Obama and McCain discuss the use of force in humanitarian crisis
October 8, 2008 Leave a comment
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain discussed the role of the United States in humanitarian crisis at last night’s debate. The holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur came up.
Highlights from Senator Obama
We may not always have national security issues at stake, but we have moral issues at stake…
So when genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.
Let’s take the example of Darfur just for a moment. Right now there’s a peacekeeping force that has been set up and we have African Union troops in Darfur to stop a genocide that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
We could be providing logistical support, setting up a no-fly zone at relatively little cost to us, but we can only do it if we can help mobilize the international community and lead. And that’s what I intend to do when I’m president.
Highlights from Senator McCain
The United States of America, Tom, is the greatest force for good, as I said. And we must do whatever we can to prevent genocide, whatever we can to prevent these terrible calamities that we have said never again.
… you have to temper your decisions with the ability to beneficially affect the situation and realize you’re sending America’s most precious asset, American blood, into harm’s way.
And I may have to make those tough decisions. But I won’t take them lightly. And I understand that we have to say never again to a Holocaust and never again to Rwanda. But we had also better be darn sure we don’t leave and make the situation worse, thereby exacerbating our reputation and our ability to address crises in other parts of the world.