Next Stop: Darfur
During last night's debate, Gwen Ifill asked a very astute question about interventionism.
IFILL: Senator, you have quite a record, this is the next question here, of being an interventionist. You argued for intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo, initially in Iraq and Pakistan and now in Darfur, putting U.S. troops on the ground. Boots on the ground. Is this something the American public has the stomach for?
BIDEN: I think the American public has the stomach for success...
I don't have the stomach for genocide when it comes to Darfur. We can now impose a no-fly zone. It's within our capacity. We can lead NATO if we're willing to take a hard stand. We can, I've been in those camps in Chad. I've seen the suffering, thousands and tens of thousands have died and are dying. We should rally the world to act and demonstrate it by our own movement to provide the helicopters to get the 21,000 forces of the African Union in there now to stop this genocide.
IFILL: Thank you, senator. Governor.
PALIN:... As for Darfur, we can agree on that also, the support of the no-fly zone, making sure that all options are on the table there also.
IFILL: Is there a line that should be drawn about when we decide to go in?
BIDEN: Absolutely. There is a line that should be drawn.
IFILL: What is it?
BIDEN: The line that should be drawn is whether we A, first of all have the capacity to do anything about it number one. And number two, certain new lines that have to be drawn internationally. When a country engages in genocide, when a country engaging in harboring terrorists and will do nothing about it, at that point that country in my view and Barack's view forfeits their right to say you have no right to intervene at all.
Neither Biden nor Palin seems to think there's any political payoff for prudence with respect to Darfur.