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US Intervention in Genocidal States. What should the US do in the face of genocide? . **All points in this presentation represent the arguments of Samantha Power as told through her book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide . US Response to the Holocaust:.

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us intervention in genocidal states

US Intervention in Genocidal States

What should the US do in the face of genocide?

**All points in this presentation represent the arguments of Samantha Power as told through her book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

us response to the holocaust
US Response to the Holocaust:
  • “Out of the memory of the Holocaust, we must forge an unshakable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide”
    • President Jimmy Carter, 1979
  • “Like you, I say in a forthright voice, ‘Never again!’”
    • President Ronald Reagan, 1984
us response to the holocaust1
US Response to the Holocaust:
  • “…as a WWII veteran, as an American, and now as President of the United States, my visit to Auschwitz left me with the determination not just to remember, but also to act.”
    • President George Bush Sr., 1991
  • “If the horrors of the Holocaust taught us anything, it is the high cost of remaining silent and paralyzed in the face of genocide
    • Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton
genocides since the holocaust
Genocides Since the Holocaust:

“The United States had never in its history intervened to stop genocide...so genocide proceeded unimpeded by US action and often emboldened by US inaction.”

Cambodia, 1975 Rwanda, 1994

Iraq, 1987 Srebrenica, 1995

Bosnia, 1992 Kosovo, 1998

therefore
Therefore:
  • “’Never again’” never grappled with the fact that the US had done nothing, practically or politically, to prepare itself to respond to genocide. The commitment proved hollow in the face of actual slaughter.”
    • “No US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on”
why us hasn t intervened
Why US hasn’t intervened:

Hard to imagine scale of violence

Society-wide silence of public = indifference

Nature of the violence is seen as inevitable and two-sided

Insist any US response will be futile

us intervention
US Intervention

If the US would have acted, even in small or belated steps, hundreds of thousands of more lives could be saved. If genocide prevention was made a priority, countless more lives could be saved.

even a disinclined government will act
Even a Disinclined Government Will Act
  • Inside pressure:
    • Bureaucrats can lobby
  • Outside pressure:
    • the “home front” can agitate their representatives
why target us intervention
Why Target US Intervention?

1. Decision to act or not to act would have greater implications than any other major power’s action or inaction

2. Has tremendous capacity to curb genocide without undermining US security

3. Has made an unusually pronounced commitment to Holocaust commemoration and education.

4. Has repeatedly committed itself to preventing the recurrence of genocide.

why s hould the us intervene
Why Should the US Intervene?
  • Moral:
    • Innocent lives are being taken at high scale and US has capability to stop it at low cost
  • Self-Interest:
    • International safety and domestic security
what should the us do in the face of genocide
What Should the US Do in the Face of Genocide?

Respond with urgency

Impose economic sanctions

Set up safe areas for refugees and civilians

Be prepared to risk the lives of its soldiers in the service of stopping a monstrous crime