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Trust Republicans to give battle over the wrong broad and for the wrong reasons.
Political posturing aside, Susan Rice, whom Barack Obama has appointed to be his national security adviser – despite or perhaps because of her role in developing the administration’s Benghazi fable – is likely less dangerous than Samantha Power, who will be sent to the United Nations in Rice’s place.
Rice, you’ll recall, was shoved out onto the Sunday shows – five days following the Sept. 11 attack on the mission in Libya last year – to tell tall tales about the genesis of that attack, and to saddle the blame for U.S. fatalities there on an anti-Islam filmmaker. (The man still languishes in jail.)
Formerly at the National Security Council, and acting as senior White House security adviser at the time, Power knows a thing or two about the Benghazi pickle. More to the point: In cahoots with Rice and Hillary Clinton – the woman who cracked the whip at Foggy Bottom – Power was responsible for Obama’s war on Libya, having “developed” a doctrine every bit as intellectually and morally bankrupt as the Bush Doctrine (which advocated waging war to ostensibly prevent it).
Writing in The Nation, a magazine of the ultra-left, Tom Hayden has illustrated just how dangerous is Power’s “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. A former California state senator, Hayden is also a ’60s flower-power peacenik, whose progressive pedigree can be traced back to Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Jane Fonda.
According to Hayden, Power is an “Irish internationalist”; a “humanitarian hawk” who “see[s] war as an instrument for achieving her liberal, even radical, values.” She “advocates American and NATO military intervention in humanitarian crises.” As she sees it, “The United States must … be prepared to risk the lives of its soldiers to stop the threat of genocide.”
Hip to Power’s hypocrisy, Hayden points out that “like U2’s Bono, another Irish human rights activist,” she “has been less preoccupied by the human rights abuses inflicted by the British during the 30-year war in the northern part of her own country.” Indeed, like her neoconservative philosophical clones, Power considers herself a redeemer of mankind – but not, mind you, of her own kind.
Power has still to scale the Senate Foreign Relations committee for confirmation. My guess is that the leggy fanatic will clear the hurdle by offering as confirmation quid pro quo a softer stance on, say, Israel. And voila, onward to Syria.
By far the more dangerous of the two Obama Amazons is Samantha Power. Susan Rice, in a sense, has been neutralized by scandal; she’s under scrutiny. And if you’re wondering what a U.S. ambassador at the U.N. could possibly do by way of taking the country to war, think of John Negroponte. He pushed for the Security Council resolution “that President Bush eventually cited in going to war in Iraq.”
If they play rough, Republicans will lap up the ladies’ foreign-policy antics, starting with the senior Republican senator from Arizona. John McCain recently crossed enemy lines to cavort with Syrian rebels, the type of chaps who lunch on enemy lungs. He, Lindsey Graham (another senior Republican senator) and their colleagues can’t wait to supply the noble savages of the world with rations.
The only time Republicans will shake fists and point fingers is over a war delayed, one that isn’t led by the U.S., or a war waged without the necessary conviction (read collateral damage).
In all, white progressives like Power derive an erotic rush from swooping down to save The Unknown Other, whether he likes it or not. The coolest place from which to keep this hot thrill going is the global geopolitical scene.
To expect someone like Power to care about her homies first is a lot like expecting Angelina Jolie to adopt a poor white baby (an Afrikaner living in a shantytown , for example). How unglamorous! There’s no chic value in that. In Jolie’s defense, it’s her money. It’s hers to do with as she pleases. In a public servant, however, Power’s proclivities amount to treason.
Edmund Burke certainly thought so. These sellouts of American interests would do well to ponder Burke’s wisdom:
“To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed toward a love to our country and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those who compose it; and as none but bad men would justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage.”