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In this article I discuss Claudia Card's treatment of war rape in relation to her discussion of the victim's moral power of forgiveness. I argue that her analysis of the victim's power to withhold forgiveness overlooks the paradoxical structure of witnessing, which implies that there is an ungraspable dimension of atrocity. In relation to this ungraspable element, the proposal that victims of atrocity have the power to either offer or withhold forgiveness may have little relevance.
Hypatia © 2004 Hypatia, Inc.