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It was a pitiful response from someone who had written so effectively about how American inaction, even mendaciousness, had allowed mass murder to go on in such places as Nazi-controlled Europe, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda—not to mention Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Yet here Power was with not a word to say about the possibility of mass murder in a post-American Iraq, proposing instead that the U.S. essentially consent to ethnic cleansing. There was nothing in what she told Salon about ignoring "some plan" that Obama had crafted as a candidate. There was nothing about relying on the sound judgment of people on the ground in Iraq. You could almost hear Tony Lake laughing out loud as Power's crystal ball of self-righteousness shattered into a thousand little shards of duplicity and elision.
But we have to hand it to Power that she subsequently blundered into coming clean. We have to hand it to her that she realized that coming clean meant she couldn't last in the Obama campaign. And we have to admit that her BBC comments were about as close to the truth on America's choices in Iraq as we're going to hear from any of the Democratic campaigns.
reason contributing editor Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon.