16 August 2008

17 August 2008 - Obama gets facts wrong on Bosnia

Obama on Bosnia at Saddleback 8/16/2008: I THINK YOU TAKE AN EXAMPLE LIKE BOSNIA WHEN WE WENT IN AND UNDOUBTEDLY SAVED LIVES. WE DID NOT HAVE UN APPROVAL BUT THERE WAS A STRONG INTERNATIONAL CASE THAT HAD BEEN MADE THAT ETHNIC CLEANSING WAS TAKING PLACE.

Anyone interested in the difference between John McCain and Barack Obama on key issues of conscience should watch the Saddleback Civil Forum, which has just concluded and will hopefully be available in replay mode soon.

The forum was not a debate, but back-to-back interviews with Obama and McCain in front of a church congregation. Each candidate was asked the same questions.

And though Obama was expected to do well, McCain cleaned his clock.

Obama made a number of gaffes, including this shocker:

When asked by host Pastor Rick Warren about whether he would ever commit American troops to stop a genocide without the approval of the United Nations, Obama said yes--and cited Bosnia as an example in which America acted alone.

Er... wrong.

By the time the United States intervened in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)--established by UN Security Council Resolution 743--had been involved (rather dismally) for three years. In 1994 and again in 1995, the UN Security council authorized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to intervene--and the U.S., working within NATO, did so. The UN effectively transferred its authority to NATO via the multinational military implementation force (IFOR) in Security Council Resolution 1031.

Some might consider this a minor mistake, but it underlines Obama's ignorance about history--even recent history, during a time when he had already begun his public political career. And it is increasingly relevant as Russian aggression continues against Georgia.

The next time Obama falsely claims that McCain once confused Sunni and Shia in Iraq (he didn't), perhaps he should be reminded of this glaring factual error.

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