12 Brown J. World Aff. 9 (2005-2006)
Recent History Lessons: War and Human Rights in the Recent Past and the Near Future; Power, Samantha

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa12 and id is 9 raw text is: Recent History Lessons:
War and Human Rights in
the Recent Past and the Near Future
SAMANTHA POWER
Professor of Practice
John F. Kennedy School of Government
An Interview with Beverly See and Barron YoungSmith
The Carr Center for Human Rights, 24 May 2005
Samantha Power is a Professor of Practice at the John E Kennedy School of Government.
Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the
2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and the 2003 National Book Critics Circle
Awardfor general nonfiction. Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center
for Human Rights Policy (1998-2002). From 1993-1996, Power covered the wars in the
former Yugoslavia as a reporter for U.S. News and World Report, The Boston Globe,
andThe Economist. She is the editor, with Graham Allison, ofRealizing Human Rights:
Moving from Inspiration to Impact.
Brown Journal of WorldAffairs: In your work, you talk about historical memory and
the way that policy makers see human rights through the perspective of fighting the
last war. How will the experience of the Iraq war affect the way policy-makers think
about future interventions?
Samantha Power: What it should reveal, of course, is that the priorities or the motives
that actually pull you into war tell you a lot about what the means deployed in the field
are going to be. So this is a war that is now branded as a humanitarian intervention, but
of course the fate of the Iraqi people was quite low on the list of reasons to go to war.
No one pretends we went in order to liberate the Iraqis. The lone positive consequence
of the war might be that the Iraqis were liberated, but it was evident in the form that
the intervention took-the poor planning and the wishful thinking that led to the
chaos that followed-that the Iraqis were low down on the list of reasons to go to war.
Copyright © 2005 by the Brown Journal of World Affairs

SUMMER / FALL 2005 • VOLUME XII, ISSUE 1

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