I think it’s no secret that I am no supporter of Barack Obama. But I like to think of myself as somewhat fair-minded, and while I have no problems with pointing out his (to me) obvious weaknesses and flaws and errors, I also feel obligated to smack down those who launch spurious attacks on him.
This is partly strategic; if we Obama critics don’t “police” ourselves and at least occasionally go after our own side, we run the risk of getting lumped in with the nuts and the loonies and the dips who throw everything including the kitchen sink at him — and end up discredited along with them.
That’s why I’ve made a point of avoiding the “Obama is the anti-Christ/ Obama is a secret Muslim/ Obama was not born in the US / Michelle Obama was taped saying ‘blame whitey” crap, and occasionally going after those who do.
Well, over at Red State, a fellow named Erick Erickson didn’t care for what Obama had to say about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, saying that sometimes the United States should sometimes base the decision on military intervention on moral issues — and Obama cited the Holocaust as on example.
Barack Obama suggests we need to consider moral issues in intervening with combat forces. He mentions intervening in the Holocaust and how we should have done that.
Um Senator, we did intervene in the Holocaust. It was called World War II.
I guess you hadn’t heard of that, kind of like you hadn’t heard of Bill Ayers.
Erickson versus Obama on this issue is like a slam-dunk contest for midgets — an exercise in pointlessness.
First up, the United States did NOT enter World War II because of the Holocaust. Knowledge of what Nazi Germany was doing to the Jews was very limited, and even those who had access to such information simply couldn’t bring themselves to believe it to be true. The United States entered the war because Japan attacked us; we declared war on Germany because they declared war on us first.
Next, the US did very little to directly to stop or even slow down the Holocaust as it ramped up. This was because there was very little we could do. Not only did we not have anywhere near the technology we have now, but we were being opposed by one of the mightiest military forces in the world. Our strategic goal was to stop German aggression, and the best way we could think of to do just that was to utterly destroy the German nation. That would have the effect of ending the Holocaust, but that was a mere fortunate happenstance. Nobody went to war to save the Jews and the Gypsies and the others being exterminated by the Nazis; it was to stop the Nazis from conquering Europe and threatening the rest of the world.
Erickson shows himself a fool by making that argument.
However, Erickson’s historical ignorance is nowhere near as dangerous as Obama’s ignorance on just what is going on in the Darfur region of the Sudan — and what it would take to stop the ongoing genocide.
Obama wants to impose a no-fly zone over Sudan. That’ll do a lot. of good. The genocide going on there is being committed by armed groups going into remote villages in trucks and killing the people wholesale. They aren’t using aircraft. So why stop at a no-fly zone? Why not expand the ban to no aircraft, no spaceships, no mining vehicles, and no death rays?
No, stopping the genocide will require armed troops on the ground. More specifically, large numbers of heavily-armed troops on the ground, ready and willing to kill the attackers wholesale to demonstrate that the genocide is over.
That will be demonstrated with large numbers of dead bodies. Dead African bodies, bodies of black and Arab Muslims, killed by American troops. And since they aren’t wearing uniforms, they’ll all magically transform into “civilians” and then “innocent civilians” the instant they’re dead.
I also wonder how these American troops will get there. The Darfur region is well away from Sudan’s coast, so they’ll have to go in by land or air. Which means they’ll have to overfly Libya, Chad, or the Central African Republic. That’ll be a real challenge for the State Department — “pardon us, but would you mind if we flew several thousand armed troops through your nation? They’re going to go kill black and Arab muslims.”
Presuming that happens, we’ll then need even more flights to keep them supplied. There’s an old saying: “amateurs study battles, experts study logistics.” We’ll need a constant supply of weapons, ammunition, food, and other materiel to keep those US forces going.
Those planes won’t be coming back empty, though. They’ll be fighting people who will fight back. That means that young Americans will be killed.
I don’t envy those military notification teams who will be tasked with telling families that their loved one was killed in the Sudan. I’d suggest that they bring along a map, with Sudan highlighted. And they’ll need some talking points explaining the vital American interest that required their sacrifice — I’d recommend having Joe Biden be tasked with writing the talking points. He has a remarkable gift for just making up BS that sounds good, but has no resemblance to reality.
Things get even more entertaining when one looks at the role China plays in the ongoing genocide. China is helping the Sudanese government in many ways, in an attempt to shore up its supply of oil and natural gas. And China, it must be remembered, has a veto on the United Nations Security Council, which means that they can make damned sure that the US won’t have the fig leaf of international sanction of any intervention.
So we end up going it alone. I just can’t wait for the world’s cheering us on as heavily-armed, highly-trained Americans start killing black and Arab Muslims wholesale. That’ll win us a lot of new friends and renew their respect for us.
Yes, the ongoing genocide in Darfur is horrific. But there is no easy solution to it. Indeed, I don’t think there is a hell of a lot the US can do to stop it. Not even voting for The Embodiment Of Hopey Changefulness will help it.
That sucks. But sometimes reality does suck.
Have a nice day anyway.