Sunday, September 16, 2007

The positive side of genocide

Mark Finkelstein quotes a "Today" program interview of Sen. Obama by David Gregory:

DAVID GREGORY: You heard Secretary Rice say there is progress in Iraq that cannot be ignored. She spoke about when, not if, the United States prevails in Iraq. Do you see it that way?

BARACK OBAMA: I think it's important to understand that after two days of testimony [by Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker], here's the bottom line: that having put an additional 30,000 troops in, and continued the same course we were on, we are now back to the horrendous levels of violence that we were back in June of 2006.

So there's no doubt that we've seen some measured progress in Anbar province, primarily because the Sunni tribal leaders made a political decision there that they would work with the coalition forces. We've seen a very modest reduction of violence in Baghdad, partly because entire neighborhoods have essentially been ethnically cleansed. Those are all positive things, but we are now back at the levels of violence we were 18 months ago. [emphasis from Finkelstein]

It seems to me that Sen. Obama, who recently claimed that genocide was unimportant, should be more careful about leaving the impression that the thinks of ethnic cleansing as a "positive thing."

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