaries by arresting the perp sneaking up to your back door, taking him down to the station for a stern lecture, and then letting him go. This is called a “wild goose chase”.

Bush’s strategy was to execute the criminal and when a bunch of other criminals came to try to kill the cops, kill them too. This is called “defeating your enemies.”

drunyan8315 on October 8, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Obama’s position on Iraq is indefensible, however McCain lacks the debating skills to make this point and the MSM is covering for Obama.

Basilsbest on October 8, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Time to attack him on his political support for Odinga and how Odinga used violence to kill people after losing a legitimate election.

This will really help to convince indies of O’s marxism.

Sapwolf on October 8, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Find a victim of Odinga’s violence, get them interviewed, put it in a new TV add and watch the MSM scream bloody murder and draw tons of attention to the issue.

Sapwolf on October 8, 2008 at 12:18 PM

I was yelling at my TV for McCain to say, THERE WAS GENOCIDE IN IRAQ. Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people.

And, as usual, McCain fell flat. It was a horrible performance on his behalf last night. I just sat there going, this election is over. We’re toast.

The 4 most incompetent, ultra-liberal boobs in the country, will be running it…Obama, Biden, Pelosi & Reid.

bigred on October 8, 2008 at 12:26 PM

I was screaming at my TV last night when Obama pulled this BS. In one breath he condemns Iraq and unnecessary despite the genocide and brutal dictatorship of Saddam for decades, the clear threat to US interests and national security, Saddam’s total decade long disregard of post-Gulf War treaties and the fact that there were active terrorist cells in Iraq; then in his next breath says that we need to be more aggressive against dictatorships and genocide in situations that have nothing to do with our interests nor present a direct threat to our national security.

I have been debating this point with anti-Iraq liberal retards for years. The second anyone in the world fires a gun, they criticize everyone in the US for not putting a stop to it, then say that Saddam was simply misunderstood and we we invaded a sovereign nation that was no threat to us or anyone else.

That said, there is no time for McCain to deal with this stupid “we invaded Iraq” issue and it’s a loser thanks to the MSM no matter what. He’s done well to refocus it to his “we are there now, it was bungled, I fixed it and now we’re achieving our goals” answer.

Damiano on October 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Dear Ed: Will the Odinga connection be next, as in a time that he actually SUPPORTED a genocidal maniac, and that was last year.
This bears repeating:
“You guys realize that Obama campaigned RECENTLY for Odinga who has committed genocide, which he promised to do (and Obama campaigned for him ANYWAY knowing this).
This should be the October Suprise, Obama may have stepped into it last night on this issue.”
jp on October 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Christine on October 8, 2008 at 12:43 PM

That said, there is no time for McCain to deal with this stupid “we invaded Iraq” issue and it’s a loser thanks to the MSM no matter what. He’s done well to refocus it to his “we are there now, it was bungled, I fixed it and now we’re achieving our goals” answer.

Damiano on October 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM

+1

funky chicken on October 8, 2008 at 12:43 PM

And where oh where is the ad from the McCain camp on this? Hello you big idiots! THIS PROVES HE IS GREEN BEHIND THE EARS AND LIES! Couple this along with his response about our military in Afghanistan and you have one giant load of dynamite to blast away THE ONE.

How could Obama answer this question when he held NO subcommittee meetings on Afghanistan. NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA! If he cannot go to Afghanistan, take the time to meet with commanders in Afghanistan BEFORE running for POTUS and has not lifted one finger to visit with our soldiers in hospitals here at home and abroad, then how does he have the capacity to answer this question? There was also genocide in Afghanistan via the Taliban.

Ultimately Obama is going against the people of Iraq. More of them prefer life without Saddam and without Al Qaeda. Kind of similar to how he is against the people of America. We prefer not to have Marxist running our lives. It seems to me that at every turn Obama is against freedom loving people in general all over the world. You know how I know this- just look at what happened in Kenya after he visited Raila Odinga. Speaking of genocide!

freeus on October 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Obama’s 180′s have made Looney Tunes Taz dizzy. I’m sick of the word “nuanced” all it really means is F’n lying SoS. All hail…..

Lets try the Mocha

dmann on October 8, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Boy the posters here obviously don’t understand change. Obama is the epitome of change. Therefore you are racists if you don’t like the fact that Obama changes his positions more often than a chameleon.

eaglewingz08 on October 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Ed you have to learn to parse his statements better. Obama was addressing “…when genocide is happening…”. You see the genocide that occurred in Iraq happened before we invaded and the genocide that may occur if we leave precipitously would be potential genocide (or preemptive if you will – we don’t do that sort of thing anymore under an Obama administration). Obama would feel comfortable intervening if genocide was ongoing – after maybe a million or so are dead.

That’s a bit glib, but I think it’s a perfectly logical defense. Clearly, preventing otherwise inevitable murders is more important than either preventing the possibility of murder or punishing tyrants who’ve murdered in the past. Obama’s view might be distasteful to those of us who think that giving Iraq to our most vicious enemies, Al-Qaeda and Iran, would be the ultimate defeat. However, it is not logically inconsistent.

calbear on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Thirty-five years ago, Obama’s running mate voted to withdraw all assistance and funding from our friends in Vietnam and sat back and watched the ensuing bloodbath.

750,000 Vietnamese. 2-3 MILLION Cambodians.

Biden and the other Democrats watched the bloodbath and patted themselves on the back for causing it.

29Victor on October 8, 2008 at 1:46 PM

I’m not up very well on the activities with BHO in Africa. Can either of you post a link where it’s laid out?

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 11:31 AM

There are some very good vids on YouTube about it; you could just search over there for Odinga and Obama. I think you’ll be shocked.

Republicans have to drop this shoe pretty soon, once the Ayers stuff sinks in.

capitalist piglet on October 8, 2008 at 2:14 PM

He just said we couldn’t stand by and idly do nothing.

Ric on October 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Yeah, we know what he would do — he’d talk them to death. Or maybe hold a big rally somewhere.

O! is willing to pull the genocide card when it benefits him politically (such as the Armenian genocide resolution), even if it puts our troops at risk (yeah, let’s piss off Turkey right now, that won’t affect anything). Maybe if he spent more time meeting with troops and their commanders, and less time seeking the adulation of Germans, he’d be able to articulate a consistent national security and foreign policy position that promotes freedom and secures our nation.

Y-not on October 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

capitalist piglet on October 8, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Okay, I watched as many as I could. How could I miss this? If you don’t believe the media has sold it’s soul to the devil after this massive coverup for all this man is involved with, then nothing would convince you. WOW CP thanks for the heads up.

hawkdriver on October 8, 2008 at 7:45 PM

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