It took a variety of approaches to market the 2003 war on Iraq. For some it was to be a defense against an imagined threat. For others it was false revenge. But for Samantha Power it was philanthropy. She said at the time, “An American intervention likely will improve the lives of the Iraqis. Their lives could not get worse, I think it’s quite safe to say.” Needless to say, it wasn’t safe to say that.
Did Power learn a lesson? No, she went on to promote a war on Libya, which proved disastrous.
Then did she learn? No, she took an explicit position against learning, publicly arguing for the duty not to dwell on the results in Libya as that might impede willingness to wage war on Syria.
Samantha Power may never learn, but we can. We can stop allowing her to hold public office.
We can tell every U.S. Senator to reject her nomination to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Samantha Power, as “Human Rights Director” at the National Security Council and Ambassador to the United Nations, supported the U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen and Israeli attacks on Palestine, denouncing criticisms of Israel and helping block international responses to the attacks on Yemen.
Power has been a major proponent of hostility toward Russia and of unfounded and exaggerated allegations against Russia.
Power has, in lengthy articles and books, shown remarkably little (if any) regret for all the wars she’s promoted, choosing instead to focus on her regret for missed opportunities for wars that didn’t happen, especially in Rwanda — which she misleadingly depicts as a situation not caused by militarism, but in which a military attack would have supposedly reduced rather than increased suffering.
We don’t need war advocates who use more humanitarian language. We need peace advocates.
President Biden has nominated a far less enthusiastic war proponent than usual to direct the CIA, but it’s not clear how much that will matter if Power is running USAID. According to Allen Weinstein, a co-founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, an organization funded by USAID, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
USAID has financed efforts aimed at overthrowing governments in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The last thing we need right now is a USAID run by a habitual “intervener.”
Here’s a link to an online email-your-senators campaign to reject Samantha Power.
Here’s some more reading:
Alan MacLeod: “A Record Of Hawkish Intervention: Biden Picks Samantha Power To Head USAID”
David Swanson: “Samantha Power Can See Russia from Her Padded Cell”
The Intercept: “Top Samantha Power Aide is Now Lobbying to Undermine Opponents of Yemen War”
David Swanson: “Lies About Rwanda Mean More Wars if Not Corrected”