Shadows of War, a River of Blood


Fifteen years ago, a fictional President walks past his Intelligence Director.

President Bartlet: What’s the CIA know that I should know?

Director Clark: Neighbors are… swapping family members.

The President passes the information on to his Chief of Staff:

Bartlet: Clark says neighbors are swapping family members in Khundu.

Leo: Really?

Then to Leo’s deputy:

Bartlet: Hey, Josh. There’s intelligence that Khundunese neighbors in the country are swapping family members.

Josh: Sorry, I don’t – I don’t unders…

Bartlet: For the night, they’re swapping family members, you know, and sleeping in each other’s houses.

Few of us would recognize the terrible signal this represents, the presage of genocidal atrocity. Those who have spent their professional lives would remember what happened in Rwanda, as Hutus prepared to butcher Tutsies to the edge of extinction.

Experts would know what the Serb dominated government ordered done to Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina leading up to the killing fields.
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