The Left

Train of Thought

Left-wing playwright David Hare pops up again in the 2003 Guardian Review of Books recommending A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide by US author Samantha Power (scroll down past Monica Ali).

I can’t say I’ve read it but Hare explains that it

asks why, in the last 50 years, her country has so often been willing to stand by and permit genocide.

That’s a perfectly valid question but Hare does seem to spoil the asking of it by starting his review by referring to the liberation of Iraq thus

the US made the second most disastrous intervention in its history

It’s difficult to square these two quotes logically. Wouldn’t the US have been guilty of standing by and allowing genocide if it hadn’t intervened in Iraq ? Perhaps he thinks the answer to Powers’ question is contained in the disastrousness of intervention. But how could it be a disaster if it put an end to genocide ? Alternatively Hare is capable of holding two contradictory views at the same time.

If it’s the latter then he might be advised to stay away from advising the Tories on their rail policy. It was enough of a muddle the first time round.