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Hillary Clinton, Not So Good on Genocide, per Samantha Power

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:10 PM
Original message
Hillary Clinton, Not So Good on Genocide, per Samantha Power
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 12:34 PM by babylonsister
http://www.alternet.org/story/79019 /

Hillary Clinton, Not So Good on Genocide

By Marc Cooper, Huffington Post. Posted March 8, 2008.

Obama adviser Samantha Power exposed the Clinton administration's indifference to genocide -- she got the boot for stating it on the campaign trail.


The Barack Obama campaign is about to pay a very high price for the inopportune words of one of its most distinguished foreign policy advisors. The dazzlingly brilliant journalist, Pulitzer-prize winning author, and Harvard professor, Samantha Power, has been forced to resign from the campaign after she recklessly told a reporter that Hillary Clinton is a "monster."

In the pungently hypocritical game of American politics, this is just something outside the rules. Whether it's true, or not, matters little. Nor does it matter that the object of Power's derision has just finished spending millions on TV ads implying that Obama would be responsible for the countless deaths of millions of American children sleeping at 3 a.m. Tut, tut. Nothing monstrous about that.

Power was rightfully awarded the Pulitzer for her finely written and downright horrifying book A Problem From Hell which, in macabre detail, describes the calculated indifference of the Clinton administration when 800,000 Rwandans were being systematically butchered. The red phone rang and rang and rang again. I don't know where Hillary was then. But her husband and his entire experienced foreign policy team -- from the brass in the Pentagon to the congenitally feckless Secretary of State Warren Christopher -- just let it ring.

And as more than one researcher has amply documented the case, the bloody paralysis of the Clinton administration in the face of the Rwandan genocide owed not at all to a lack of information, but rather to a lack of will. A reviewer of Power's book for The New York Times, perhaps summed it up best, saying that the picture of Clinton that emerges from this reading is that of an "amoral narcissist."

Former Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN forces in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, tells us a similar story in his own memoir. General Dallaire recounts how, at the height of the Rwandan holocaust, he got a phone call from a Clinton administration staffer who wanted to know how many Rwandans had already died, how many were refugees and how many were internally displaced. Writes Dallaire: "He told me that his estimates indicated that it would take the deaths of 85,000 Rwandans to justify the risking of the life of one American soldier." Eventually, ten times that many would die. And our response? A handful of years later, at a photo-op stopover in Kigali airport, Bill Clinton bit his lip and said he was sorry.

Therein resides the richest and saddest irony of all. Samantha Power has actually lived the sort of life that Hillary Clinton's campaign staff has, for public consumption, invented for its candidate. Though not quite 40 years old, Power has spent no time on any Wal-Mart boards but has rather dedicated her entire adult life rather tirelessly to championing humanitarian causes. She has spoken up when others were silent. She took great personal risks during the Balkan wars to witness and record and denounce the carnage (She reported that Bill Clinton intervened against the Serbs only when he felt he was losing personal credibility as a result of his inaction. "I'm getting creamed," Power quoted the then-President saying as he fretted over global consternation over his own hesitation to act).

We gave Power the Pulitzer for exposing the, well, monstrous indifference of the Clinton administration as it stared unblinkingly and immobile into the face of massive horror. But we give her a kick in the backside and throw her out the door when she has the temerity to publicly restate all that in one impolite word. Monstrous, indeed.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:51 PM
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1. there will be no next time with obama in charge
africa will no longer not be worth the political fallout. 10,000 people a day for 80 days -800,000 people were not worth saving by the clinton government.

i lost all respect for bill clinton and hillary after i read her article in the atlantic magazine.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. The potential for more African genocides over the next 8 years is frighteningly high
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 01:39 PM by GliderGuider
I've just completed an analysis of the African food security situation out to 2040, and frankly it's beyond horrifying. If my assessment is even close to being correct (and reviewers have said my assumptions are actually conservative) Africa stands to lose over half its present population of 900+ million in the next 30 years, due to a malignant convergence of climate change, oil depletion, HIV/AIDS, rising world fertilizer prices and rising global food prices.

As that begins to happen, the resulting social breakdown will open up vast windows for warfare and genocide. We will also see another round of Disaster Capitalism play out as transnational corporations line the banks of the Zambezi like vultures, offering calamity-wracked African nations a pittance of relief in return for unhindered access to their remaining natural resources.

That's the situation that the new president will face over the next 8 years. Whoever that is must be clear-minded, resolute and willing to act. If it turns out to be either Clinton or McCain, I think a large proportion of Africa can expect to bend over and kiss their asses goodbye.

From Africa in 2040: The Darkened Continent:

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. Sometimes she spoke up when others were silent.
In the case of a trendy genocide or two, she wanted others to shut up so that the trendy genocides could be dealt with.

Even Power justifies her excuse for ignoring S. Sudan: There was no culture of intervention until the mid-90s, 1993 at the earliest. So while she says 2 million dead there, she just can't quite muster the gumption to declare it genocide or say that maybe somebody should have done something. She continues her justification for not paying attentino to it: By the time the "culture of intervention" came along, S. Sudan had been a problem for over a decade, and, well, it's easier to deal with new genocides than older, well-established genocides. Rwanda was a big deal, Bosnia was a big deal, Darfur was a bigger deal, Burma was a big deal. S. Sudan ... eh.

This provides cover for her hypocrisy: She's on record saying that ignoring Darfur while the S. Sudan problem was being taken care of was wrong--first "fix Darfur" and then pay attention to the genocide that took place over 20 years to international silence. There's apparently a hierarchy in genocides: If it's grandfathered in, well, even if a solution is close it's ok.
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