President Obama has nominated Samantha Power to fill the position of Ambassador to the United Nations. Although she came up with the “mea culpa” brand of foreign policy in her own writings — a brand that allegedly led to the president’s so-called “apology tour,” she nonetheless once advocated military intervention to settle differences between Israel and Palestine in a taped interview.
The U.N. ambassador slot opened when Obama appointed the outgoing ambassador, Susan Rice, as his national security advisor, a position not requiring Senate confirmation. The U.N. ambassadorship, however, will. He made both announcements Wednesday afternoon, according to Fox News.
In a 2003 “New Republic” article, Power called for a complete “overhauling” of U.S. foreign policy in order to come to grips “with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States.”
U.S. foreign policy has to be rethought. It needs not tweaking but overhauling. We need: a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States. This would entail restoring FOIA to its pre- Bush stature, opening the files, and acknowledging the force of a mantra we have spent the last decade promoting in Guatemala, South Africa, and Yugoslavia: A country has to look back before it can move forward. Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors.
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U.S. foreign policy should inject first-order concern for human rights into every policy decision. American decision-makers must understand how damaging a foreign policy that privileges order and profit over justice really is in the long term.
However, her “mea culpa” foreign policy theory apparently doesn’t apply to Israel. In a 2002 Berkeley interview, she advocated “investing billions of dollars not in servicing Israeli’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine.” She continued, “It would also take to support a mammoth protection force … a meaningful military presence” to impose “a solution on unwilling parties.”
Talk about forcing our will on another country.
She went on, “You have to go in as if you’re serious,” given that “both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible, and unfortunately it does require external intervention, which — very much like the Rwanda scenario.”
Is this really the person we want representing our interests in the United Nations? Rice was a poor choice simply because she was ineffective and incompetent. Power, on the other hand, is a train wreck.
Would someone please advise the president that John Bolton is available for the position?
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