I think no one could have made peace in Bosnia besides Holbrooke.
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Desert Storm was seen by the military establishment and by some politicians as avenging Vietnam, but it left behind dangerous illusions. The victory was so decisive, and information about it so carefully managed, that the American public was never clearly informed that it was purchased at the price of approximately 100,000 Iraqi lives.
Free societies, which allow differences to speak and be heard, and live by intermarriage, commerce, and free migration, and democratic societies, which convert enemies into adversaries and reconcile differences without resort to violence, are societies in which the genocidal temptation is unlikely and even inconceivable.
Genocide is not just a murderous madness; it is, more deeply, a politics that promises a utopia beyond politics - one people, one land, one truth, the end of difference. Since genocide is a form of political utopia, it remains an enduring temptation in any multiethnic and multicultural society in crisis.
I may have come into politics with an unacknowledged condescension toward the game and the people who played it, but I left with more respect for politicians than when I went in. The worst of them - the careerists and predators - you find in all professions. The best of them were a credit to democracy.
I went into politics thinking that, if I made arguments in good faith, I'd get a hearing. It's a reasonable assumption, but it's wrong. In five and a half years in politics up north, no one really bothered to criticize my ideas, such as they were. It was never my message that was the issue. It was always the messenger.
I've always thought Anne-Marie Slaughter would make a fantastic United States Senator or something. She's a real intellectual, but she's got enormous communicative skills and she's got government experience. The thing that drives me slightly crazy is the way we think about intellectuals as wooly, hopeless, arrogant, self-deceived, incapable.