Samantha Powers, a professor at Harvard and director of the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights, wrote a book that was published last year on the long history of American inaction in genocide.
Ms Powers wrote a very long piece in last week’s New Yorker on the current long running genocide in Sudan. She gives page after page of graphic description of atrocities that the janjaweed have perpetrated in Darfur.
Ms. Powers is that strange public critic who demands that America take action to stop genocide but she is opposed to war and publicly opposed the American led regime change in Iraq.
In the New Yorker article Ms. Powers strange logic becomes more visible when she criticizes the French and the Germans for taking no action in the Sudan. In fact France and Germany have actively stood in the way of the positive actions the U.S. has been taking since 1996. Ms Powers reasoning is that the U.S. lost influence over the French and Germans because of the invasion in Iraq. Now we can’t get France and Germany to act against genocide in Sudan.
The problem with her logic is reality. The French and the Germans took no action to stop the genocide in Yugoslavia 14 years earlier either. Stopping the Yugoslavian genocide required the United States to take military action and the U.S. pressured the French and Germans to help (in their own backyard).
Ms. Powers seems to think that genocide can be stopped with a few strong letters to the offending government ….at most what is needed is a mild boycott of arms.
This strange view of the world is what, I suggest, wins Ms Powers the Al Sharpton Buffoon Prize.
The prize is named after Rev. Al Sharpton for his great achievements in self-promotion, for being a person showing no visible competence, and for being a person with the moral authority of a rabid pit bull. Sharpton’s power of logic are also noticable. This list of Sharpton's achievements may be considered his positive traits; his outstanding negative trait is that his dancing on TV that reminds many of us of Stepin-fetch-it, a very decent man, a black performer who, seventy years ago, took the only theatrical jobs available, at the time, for blacks.
In the article on genocide in the Sudan, in the New Yorker, Ms Powers does a strange thing independent of her pleading for an end to state sponsored genocide while opposing military force. Powers appears to rank atrocities in order from the worst, gang rape, to the second worst, individual rape of an attractive young woman, to cutting off hands and arms of men, to physical torture of men and finally the least offensive to her seems to be murder of a male.
I don’t know what award to give Ms Powers for this strange ranking of atrocities, possibly a literary award since rape may be more interesting to her readers than a shot in the head.