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August 8, 2007
Hypocrisy on Obama's Foreign Policy Team
Samantha Power, Obama's Foreign Policy Guru, is a harsh critic of George Bush's foreign policy. No surprise, there. However, Ms. Power-who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government-made her reputation (she is relatively young) by winning the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2003 for her book "Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" a superb book covering the tragic history of genocide. The book is also a cry from the heart that America should never ignore a genocide and should act to prevent genocides.
During the three years (1993-1996) Samantha Power spent covering the grisly events in Bosnia and Srebrenica, she became increasingly frustrated with how little the United States was willing to do to counteract the genocide occurring there. After much research, she discovered a pattern: "The United States had never in its history intervened to stop genocide and had in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred," she writes in this impressive book.... Power makes it clear that a lack of political will was the most significant factor for this failure to intervene....This powerful book is a call to make such indifference a thing of the past. How can she serve on the staff and be the chief foreign policy adviser to a candidate who has recently shown an apathy to the genocide that may very well happen should the US leave Iraq? As James Taranto, columnist at the Wall Street Journal, wrote:
Barack Obama's latest pronouncement on Iraq should have shocked the conscience. In an interview with the Associated Press last week, the freshman Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate opined that even preventing genocide is not a sufficient reason to keep American troops in Iraq. Obama's cynicism about the possibility of genocide in Iraq (and elsewhere) should have shocked the conscience of Samantha Power. One would think that a woman who wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book about the horrors of genocide would have immediately resigned as an act of protest over such a blase attitude on the part of Barack Obama.
"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now--where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife--which we haven't done,"
Mr. Obama told the AP. "We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea."
Or does her brush with fame, or the possibility of achieving high office in Washington, deaden those impulses and erode one's conscience?