Samantha Power Shills for Israel

18 Jun

So clearly Samantha Power’s moral posturing really brings out the cranky-pants polemicist in me.  And as per the third law of  blogging dynamics, I received a raft of equally vitriolic emails from liberals tripping over themselves to defend Power.  Most of them attacked my lack of appreciation for the exigencies of a political career in a corrupt, cutthroat system.  And believe me, I get that.  This isn’t exactly a new problem.  Moreover, I’ve even found myself in recent months making the same fairly obvious point in defense of another ostensibly righteous public servant–in this case, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren–who also holds unfortunate positions on Israel, Iran, etc.  Politics is a crooked, corrupting game and no one gets to do anything constructive without trading in some integrity first.

But there’s choosing to make a difficult trade-off in order to achieve some higher purpose–like tacking up the same hawkish boilerplate about the importance of supporting Obama’s brutal sanctions strategy for preventing Iran from wiping Israel off something or other that’s on every Democrat’s website as an ugly, pernicious concession to power on one’s way to being the most decent and unyielding foe of corporate oligarchy in Congress–and then there’s shameless careerism and social climbing.

Read this and ask yourself–what kind of person reads a report from one of the world’s most highly respected jurists outlining Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate slaughter of nearly 1,000 civilians in Gaza, including some 300 children, and reacts by volunteering for Israel’s PR damage control campaign?

From Haaretz:

During the course of 2009, shortly after joining the White House staff, Power played a central role in the coordination between Israel and the United States on the Goldstone Report, which determined that Israel had committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, the war against Gaza in December 2008. She is responsible for a large part of the strategy with which the United States helped Israel to deal with the report and to minimize its damage.

“Samantha has been the White House official in contact with our team in the Human Rights Council,” said Rhodes. “She was helping set the policy but was also the person to sign off on the language of the statements the administration and our mission in Geneva issued.”

Rhodes said that Power was also a key player in the U.S. decision to boycott the Durban 2 conference in 2009; in dealing with the Mavi Marmara flotilla crisis in May 2010, which immediately found its way to the UN institutions; and in stopping the unilateral Palestinian initiative in the United Nations.

Power’s views on the Palestinian question are identical to those of Obama. She is strongly opposed to construction in the settlements and believes that Israel must end the occupation and help to establish an independent Palestinian state. Despite that, during internal discussions at the White House she supported a veto against the condemnation of construction in the settlements in the UN Security Council in February 2011.

Power, as so many scathing emails from liberal Democrats proclaimed, is supposedly a principled crusader for human rights, a voice for the voiceless victims of ethnic cleansing and other war crimes.  She certainly seems to present herself that way.  It is fitting, then, that she should be honored with such esteemed positions in the White House of one of the most impressively opportunistic moral-political con men in recent memory.  At least guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld could hold a consistent, coherent position for more than a few years at a time.


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