Our highly-credentialed UN Ambassador Samantha Power either believed, or pretended to believe, that Iran and/or Russia would be cowed by the international community’s revelations about and reaction to Syria, and would be convinced to turn on Assad as a result:
“We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks,” Power said at the Center for American Progress as she made the case for intervening in Syria.
“Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran — itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 — to cast loose a regime that was gassing it’s people,” she said.
This is—well, I’m not sure I can come up with an adjective, or even a string of adjectives, that describes it. Stupid? Delusional? Naive? And yet, completely unsurprising, if you know much about Samantha Power.
One of the worst things about the Obama administration is not just Obama and his own beliefs and policies, but the kindred spirits and/or mediocrities he has appointed to high places. I’m not talking about just one or two or three people, either; it’s pretty much a clean sweep. One subgroup of simpatico appointees is composed of people who tend to be (like him) academics with lofty notions about how the world works and their own power to persuade. Perhaps there’s something about academic life that leads to this sort of thing, or perhaps a great many of those who choose that life in the first place are of that ilk. But Obama seems to have a special gift for selecting them.
Samantha Power is a classic example. As I noted three months ago:
Power has a long record of supporting [Obama's] foreign policy, is a fellow graduate of Harvard Law School, and is married to well-known leftist law professor Cass Sunstein. In an interesting twist, Power (like another close Obama adviser, Valerie Jarrett) was born outside the U.S. — in Power’s case, in Ireland to non-citizen parents who emigrated to the U.S. when Power was nine (Jarrett‘s parents were expat Americans in Iran during her early childhood)…
Power has what one might call a western European sensibility and attitude toward the U.S. That outlook is hardly limited to Europe, of course; it’s one that is also rampant among most of the American left. What’s more, it seems to be shared by Obama himself — although for political reasons he has rarely articulated it quite as fully and clearly as Power — the conviction that the U.S. has blood on its hands and that we, like the Germans after WWII, must go on bended knee in order to achieve a similar catharsis.
Power is in her early forties, and until the start of her affiliation with Barack Obama (beginning in 2005 and continuing till now with only a brief hiatus when she had to step down from his 2008 campaign for calling Hilary Clinton a “monster”) she had been an academic and author/journalist. Her specialty was genocide, and she spent a great deal of time and effort opining on what should be done about such killings, as well as similar but less comprehensive atrocities (the gassing of civilians in Syria would no doubt qualify).
Well, now she gets the chance to put her ideas into action. And if her assumptions about Iran and Russia are any indication, it appears that, in addition to her stellar academic career, she (and we) may be about to get some instruction from the school of hard knocks.