Kouchner abandoned the Socialist Party to join the Sarkozy cabinet in 2007, after having advised Sarkozy’s Socialist opponent, Ségolène Royal. Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire. It is Kouchner, more than anyone, who has eroded the distinction between philanthropy and combat. As-Safir said that the Maronite dilemma wastes time and warns from an "organized vacuum", pointing out that France warned from difficult regional developments. Since tens of thousands of Hutus were killed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front after the genocide, surely the Tutsis have little to complain about, and Péan devotes just a few lines in his book to their murder. There, an actual genocide failed to result in an intervention. Nobody will mistake Péan’s prose for Lytton Strachey’s, but Le Monde selon K. gives the reader the same feeling as a chapter of Eminent Victorians: it is deaf to its subject’s virtues, too keen to cry humbug, but full of valuable lessons about how hard it is to distinguish authority from moral authority. Under Kouchner’s leadership, the new group went on to stage such campaigns as “a plane for the refugees for El Salvador,” “a boat for Lebanon,” and “rice for Somalia.”, During the Somalian operation, Kouchner posed on a Mogadishu beach carrying a sack of rice on his shoulder—and once again was reviled for turning an act of charity into a media event. Kouchner may not have invented the concept of ‘humanitarian intervention’, but he has been its symbol for decades. That week he was in Washington visiting Hillary Clinton, who has herself been accused of profiting from her political connections. * * *, In some sense, the war in Iraq attests to Kouchner’s prescience in identifying the key issues of modern humanitarianism. Historically speaking, it played a central role in representing the policies of the Western alliance. When the war had an ethnic or tribal element, it was a short step to stigmatising whole peoples – the Serbs, for instance, or the Hutus – and thus abetting the ethnic demonisation he aimed to combat. Particularly in the early years, MSF was criticized for taking such a rebellious approach (its doctors soon earned the epithet of the “hippies of medicine”). With the Iraqi crisis, Europe met with a strategic defeat; it has been in the doldrums diplomatically for months on end—and may stay there for several years, perhaps. By the same token, they set themselves up as apologists for Western governments, who can point to relief efforts as a way of shirking their responsibility to take constructive action. Others stubbornly stood by the side of the victims of Halabja, Baghdad, and Basra.

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