Peter Galbraith helped uncover and confront two genocides. As a staffer in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1980s, Galbraith compiled evidence of Saddam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurdish people. Later, as the United States Ambassador to Croatia during the 1990s, he used his position to call for more forceful intervention on behalf of besieged populations in the Balkans.
We discuss both these events, plus what it was like to be born the son of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated public intellectuals and liberal icons, John Kenneth Galbraith.
Peter Galbraith recently wrote a piece in the New York Review of Books about how the Trump administration is approaching the Kurdish situation. In it, he discusses some recent events in Kurdish region, including the Iraqi government’s decision to forcefully—and violently — respond to an independence referendum in the Kurdish region. This leads to an extended conversation that includes stories from Peter’s nearly 35 year engagement with Kurdish politics. We also discuss Peter’s time in the Balkans and the unique way he sought to draw attention to ongoing mass atrocities there.