Harvard Hypocrite


In Salon, Barack Obama advisor, Harvard professor, and author Samantha Power on how the United States needs to get out of Iraq:

We need to be incredibly sensitive as we leave Iraq to the welfare of Iraqis who are going to be left in our wake. That potentially entails the idea of sectarian or ethnic relocation if people are in a mixed neighborhood and feel that they'd be safer in a more homogenous neighborhood. Also, [it entails] massive support for neighboring countries that have taken in 2 million refugees, and some very systematic effort between now and the time we begin leaving to build funding and resource streams to internally displaced people.

We have shown again and again that we care about Iraq only insofar as it serves our interests. But I think it's time to show not only Iraqis but the rest of the world that at least as we leave, we're leaving with a very vigilant eye on how to mitigate the consequences of our actions.

Quite remarkable. So here's the plan from the author, incidentally, of a book on genocide. Accept the realities imposed by ethnic cleansing; give plenty of money to several of the neighboring countries that have been responsible for sustaining the fighting in Iraq; and pay off displaced Iraqis so that the U.S. can feel less guilty about abandoning them to their sad fate.

I exaggerate? Not much. Power wants to have her cake and eat it too. Essentially, her solution is a grand buy-off. Drop some money into everyone's cup, call it "mitigating the consequences of our actions", and, with vigilant eye closed, blame everything on the Bush administration if the U.S. leaves chaos and death in its wake.

I would be able cynically to stomach her scheme if it were not couched in the hypocritical language of moral self-righteousness. Power knows enough about killing to know that she really needs to answer the question: What happens if an American withdrawal leads simultaneously to mass murder? But the egghead smells a foreign policy post. She's not about to jeopardize that by possibly straying off the reservation.