McCain Rebukes Murtha's Indifference to Potential Iraq Genocide

By Fred Lucas | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

( - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has responded to Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.) assertion that it isn't the responsibility of the United States to prevent a bloodbath in Iraq if U.S. troops withdraw from that country as soon as Democrats want them to.

Murtha, in a speech at the National Press Club on Monday, said that a quick U.S. exit may lead to "chaos and bloodbath." He also said that "if they [the Iraqis] continue to choose to spill blood, it will not be on the conscience of the United States."

Murtha added that ethnic violence in Iraq was a "continuation of decades of its own conflicts, which they and they alone can solve."

McCain, a GOP presidential candidate and an advocate of winning the war in Iraq, said Murtha's comments were not in America's tradition.

"I have great respect for Congressman Murtha," McCain told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday.

"But the reason we have gone to a lot of places in the world -- and most Americans think we should go to Darfur -- is because we said never again, beginning with the Holocaust, including Srebrenica, and including other places where genocide has taken place -- Cambodia. It's just not in American standards of honor and the way we view our role in the world to stand by and allow genocide to take place anywhere." Hear Audio

When testifying before Congress on Sept. 10, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said that "abandoning or drastically curtailing our efforts will bring failure, and the consequences of such a failure must be clearly understood. An Iraq that falls into chaos or civil war will mean massive human suffering well beyond what has already occurred within Iraq's border."

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