Philip Gourevitch (born 1961), an American author and journalist, is a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker and the former editor of The Paris Review. His most recent book is The Ballad of Abu Ghraib (2008), an account of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison under the American occupation. Gourevitch has written on a variety of subjects—from ethnic conflicts in Africa, Europe and Asia to political corruption in Rhode Island and the music of James Brown. He became widely known for his first book, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families (1998), which tells the story of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
Philip was at Jaipur Literature Festival 2012, where he had a session on “Reckonings.”
Vaibhav agarwal caught up with him there at the festival itself, and discussed his views on ‘Genocide’ and US presidency under George bush and Barack Obama.
Is your First time in India?
Yes, It is .
What do you think about U.S intervention on Rwanda?
People say U.S failed to Intervene in Rwanda genocides and other same situations but I would say, U.S made a successful foreign policy by succeeding in not intervening in Rwanda Genocide..
You have covered the campaigning of U.S presidency elections of 2004,and also saw the Obama Presidency. What you think is the difference in both the Presidencies?
See, both the presidencies have their own positive and negative. But more or less, all politicians are same, and work on same policies.
You have mentioned the Never again Slogan in your book, Is that should be the slogan of people to stop genocides?
By Never Again I meant, it’s a Jew saying to another Jew, that we will Never Again let somebody derive us like sheep’s for slaughters. Instead the slogan for us should be what we are going to do, when we see something like this happening again.
There are always rumours in the air, that U.S.A supports ISI and other terrorist groups, by providing those weapons and money. What you have to say on this?
The relation of Pakistan with U.S.A is always been bizarre ,Pakistan ,It’s army and ISI are not one thing..Groups like ISI can be with you and against you at the same time, so the relation is very fragile. I am not an expert on Pakistan, so cannot comment much.
What is the role of U.N in peace keeping missions?
Laughing…What I think is, one country or a superpower don’t give a damn on what India thinks, it will do, if he wants to do a thing. If it gives a damn about U.N, it does not want to do it.
We will keep you updated with more happenings at the Jaipur Literature Festival currently going on.