"During a 2012 White House debate, James Thurman — the four-star general who commanded U.S. troops in South Korea — sternly rebuffed her, saying he needed the mines because “I wake up every morning with 1 million North Korean troops right across the border.” Power argued for high-tech alternatives, but the general dismissed those options as impractical and too expensive, Thurman recalled in an interview. “We gotta tell them what the costs are. What you’re getting into,” Thurman said. “A lot of these folks don’t realize that. They hadn’t thought about it. … There’s lots of great ideals, but the world is not a nice place.” Here was the education of Samantha Power, one step in an ongoing process of tough lessons. She’d made a persuasive argument about the substance of the land mine issue. But to change policy, the timing and the sequence of the arguments had to be perfect. And this wasn’t the right moment, her adversaries insisted, to do anything that could alter the delicate balance on the Korean peninsula." Washpost
Power, Kerry, Rice (both), H. Clinton, the list is long of people meddling in the real world in ways that reflect their other worldliness in a universe filled with hard facts, facts that annoyingly continue to exist however much they are rejected. What Thurman was trying to tell Power was that he could not hold the line of the DMZ in Korea if the million mines now implanted were removed and the North Koreans attacked in force. That meant nothing to her because she knows nothing of actual warfare. For her, as for so many others in the Washington/NY City thinkopoly concerned with foreign affairs, all of life consists in reading and publishing boring group think laden papers to others of like mind in an atmosphere in which cleverness is much more important than actual knowledge and experience.
Self-referential moment: This reminds of the occasion in which I testified before the HPSCI along with the NIO for the ME and the equivalent State INR official. The NIO of the day had zero military experience. I do not remember the subject of the hearing. When it ended the NIO (a woman with no prior government or intelligence experience at all) rebuked me for referencing my on the ground experience in war and in the particular war situation under discussion. She said that I should not do that because it was not "fair" since no one else had that kind of experience. I asked if she saw this kind of thing as a game played for "points" and assured her that there would be many other unfair occasions. She now is head of a major think tankum in DC.
Power is sleep walking through a dream world in which the rest of us are forced to share her dream. Obama shares her dream willingly. pl