Samantha Power Boosts Israel’s Cause

The safest way for any U.S. foreign policy nominee to win Senate confirmation is to pander to Israel’s interests and to bluster against its enemies. That was the route Samantha Power took in her bid to win confirmation as the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reports Nima Shirazi.

By Nima Shirazi

In her first appearance before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Samantha Power, Obama’s pick for next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made clear that she will spend her time in the role much as her predecessor Susan Rice did: acting as Israel’s consummate defender, fear-mongering about Iran, and opposing any move to champion Palestinian human rights or self-determination.

Rice, who has been appointed as Obama’s National Security Adviser, has said repeatedlythat the American delegation to the UN “often works in ‘lockstep’ with the Israeli delegation” and spends “an enormous amount of time defending Israel’s right to defend itself and defending Israel’s legitimacy.”

President Barack Obama at the White House with National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Samantha Power (right), his nominee to be the new U.N. ambassador. (White House Photo credit: Pete Souza)

“It’s an issue of utmost and daily concern for the United States,” she declared last year.  A few months ago, she reiterated this point, insisting that her role as an apologist for the Israeli government is “a huge part of my work to the United Nations” and that the United States “will not rest in the crucial work of defending Israel’s security and legitimacy every day at the United Nations.”

Power has already proven herself a loyal replacement, disavowing any semblance of past critical thinking when it comes to Israeli human rights abuses and abrogation of international law and opposing fear-mongering about Iran’s nuclear program. It is no surprise Washington hawks, Zionist ideologues and even the Israeli government are falling over themselves to sing her praises.

In her confirmation hearing on July 17, Power revealed her adherence to AIPAC talking points, essentially working her way down the tried-and-true list of boilerplate phrases.  “The United States has no greater friend in the world than the State of Israel,” she said, adding, “Israel is a country with whom we share security interests and, even more fundamentally, with whom we share core values the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”

“America has a special relationship with Israel,” she stated, to the surprise of no one and the consternation of George Washington‘s ghost. “I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it,” she promised in her prepared statement. She later reiterated her vow. “I commit to you wholeheartedly to go on offense as well as playing defense on the legitimization of Israel,” she declared to the assembled U.S. Senators.

Perhaps her most disturbing comments, however, were about Iran.  Shamelessly exploiting the horror of the Holocaust to fear-monger about the Islamic Republic, she declared:

“…within this organization built in the wake of the Holocaust built in part in order to apply the lessons of the Holocaust we also see unacceptable bias and attacks against the State of Israel. We see the absurdity of Iran chairing the UN Conference on Disarmament, despite the fact that its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to international peace and security.”

With this statement, Power, in her eagerness to check off all the buzzwords boxes prescribed by AIPAC, directly contradicts the consistent assessment of the United States’ own intelligence community, which has repeatedly concluded that Iran is, in fact, not pursuing a nuclear weapons as it has no nuclear weapons program.

Early last year, an unnamed U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Post that Iran has not decided to pursue nuclear weapons, explaining, “Our belief is that they are reserving judgment on whether to continue with key steps they haven’t taken regarding nuclear weapons.”  At the time, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta affirmed this position, admitting, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

Soon thereafter, the New York Times reported, “Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier.” This, the paper noted, “remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” Either Samantha Power is an idiot or she’s lying.

In fact, there was a time when Power wasn’t so confident in making such a declarative statement. In a 2008 interview with Miller-McCune, Power noted that she was “not an expert on Iran,” but condemned the “American sabre-rattling” of the George W. Bush administration. “The threats implicit and explicit of U.S. military action have united very diverse secular, Islamist and nationalist strands,” she said, adding that American “belligerence” had “backfired.”

When asked specifically about whether she thought “Iran is trying to create nuclear weapons,” Power replied, “It would surprise me if they weren’t, but I don’t know.”

Still, she disparaged the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate and simply assumed Iran “would see as in its interests to amass as much firepower as possible,” due to the foreign threats it faces. Nevertheless, she stated, “It does not seem as though the Iranian regime is close to possessing nuclear weapons” and said that “when U.S. leaders claim Iran poses an imminent threat, they are not currently heard as credible.”

Now, five years later, Power sounds exactly like Bush’s own UN Ambassador, perennial Iran hawk John Bolton, who in 2006, insisted to the UN Security Council that “Iran had defied the international community by continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons” and that this “pursuit of nuclear weapons constituted a direct threat to international peace and security.”

Furthermore, Power’s incredulity regarding what she deems the “absurdity of Iran chairing the UN Conference on Disarmament,” betrays her own ignorance on Iran’s constantly repeated stance regarding nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Iran has long championed a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East and is a party to all disarmament treaties on weapons of mass destruction, including the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Israel, however, is not a member of any of them.

Last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Iran fully supports the establishment of a NWFZ, but that Israel, and its American backers, presented the “only obstacle to the creation of such a zone … due to its persistent refusal to join the NPT and to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards system.”

Earlier this month, at the “International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts” held in Vienna, Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh reiterated his nation’s commitment to universal nuclear disarmament. “The best guarantee for nuclear security is definitely a world free from nuclear weapons,” he said, “as a result of which nuclear disarmament process could reinforce nuclear security efforts.”

The United States consistently blocks crucial international conferences dedicated to nuclear non-proliferation for the sole purpose of protecting Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal from scrutiny.

Samantha Power has surely embraced her new role in Turtle Bay as Israel’s stalwart apologist, going so far as to promise her congressional interlocutors that she will push for Israel to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council as a representative of – get this – the Western European bloc of nations, despite being located in the Levant, which is indisputably in the continent of Asia and far to the East of even Eastern Europe from which it is separated by hundreds of miles of water.

Abe Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s hasbarist-in-chief, once called Susan Rice a “gladiator” fighting in the United Nations on behalf of Israel.  There is no question Samantha Power will, for the sake of our “special relationship” and “shared values” with an aggressive, nuclear-armed, settler-colonial apartheid state, similarly take up the sword and continue to unleash hell on the entire Middle East.

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog, Wide Asleep in America. He tweets @WideAsleepNima.

6 comments for “Samantha Power Boosts Israel’s Cause

  1. Wallace Edward Brand
    July 29, 2013 at 10:54

    The claim of Arabs for political self determination in Palestine was made at the Paris Peace talks in 1919 in competition with the Jewish claims. The Principal Allied War Powers did not reach a decision then, but the matter was continued when the group reconvened in San Remo. There, on April 25, 1920, it was decided to adopt the British Balfour policy. That would give the exclusive political rights to the Jews they had asked for. The non Jews in Palestine were ignored as to political rights. World Jewry was chosen based on the historic association of the Jews with Palestine. For 3,700 years, Jews, indigenous to Palestine had continuously lived there. The Arabs did not arrive until the 7th Century, BC.

    The Principal Allied War Powers adopted the Balfour Policy word for word. As winners in a defensive war against Germany and the Ottoman Empire, they had the right, under International Law (based on long standing customer among nations), to determine the fate of their captured territory that Colonial Turkey had been occupying for 400 years. They did so for Palestine, Syria (later divided into Syria and Lebanon) and Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

    At San Remo, the French wanted to insert the term “political rights” in the savings clause of the Balfour policy, which said the when the Jews assumed sovereignty, they should do nothing to impair the civil rights or religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The proposed amendment was not adopted due to the objection of the other parties to the talks but a side agreement was reached which provided that the savings clause meant that the non-Jewish communities would not have to surrender any of their rights. The non-Jews in Palestine had never exercised sovereignty from within Palestine so they never had political rights. Only the Jewish people had ruled within the boundaries of Palestine.

    Accordingly the so called Palestinian People had no right to self government but since 1920 have been trying by threats of violence and actual violence to take these political rights away from the Jews.

    Under the Balfour policy, the Jewish claim to the political rights was recognized, however the recognition was to be implement in two parts. As of 1917, the date of the adoption of the Balfour policy, while the Jews had had a population plurality in Jerusalem since 1845 and a majority since 1863, in all of Palestine they were a 10% minority with only an estimated 60,000 Jews in a total population of 600,000. So to avoid an antidemocratic rule by a minority, the Jews only received a beneficial interest with a trustee, Britain, holding legal dominion over the political rights until such time as the Jews attained a population majority in the area they were to rule, and found to be capable of exercising sovereignty. By 1947 they had been found capable of exercising sovereignty and by 1950, two years after the abandonment by Britain of its trusteeship, they had attained a population majority. See: Brand, Roots of Sovereignty and Boundaries of Israel under International Law: In Defense of the Levy Report

    And in fact, there is no such thing as a “Palestinian People”. They were invented by the Soviet dezinformatsiya in 1964. See: Brand, Soviet Russia Creator of the PLO and the Palestinian People.

  2. Morton Kurzweil
    July 22, 2013 at 11:36

    The personal attacks on the new U N ambassador are typical expressions of the paranoia and ignorance that is the base of the new WCMP, the White Christian Morality Party used by international business to weaken the influence of democratic states. The enemies of Israel are all led by autocrats who rule by coercion through repression of free ideas. The leadership in China, Russia, North Korea by one party rule is no different than the rule by an Islamic sect in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups.
    “Smaller government” means less influence of the people against international business groups who would rule by eliminating the rights of all the people. The morons who believe that any religion, any belief in one economic or moral theory has brought freedom, peace and prosperity to any nation deserves to remain enslaved by his own stupidity.

  3. just plainbill
    July 21, 2013 at 03:09

    In an interview shown today on the passing of Helen Thomas she emphatically remarked that someone (journalists) may diss the POTUS but no way ever Israel or the Jewish people – it would hailed as anti –Semitic.

    In the wake of the EU’s strong and clear message to President Netanyahu concerning his settlement policies; he and his administration continue to thumb its nose at the world community and to go on stealing Palestinian land, water and other resources on a vast scale.
    To defend those actions he has floated the idea that it is all the doing of his pal Obama that has instigated the Europeans to denounce their settlement policies and threaten Israel with dire economic consequences.

    Not true ‘Bibi’, not to worry- you see, President Obama has appointed a long time personal friend Samatha Power who as the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,for the sake of our mutual special relationship and shared values, – will continue to devote an enormous amount of time defending Israel’s right to defend itself and Israel’s legitimacy.”

    Jewish and African Americans still stand shoulder to shoulder….for now?

  4. Roger Thomas
    July 21, 2013 at 00:06

    This unprincipled woman is not a fit person for any diplomatic role but she certainly knows the right buttons to be pressed. At least, she is truthful in declaring that the USA shares the same core values as that abomination of an apartheid state viz. unprovoked attacks on fellow UN member states, disproportionate use of force, disregard for human life, incarceration without trial, torture, abuse of human rights, lying and distortion of the truth – to name a few.

    The American people should be ashamed that their government is controlled by Zionists/Zionist-Americans who care not a jot for the USA’s real interests.

  5. LD
    July 20, 2013 at 19:52

    Samantha Power is married to one of the most notorious propagandists to take power in the White House since 9/11, Cass “Nudge” Sunstein. Good thing the US has lifted its propaganda ban, per a quote from the recently deceased Michael Hastings from a tragic and mysterious LA car crash,

    “…the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns,”

    so that we, US Citizens can be propagandized (lied to,) legally, that is, about anything from Israel to Iran to NSA Spying…you name it. The Government can now openly disseminate “Pravda-like” Press to its Citizens.

  6. LD
    July 20, 2013 at 15:30

    Security – the buzz-word for fascism:

    “There are other ways to make fascism compatible with democracy.

    First, a reductionist definition of democracy as multi-party national elections.

    Second, making the parties close to identical in matters of “security”, ready to use violence internationally or nationally.

    Third, privatising the economy under the heading of “freedom”, the other bridging word, essentially granting the Executive power over the judiciary, the police and the military – a move for which there is already manufactured consent. To arrive at that consent, a permanent crisis with a permanent enemy ready to hit is useful, but there are other approaches.

    Just as a crisis defined as “military” catapults the military into power, a crisis defined as “economic” catapults capital into power. If the crisis is that the West has been outcompeted in the real economy, then the finance economy – the huge banks – start handling the trillions under the formula of freedom.”

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