May 6, 2014

rEALISM ISN'T AMERICAN, EVEN WHEN IT "WORKS":

Did Samantha Power Just Rebuke Obama on Syria? (Jeffrey Goldberg, 5/06/14, Bloomberg View)

Last week, in a powerful speech that should have received more attention than it has so far, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, seemed to rebuke the administration in which she serves for its handling of the Syria catastrophe.

Power was speaking at a Holocaust Memorial Museum dinner, at which she presented the museum's Elie Wiesel Award to the Canadian general Romeo Dallaire -- one of the few Westerners who tried to protect Rwandans as they were being slaughtered (as opposed to weeping for them after they were murdered, which was the more common Western response).

In the course of her speech, Power condemned those who argue that the choice facing the West in Syria is between full-on military engagement and doing nothing. She was also particularly harsh on the subject of leaders who avoid acting until humanitarian crises spin into chaos.

"In preventing mass atrocities, we must redouble our emphasis on early engagement," Power said. "The sooner we act, the more options we will have. That requires developing solutions to potential atrocities before they become actual ones. And to those who would argue that a Head of State or government has to choose only between doing nothing and sending in the military -- I maintain that is a constructed and false choice, an accompaniment only to disengagement and passivity."

So who, exactly, is propagating these constructed and false choices?
Posted by at May 6, 2014 7:31 PM
  
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