(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/05/power-47011.gif)As discussed in Part I of this article, Russia flies planeloads of weapons to Damascus. Iran supplies Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad with money, trainers, agents, and more weapons. With that kind of backing, Assad can flip the finger at the UN’s Obama-endorsed cease-fire plan and continue the carnage, with more than 10,000 dead at last count. And what does Obama do? After months of ignoring or dithering, he forms a committee to look in to the Syrian atrocities. But not just any committee: no, a committee with multi-agency participation!
If Obama really wanted to bring Assad down, a major defeat for the USA’s regional enemy, Iran, then why not set about organizing, training and arming the Syrian rebels in their sanctuaries in Turkey? He would have Turkey’s blessing and Saudi Arabia’s cooperation. But instead, a committee: the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB).
Obama’s political motivations for forming this committee prior to his re-election campaign, to diffuse criticism regarding his inactivity in the face of Iran’s nuclear threat and Syria’s mass murder of unarmed protesters, have been discussed in Part I. Now a look at the APB’s future is in order, and its future is defined by its leaders.
The statistically most accurate predictor of 11th grade behavior in high school students is their 10th grade behavior. The same is often true of adults. A review of the two most prominent APB leaders’ recent past is likely to offer insight as to the direction in which they may take the APB in the future.
Dr. Samantha Power, the new chairperson of the APB, announced its formation last year. She is the academic and political power-house who won a Pulitzer Prize for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, and now advises the Obama administration on the subject of international atrocities. She convened the first meeting of the APB Board of Directors on Monday, April 23, as Obama delivered his speech about American support for human rights at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
While Dr. Power is clearly well versed in issues relating to mass murder, war crimes, and genocide, her ability or willingness to deal objectively with global or regional issues relating to such atrocities must be called in to question, given her past statements and recommendations. She has a long record of antipathy toward Israel and has argued that America’s relationship with Israel “has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics.”
During a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler, director of the Institute for International Studies at UC Berkeley, Power said that even if it meant “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import” (i.e., American Jews), the United States should stop investing “billions of dollars” in “servicing Israel’s military” and invest the money instead “in the new state of Palestine.” Moreover, she accused Israel of perpetrating “major human-rights abuses” and suggested that the United States had brought terrorist attacks upon itself by aping Israel’s violations of human rights.
“What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line…and putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean…investing literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israeli military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine…”
She went on to suggest a rather revolutionary solution[i] to the Arab-Israel conflict, US “external intervention” using American military force against Israel:
“…in investing (the) billions of dollars it would probably take also to support, I think, what would to be (sic!), I think, a mammoth protection force…a meaningful military presence because it seems to me at this stage — and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just major human rights abuses which we’re seeing there — but is that you have to go in as if you’re serious. You have to put something on the line and unfortunately the position of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful, it’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic.”
So the chair of President Obama’s new Atrocities Prevention Board once called publicly for the United States to impose by means of military force an essentially anti-Israel resolution to end the conflict by sending a meaningful military presence, a mammoth force of American troops, to invade Israel in order to end the putative abuses that she said were being committed there by Israel against Palestinians!
Let’s recall that she made this pronouncement at a time when the 2nd intifada was at its height, with Israeli buses being blown up by suicide bombers almost daily and Arafat screaming “Jihad, jihad, jihad” into PA television.
In March 2011, Glenn Beck covered Dr. Power on his radio show, and in a subsequent article he concluded that Samantha Power is probably the most dangerous woman in America, and a real threat to Israel. He also noted that “[UN official Richard Falk] has been pushing for the right to protect or the Responsibility to Protect to be used against Israel and they’ve been trying this now for the last couple of years, and that’s what this is really all about, period. This is about going after Israel.” Beck concluded by reiterated his pro-Israel stance and said that there are many forces that are making moves against Israel. Samantha Power, who is clearly a force within the Obama administration, stands among them.
It is, in sum, not unwarranted to suggest that Dr. Power may be influenced by her anti-Israel predisposition as she takes the helm of the APB.
The same concerns apply to Susan Rice (no relation to Condoleezza Rice), US Ambassador to the UN and another Obama appointee to the APB Board of Directors. She too has displayed an open hostility to the state of Israel.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, she was a foreign-policy advisor to Democrat candidate John Kerry. According to The American Thinker, she advised Kerry to appoint two of the most virulent of America’s anti-Israel political figures to a negotiating panel that would engage Israel and the Palestinians: James Baker and Jimmy Carter .
According to the Weekly Standard, in June of 2010 Rice played an important role in pushing the Obama administration to support a United Nations investigation of a deadly May 31 flotilla fiasco, when a gaggle of Turkish ships tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip. The ships were intercepted by Israeli naval commandos when they refused to comply with Israeli requirements that all cargo be submitted for inspection. According to Israel, approximately 40 of the 600-plus people aboard the vessels were Turkish jihadists who instigated the violence, and several were known to have ties to Islamic terrorism.
In February 2011, in one of the most extraordinary statements ever made by an American official about Israel, Rice bitterly complained about having to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel and its settlement policy. She deliberately undercut the impact of the veto by saying, “For more than four decades, [Israeli settlement activity] has undermined security … corroded hopes for peace and security … it violates international commitments and threatens prospects for peace.” During her testimony before Congress several months later, Rice reiterated that sentiment, adding “Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate.”
So with two anti-Israel power-houses at the helm, a host of anti-Israel political and academic voices cheering them on, many on the left in mainstream media pandering to the Arab line with its routine accusations of Israel’s atrocities and genocidal intentions, and the President with the worst track record on Israel ever having intentionally chosen them to direct the APB, it will be all too easy for them to accept Arab accusations at face value, prioritize Palestinian so-called victims over legitimate victims of atrocities elsewhere, and declare the West Bank or Gaza Strip an “atrocity zone.” Then Powers and Rice can use the APB to go after Israel. They will see their wishes fulfilled: American armed forces invading Israel to protect Palestinian terrorist “victims” from Israeli defensive “atrocities.”
Perhaps Glenn Beck is right. Perhaps that is why Obama chose them to run his new APB.
[i] The only other American political figure to place such a notion on record is former Chief Warrant Officer/counterintelligence special agent, US Army, retired, Dick McManus, Democrat, of Everett/Mill Creek, WA, who is running for Congress, 2nd CD-WA.
Dick McManus: “It is time for America to use our military to force Israel to return the occupied territories…If we care about the long-term security of Israel it is time for America to use our military force to return the occupied territories to the Palestinians.”
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