Dealing With Our Genocide

One of the most persuasive cases for staying in Iraq that I’ve heard is an outright genocide against Sunnis or Kurds may occur if the US leaves, and that the US has a responsibility to prevent that from happening. Like anyone who’s read “A Problem from Hell”, I think one of – if not the – main purpose of the American military in the 21st century is to prevent and stop genocide, and so the idea of staying in Iraq for the same reason the US intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo and should have intervened in Rwanda and Sudan is quite seductive. Indeed, it is made more seductive by the fact that the genocide, in this instance, would be triggered by US policy, and is thus even more our responsibility to stop. Still, the fact that Samantha Power – the author of APfH and the world’s premier policy analyst on genocide issues – signed on as a policy adviser for Obama, who has called for a complete withdrawal from March 2008, made me inclined to think that withdrawal was still the best option.
As if to clear any doubts about this, Power has an op-ed in the LA Times this morning detailing the risk of genocide in Iraq and what is needed to reduce or eliminate it. Turns out that, according to Power, withdrawal – done correctly – is the best option we have for staving off a genocide. Read the whole thing, of course; she includes many policy options (evacuation of potential victims, joining the ICC to deter potential genocide leaders) that would be effective if US withdrawal does result in genocide.
P.S. That said, Kevin Drum’s right – the article should have noted that she is an adviser to Obama, given that she’s praising his withdrawal legislation.

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