Every now and then someone comes along, so keen to change the world for the better, so intelligent, so beautiful, so devoid of guile that I find the immense cynicism with which I usually operate unnecessary, and a mark of someone less than talented.
Like Samantha Power.
Power is phenomenally bright. In her first book, She made a reasonable case that the US should intervene only when there is chance of genocide, and not otherwise. Intervention in Iraq in 1988 would have been fine, when Saddam used poison gas on the kurds, but there was no case for it in 2004. The US should have, but didn’t intervene in Darfur & Rwanda.
She followed that book with an equally good one on Sergio Vieira de Mello, who should have been UN Secretary General, but never became one as Kofi Annan kept sending him to dangerous locations, finally getting him killed in Iraq. Her admiration for Obama probably comes from there, as she calls him “the person whose rigor and compassion bear the closest resemblance to Sergio´s that I have ever seen”.
Unfortunately, the only reason people will remember her is for calling Hillary a monster. That has probably cost her the Secretary of State job, as enough knives will be out for her even if Obama wins the nomination and the presidency.
Most Clinton appointees are monsters, at least in the looks department. Maybe Hillary decreed that. Remember Madeleine Albright? Janet Reno? And not too bright either. I would have been glued to the TV if Power ever became Secretary of State.
Gideon Rachman mourns her passing from the political scene as well.