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Doesn't McCain Know That "Never Again" Only Applies to White People

A few notes on McCain's cheap shot against Obama.
 
 
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So, I'm sure you've caught McCain's latest sleazy shot at Obama. If not, here's Steve Benen with the recap:

Speaking today at Yad Vashem, Obama said, "Let our children come here and know this history so they can add their voices to proclaim 'never again.' And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us and who have become symbols of the human spirit."

Soon after, the hopelessly tasteless McCain campaign alerted reporters to a news item from a year ago.

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.

In other words, the McCain campaign wants Americans to believe that Obama is weak on genocide. Asked for clarification, McCain aide Michael Goldfarb told the Huffington Post, "Today he says 'never again.' A year ago stopping genocide wasn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn't that strike you as inconsistent?"

A couple of points. First, the point of keeping troops in Iraq is to keep troops in Iraq -- to have a military footprint in the region ( bordering Iran), protect our investments and keep our foot in the door of all that oil. We're also there to avoid "losing" Iraq (to the Iraqis), which would expose the rather obvious fact that we're a declining superpower with much less ability to influence events than we believe we have.

While we can have a serious discussion about the possibility that Iraq's various (and overlapping) civil conflicts might become worse if our troops were to depart -- an idea that Iraqis find crazy -- McCain's suggestion that we're there to prevent genocide is a brazen piece of propaganda that's perfectly divorced from reality. It's just one of the ever-shifting rationales for an indefinite occupation, and one that's designed to appeal to good liberals as well as war supporters.

Iraq is as much at risk of genocide -- I'm talking about genocide, not an intensified civil war -- as Canada.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.

 
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