The Corner

Rwanda–Clarke Obstructed Action

The Clinton administration’s conduct during the Rwandan genocide was one of the more shameful episodes in recent American history, and Dick Clarke was in the middle of it–playing politics, at least according to this passage from Samantha Power’s excellent book A Problem from Hell:

“At the NSC the person who managed Rwanda policy was not [Tony] Lake but Richard Clarke, who oversaw peacekeeping policy and for whom the news from Rwanda only confirmed a deep skepticism about the viability of UN deployments. Clarke believed that another UN failure could doom relations between Congress and the United Nations. He also sought to shield the president from congressional and public criticism. Donald Steinberg managed the Africa portfolio at the NSC and tried to look out for the dying Rwandans, but he was not an experienced in-fighter, and, colleagues say, he ‘never won a single argument’ with Clarke.”

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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