“One of the things that a president needs in the face of genocide is resolve.” -Samantha Power
Resolve is defined by Google as to “decide firmly on a course of action.” Now, most of the time a president is praised for their resolve for how they act in the face of tragedy. Some may think that LBJ’s resolve broke from the stress of Vietnam, but he possibly showed the strongest resolve of any president by refusing to run for a second term, knowing that he had failed. Bill Clinton’s inaction in foreign affairs highlights his lack of resolve.
Samantha Power was an investigative Journalist who was in Bosnia at the time of Srebenica and watched as thousands were killed due to inaction from Washington and Brussels. While Clinton’s lack of resolve was notable, the lack of resolve from the EU was even more concerning who were allowing genocide to occur on European soil after the Holocaust.
Maybe this is because of the idea of the Balkan Powder Keg or the “ethnical impurity” of the Southern Slavs. George H.W. Bush made it clear that the 1st kept him out of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, but Bill Clinton advocated for supporting Bosnia while on the campaign trail. Yet, he stood by not taking action until well into his first term. Yet, when the Kosovar Albanians were beginning to be attacked by the Serbians in Belgrade he became a warhawk. In 1998. With no fear of re-election.
Clinton’s resolve finally showed, years too late.