Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
It’s a risk worth taking, in part because in Iraq today, as in Southeast Asia four decades ago, we are culpable. Were it not for our war, and the anarchy it has bred, the Yazidis would likely not be facing imminent death. The reasons Americans want to turn away from Iraq are precisely the reasons we should not.
McGovern is best known for his landslide defeat in the presidential election of 1972 and his impassioned opposition to the Vietnam War. Six years later, when he became the first senator to advocate U.S. military intervention next door in Cambodia, to stop the Khmer Rouge’s ghastly slaughter of between 1 and 3 million people, hawks were incredulous. The Wall Street Journal called McGovern’s stance “mind-boggling.” But as Samantha Power explains in A Problem from Hell, McGovern saw no contradiction in his positions. Vietnam, in his mind, had been a profoundly misguided application of American might to prevent a communist-led independence movement from liberating its country from Western control. Cambodia was genocide. In his view, the U.S. had a particular responsibility to prevent the latter because its war in Vietnam had helped cause the trauma and instability on which the Khmer Rouge seized.