Fmr State Dep’t official who denounced Goldstone Report leapfrogs from Amnesty Int’l to prestige literary org PEN

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I think this is how the world works. PEN, the literary and human rights organization, has a new director, Suzanne Nossel. PEN says Nossel has “deep experience in the … human rights arena.” Certainly she has got the right wax on her skis. Just a year  six months ago Nossel got the top job at Amnesty International. Coleen Rowley and Ann Wright rightly deplored the hiring of someone with a record of supporting military interventions:

Nossel is herself credited as having coined the term “Smart Power,” which embraces the United States’ use of military power as well as other forms of “soft power,” an approach which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at her confirmation as the new basis of State Department policy.

An excerpt from Nossel’s 2004 paper on “Smart Power” published in the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs magazine sounds a lot like Samantha Power’s (and also traces back to Madeleine Albright’s) theories:

“To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war.

“Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership — diplomatic, economic, and not least, military [our emphasis] — to  advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).”

And look what Nossel said about the UN Goldstone Report: it put “the most negative possible spin that you could put on Israeli behavior.” (As if the killing of nearly 400 children was ambiguous.)

“It draws a series of inferences about Israel’s motives and behavior that are simply not supported by the facts…. We do take exception to that…”

Nossel’s record doesn’t hurt you in elite institutions. In fact, it’s a prerequisite.

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