Recently, presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked whether he felt that the United States should keep troops in Iraq in order to prevent a genocidal frenzy. He replied:
“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.”
As Goldberg pointed out in an Op/Ed piece in the LATimes, the key difference is that those two genocides weren’t triggered by American occupation and withdrawal.
As often as we hear comparisons between the Vietnam War and Iraq, you would think that a greater number of people would be drawing the same conclusions between the Cambodian genocide and what’s likely to happen in Iraq. If the two follow the same course, we will likely see the United States withdraw from Iraq, followed by a seizure of power from a single faction, which will lead to the first organized steps toward persecution and genocide.
Of course, the truly absurd question becomes, will we once again be throwing our hat in the ring with genocidaires?