genocide is bad

Pres. Obama has nominated limousine liberal hawk Samantha Power to be UN Ambassador. You might remember her as the person who called Hillary Clinton a "monster" and had to resign from Obama's '08 campaign. She now deeply regrets that stumble on her rise to prominence, er, rather, slur against a great personage. Mark Ames, writing cruelly but humorously on the icky policy wonk love triangle among Power, U. of Chicago prof. Martha Nussbaum, and former Obama "regulation Czar" Cass Sunstein, described Power's politics thusly:

[...] Samantha wrote a “landmark” book, a book that really bowled over Team Obama, about genocides in the 20th century. Because genocides are really bad, she wants us to know. Not all genocides, mind you -- just the genocides she chooses to focus on. She didn’t include in her book the genocides that might muddy up her Dubya-brained moralizing about genocide -- anyway, it’s sexist to criticize her for omitting American-led genocides in the 20th century that led to millions of deaths in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Central America, and elsewhere; or Britain’s genocide-guilt in about 2/3 of the globe. Those aren’t officially “genocides” in Samantha’s classification, because that’s not playing by the rules. The rules say very clearly that these are genocides and those aren’t -- so for example, when America financed and armed the genocide in East Timor, Samantha writes that America “looked away.” Well, you get the point here.

We have the liberal hawks and their precedent of the "good" Balkan bombing to thank for Iraq and Afghanistan. The "kill for peace" pundits provided Democratic cover for the Bush and Cheney invasion plans. Saddam gassed his own people, the Taliban are sexist monsters, so, as caring folk, we needed to invade. It wasn't just about oil or misplaced revenge for 9/11, see.


Samantha... had a “defining moment” in her biography. That defining moment was Bosnia—the tragedy that attracted hordes of defining-moment-tourists from the West’s top academic and struggling-journalist institutions. Every Orwell-swooning middlebrow secretly cursed under their breath that they’d never be able to duplicate his moral outrage and moral courage without a perfectly defined cause like his—so when Bosnia presented its tragedy on a bloodied platter, Samantha, along with all the David Rieffs and Peter Maas’s and you-name-‘em-if-they-read-Orwell-they-were-in-Sarajevo’s all entered the “watch me being morally outraged on behalf of humanity” competition in Bosnia, then took the “lesson” that “defined” them there, and came away with this: in the future, if America sees slaughter going on in some part of the world we don’t understand, we should bomb the bad guys and save the good guys.