‘Reincarnated war hawk’ Samantha Power presses case for Syria attack to Beltway liberals

US Politics
on 16 Comments

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told an audience at the Center for American Progress in Washington Friday that there is “no risk-free door #2” in regard to Syria.

(Photo: Charles Dharapak)

(Photo: Charles Dharapak)

Power was in town to repeat the administration’s pitch for military action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad for its alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21, killing an estimated 1,400 civilians, many of them children. Power is uniquely positioned to make the plea for action: she won a Pulitzer Prize for her book A Problem From Hell which examined international responses to genocide in the last century, and has been an outspoken proponent for the use of force for humanitarian reasons.

Certainly the civil war in Syria fits the parameters of her book’s title, and she made a persuasive, if oft repeated, case that Assad’s use of chemical weapons was a “uniquely monstrous crime.”

Power also made the case that if there were no consequences for the use of chemical weapons, then Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah would be emboldened. She said that the U.S. must take limited military action against the use of weapons of mass destruction to “deter others in the world who may follow suit.”

“The alternative is to give a green light to outrages that will threaten our security and haunt our conscience, outrages that will eventually compel us to use force anyway down the line at far greater risk and cost to our own citizens,” Power said.

Power also said that pro-Israel organizations had come out in favor of a strike, because Israel’s security was threatened by the ongoing instability in the area.

Anti-war organization Code Pink protested outside Power’s talk.

“It’s disgusting. She’s been reincarnated as a war hawk,” Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin said, according to the Telegraph.

Coincidentally, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote a post Friday praising Power and her no-nonsense calling out of Russia and China for their intransigence regarding Syria. Rubin compared Power to her predecessors Jean Kirkpatrick and John Bolton.

“First, conduct in the United Nations (as should be the case anywhere) must have consequences, whether it is Russia vetoing a Syrian resolution or the Palestinian Authority breaking numerous treaties to seek recognition unilaterally for a Palestinian state or countries taking pot shots at Israel,” wrote Rubin.

“Once we make that clear, then there might be a slight diminution of anti-West, anti-Israel bashing. We have to be able to identify miscreants, call them out and then hold them accountable in some visible way.”

About Peter Voskamp

Peter Voskamp is a freelance writer based in Washington DC. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone.com, Texas Monthly.com, the Providence Phoenix, TheWrap and Yankee magazine, among other publications. He also served as editor of the Block Island Times for many years, in between playing drums for the Booze Beggars and chairing the shellfish commission.

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16 Responses

  1. just
    September 7, 2013, 7:53 am

    What do Power and Rubin have to say about the ongoing Nakba and horrible Occupation of the indigenous Palestinians? Expulsion, genocide, chemical weapon attacks???

    Silence.

    (Thanks Peter! I read Samantha’s garbage yesterday and am still wondering why she and Susan are even @ the UN……)

  2. amigo
    September 7, 2013, 8:23 am

    “The U.S. even shared evidence that it believed could convince Russia or Iran, but to no avail, she added.”Samantha (Iv,e got) Power.

    “That it believed could convince Russia or Iran.”

    There,s a new kid in town ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to stay in power.

    Power’s best known book, A Problem from Hell, does not discuss Israel.

    Hmmm, anyone know why given Israel is a problem from hell.

  3. Bruce
    September 7, 2013, 9:23 am

    Power left the CAP event without taking any questions.

    This is considered bad form among CAP attendees. However, it is not too hard to understand her eagerness to leave unscathed.

  4. HarryLaw
    September 7, 2013, 9:37 am

    First the sentence then the evidence said the Queen [Alice in wonderland]

    • Hostage
      September 7, 2013, 1:06 pm

      “The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.” [Lieutenant Scheisskopf Catch 22]

  5. quercus
    September 7, 2013, 9:49 am

    Power has been whining on about Russian obduracy in the Syrian matter and how Russia is holding the security council ‘hostage’ which I seem to remember is the word she used. Her rhetoric sounds like a bad-mannered juvenile, losing a game and wants now to change the rules.

    I tried to call her office at the UN to leave a sarcastic comment, but the automated message said the mailbox was full. I hope she has a whole slew of sarcastic messages. It must be made clear to these sociopaths that there are a great many of us who disbelieve the garbage they spout.

    She could agree to stand on her head and set her knickers on fire and I still wouldn’t believe a frigging word she says.

    • seafoid
      September 7, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Power missed the fact that iraq changed the game and that it is now a multipolar world,

  6. aiman
    September 7, 2013, 10:27 am

    Samantha Power’s raised left hand definitely resembles a hawk’s talon. Unfortunately, her ideology is the worst that humans can produce.

  7. K Renner
    September 7, 2013, 12:05 pm

    What a joke. Especially the jabs at Iran and Hezbollah by putting them on par with the deluded Kim-Jong Un cult in Pyongyang.

    I have no love for the Ayatollahs or the ideals of the puritanical Khomeini, but the clear fact is that Iran has been liberalizing– moreso informally then officially– and on the whole is a rapidly changing country at this point in time. Rouhani also seems to be a politically savvy and pragmatic guy from what I’ve seen so far.

    Hezbollah is a byproduct of the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon.

    Party ideologues aside, they would be happy with no more Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty on land, on the sea, or in the air– and the idea that they’d want to play around with chemical weapons is laughable and almost provocation on the part of Power.

    Jennifer Rubin is worthless, as per usual, and dare I say a liar.

  8. Hostage
    September 7, 2013, 12:36 pm

    “First, conduct in the United Nations (as should be the case anywhere) must have consequences, whether it is Russia vetoing a Syrian resolution or the Palestinian Authority breaking numerous treaties to seek recognition unilaterally for a Palestinian state or countries taking pot shots at Israel,” wrote Rubin.

    Lol! Last January the US joined Russia and China in sandbagging a request from the Swiss government and 52 other states for the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC. link to swissinfo.ch

    The US is presumably still dragging its feet on that request, while looking after its own interests and the interests of its Arab allies. They are all supporting the rebel insurgency with funding and arms in violation of the UN Charter.

    BTW, the ICJ has advised on several occasions that self-determination of a people’s political status involves a peremptory norm of international law. So there can’t be “numerous treaties” that can prevent the Palestinians from unilaterally seeking recognition of a Palestinian state:

    Article 53
    Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”)

    A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. — The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

    link to untreaty.un.org

    You have to be pretty screwed-up to compare efforts to obtain recognition of statehood with criminality or genocide.

    The UN and the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris 13 January 1993 are still waiting for the official report from its own disarmament inspection team regarding the attack in Syria. So the international community has no proof that Syria violated the international norm in question.

    The Convention doesn’t assign any special role to the United States or any other party acting “unilaterally” outside the framework of the UN organization.
    link to icrc.org

    The jury is no longer out on the illegality of Israel’s actions in Gaza or in the West Bank or the impropriety of US vetoes and the supply of US made arms in the region. See the many Emergency Special Sessions of the General Assembly on that subject. link to un.org

    Israel is only paying political lip service to the idea of strike. Netanyahu has already launched several without consulting our Congress or anyone else.

  9. radii
    September 7, 2013, 3:30 pm

    because I love good political intrigue and the outlandish stories it can manifest and because I am also an optimist a part of me wants to believe that Obama has been playing a long game and the Syria gambit is merely the final stage of Obama feeding israel and their Fifth Column here in the U.S. enough rope to hang themselves – they’ve gone all-in with the strategy if that is what is happening because finally, finally, the control israel has over U.S. warmaking and foreign policy is naked to the sun and can no longer be hidden and the American people don’t like it and do not want this latest war for israel’s regional superpower goals using our blood and treasure by 70%-80% depending upon your source

    the cynical view is that our israeli parasite-controller wields so much power that Obama, Biden, Kerry, Power, et al will sacrifice their reputations and careers at israel’s bidding

    this liberal will support impeachment for Obama if he ever commits boots on the ground in Syria

  10. Justpassingby
    September 7, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Thats classy samantha, calling for war, hiding between humanitarian concerns.

    Samantha Power, another warmonger put in work by warmongering Obama.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    September 7, 2013, 5:39 pm

    RE: “‘Reincarnated war hawk’ Samantha Power presses case for Syria attack to Beltway liberals”

    TAKE ACTION! ! ! TAKE ACTION! ! ! TAKE ACTION! ! !

    ● FROM CodePink4Peace.org: Diplomacy and Aid for Syria, Not Military Strikes
    Send a letter to your members of Congress calling for peace not war on Syria! We plea with President Obama and Congress to seek an immediate ceasefire, begin regional peace talks and provide humanitarian aid to the over 2 million refugees fleeing the violence.
    LINK – link to codepink.salsalabs.com

    ● CONGRESSMAN ALAN GRAYSON’S PETITION
    Tell Congress: Don’t Attack Syria
    We have already delayed an attack on Syria, and forced the President to ask Congress for authorization. The next step in preventing war is to get Congress to deny permission for war. Add your name to this petition, and I will deliver it to your Member of Congress. Your voice matters.
    TO SIGN – link to dontattacksyria.com

    ● FROM credoaction.comTell Congress: Don’t Bomb Syria
    To our Senators and members of Congress: Do not authorize the use of American military force in Syria. With civilians being butchered and refugees suffering immensely, it is horrifying to watch the brutal civil war in Syria unfold. But U.S. military intervention is far more likely to make matters worse, not better. The U.S. should not bomb Syria. The best thing we can do is commit to holding war criminals accountable, expand humanitarian aid for refugees, and maintain constant diplomatic pressure for a negotiated end to the conflict.
    TO SIGN PETITION – link to act.credoaction.com

    ● FROM MoveOn.org: Say “No!” to US strikes on Syria!
    TO SIGN PETITION – link to petitions.moveon.org

    ● FROM RootsAction.org: Prevent an Attack on Syria Now
    If you live in the U.S. and want to email Obama, your senators and representative, expressing opposition to an attack on Syria, please click HERE.
    If you reside outside the United States, you can still sign this petition by clicking HERE.

    ● FROM Avaaz.org
    To US President Obama and President Rouhani of Iran:
    As citizens around the world horrified by the slaughter of innocents in Syria, we call on you to put aside your differences and meet to find a diplomatic path forward that brings all parties to the table to negotiate a ceasefire and peace. You are in a unique position to help broker such a solution. There must be a bold diplomatic breakthrough. We are calling on you to create one and start saving lives.
    TO SIGN THE PETITION – link to avaaz.org

  12. Rusty Pipes
    September 7, 2013, 8:10 pm

    Unfortunately, Power has been uniquely positioned in this administration to push the R2P doctrine already in regard to Libya, where the insurgent forces battling the government were categorized as civilians being slaughtered. What was billed as creating humanitarian corridors for escaping civilians was accomplished by wiping out the government’s air defenses, which contributed to the downfall of the regime, massive civilian casualties and further destabilization in North Africa. If Chris Stephens had not been killed, the R2P team in the Obama administration would have been trumpeting the Libyan intervention as an unqualified success just because Qaddafi was killed. Since the Libyan intervention, the American people have said of Syria that not only do they not want American “boots on the ground” or military supplies to the rebels, but they don’t want a “no fly zone” (enforced by US air power). With the R2P team of Power and Rice advising him, Americans have reason to be concerned that not only might the strike Obama is authorizing lead to American boots on the ground, but that the slippery slope may begin with bombs with a humanitarian stamp — an undeclared no fly zone plan gone awry.

  13. just
    September 8, 2013, 8:06 am

    I am sure that Powers is not happy with this:

    “A European Union court ruled on Friday that the EU should lift sanctions it imposed against seven Iranian companies, dealing a new blow to Europe’s efforts to use economic pressure to rein in Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

    The ruling, which can be appealed, follows similar decisions earlier this year against sanctions imposed on two of Iran’s biggest banks.

    Friday’s ruling covers Post Bank Iran, Iran Insurance Company, Good Luck Shipping, Export Development Bank of Iran, Persia International Bank, Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Co and Bank Refah Kargaran.

    In making its ruling, the General Court, Europe’s second-highest court, said that the EU had failed to produce sufficient evidence the listed companies were acting as front companies for Iran’s nuclear program.

    “We are very disappointed by the court’s decision today,” a spokesman for the United States Treasury said in a statement. “The evidence linking these banks to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities is clear and strong, and no financial institution anywhere should allow these Iranian banks to transact with them.” ”

    Again with the “evidence” and the “illicit nuclear activities”. We are not trustworthy and neither is our “intelligence” Good for the court!

  14. traintosiberia
    September 9, 2013, 8:49 am

    Power is repeating the reasons provided by Israel that Iran would get emboldened by lack of any military responses to Syria. Iran would asssume per Israel that if Syria could get away with, so could Iran with development and use of CW and WMD.
    Obma was pitchforked into the proverbial situation of “Red Line” .He slelepwalked into this position. He wanted to fend off any charges that he was not doing anything to Syrian regime despite pleas by his allies and demand by Israel. Obama promised that he would do something if and when Red Line were crossed. Lo and Behold! Its crossed , thanks to Isreali German deep state fabrication and doctoring of intercepted message . link to dailycaller.com

    So Obama is being asked by his patrons and financier and future Speech opportunity providers to do something that would finish Syrian governement. Obama and Kerry and Power all have been batting for Israeli security as one of the reasons to showcase their zeal for war along with other lofty visions of ME where moderates like Saudi and Kuwaitis and Egyptian military roam free with permission of Israel and Israel call the shots when Uncle Sam wants to decide what should be decided as US core interest.

    It was 1949 when Syria was assulted by US. Then as well one of the reasons provided was the issue recognition of Israel another reason was that Syria would not fall victims to Russian or Arab initiated any social awakenings. Husni al-Za’im CIA agnet like Mubarak and Siisi of recent hsitory promised to recognize Isreal and was installed.
    “Syria continued to be plagued by military coups throughout the 1950′s until a parliamentary system was restore in 1954. By that time, the Syrian people were tired of US meddling and the new government turned to the Soviet Union for support.

    In 1957, another CIA plot to change the Syrian government was uncovered and three CIA agents were expelled from the country. This military coup was code-named Operation Wappen, and the CIA man in change was Howard “Rocky” Stone.”

    link to dailykos.com

    Colin Powell toured Gulf and Arab countries and demanded that Arab countries opened up diplomatic relations with Isreal in the wake of Iraq invasion of 2003
    Bernard Levy anonuced in 2011 the divined tidings to the World ( Israel and US ) that Libyan rebel would recognize Israel.

    .

    Power is retelling the same old stuff on Iran that has been debunked ( Bulgarian terrosim, South East Asia bicyle bombings, Iranain nukes activities ) repeatedly but truth does not matter to her.She knows two lies are better than one . She also does not want to delve why Iran matters to Israel. Both American and Israeli neoocns figured that out long ago when they openly admitted that Iranain nukes would handicap any Isareli hegemony and free hand and not threaten Israel in any other way.

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