Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

Pankaj Mishra writes:

American liberals, Samuel Moyn wrote last year in Dissent, have never broken ‘with the exceptionalist outlook that cast the United States as uniquely virtuous’, but having Trump in the ‘cockpit of American power’ will reveal ‘just how terrifyingly normal a nation we are, with our populist jingoism and hawkish foreign policy’. The bipartisan support for the president’s bombing campaigns shows that little has changed in this respect, however. As Trump ordered strikes on Syria in April last year, Fareed Zakaria hailed the ‘big moment’: ‘Donald Trump,’ he said, ‘became president of the United States last night.’ As Trump dispatched his ‘shiny and new’ missiles to Syria a year later, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former Obama apparatchik and president of the New America Foundation, tweeted that it was the ‘right thing’ to do. ‘It will not stop the war nor save the Syrian people from many other horrors,’ Slaughter conceded, and ‘it is illegal under international law.’ But ‘it at least draws a line somewhere & says enough.’

(LRB 21 June 2018)

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