Because They’re Evil, Stupid!

Samantha Power - Obama's Celebrity Foreign Policy Chick

Israeli columnist Caroline Glick takes on a couple of Democratic Party foreign policy mavens:

…In deciding in favor of military intervention [in Libya] on the basis of a transnational legal doctrine never accepted as law by the US Congress called “responsibility to protect,” President Barack Obama was reportedly swayed by the arguments of his senior national security adviser Samantha Power. Over the past 15 years, Power has fashioned herself into a celebrity policy wonk by cultivating a public persona of herself as a woman moved by the desire to prevent genocide. In a profile of Power in the current issue of the National Journal, Jacob Heilbrunn explains, “Power is not just an advocate for human rights. She is an outspoken crusader against genocide…”

Heilbrunn writes that Power’s influence over Obama and her celebrity status has made her the leader of a new US foreign policy elite. “This elite,” he writes, “is united by a shared belief that American foreign policy must be fundamentally transformed from an obsession with national interests into a broader agenda that seeks justice for women and minorities, and promotes democracy whenever and wherever it can – at the point of a cruise missile if necessary.”

As the prolonged slaughter in Libya and expected continued failure of the NATO mission make clear, Power and her new foreign policy elite have so far distinguished themselves mainly by their gross incompetence.

But then, even if the Libyan mission were crowned in success, it wouldn’t make the moral pretentions of the US adventure there any less disingenuous. And this is not simply because the administration-backed rebels include al-Qaida fighters.

The fact is that the moral arguments used for intervening militarily on behalf of Gaddafi’s opposition pale in comparison to the moral arguments for intervening in multiple conflicts where the Obama administration refuses to lift a finger. At a minimum, this moral inconsistency renders it impossible for the Obama administration to credibly embrace the mantel of moral actor on the world stage.

Consider the administration’s Afghanistan policy.

Over the past week, the White House and the State Department have both acknowledged that administration officials are conducting negotiations with the Taliban.

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the administration’s policy. During a memorial service for the late ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who at the time of his death last December was the most outspoken administration figure advocating engaging Mullah Omar and his followers, Clinton said, “Those who found negotiations with the Taliban distasteful got a very powerful response from Richard – diplomacy would be easy if we only had to talk to our friends.”

Of course, the Taliban are not simply not America’s friends. They are the enemy of every good and decent human impulse. The US went to war against the Taliban in 2001 because the Bush administration rightly held them accountable for Osama bin Laden and his terror army which the Taliban sponsored, hosted and sheltered on its territory.

But the Taliban are America’s enemy not just because they bear responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the US. They are the enemy of the US because they are evil monsters.

Apparently, the supposedly moral, anti-genocidal, pro-women Obama administration needs to be reminded why it is not merely distasteful but immoral to engage the Taliban. So here it goes.

Under the Taliban, the women and girls of Afghanistan were the most oppressed, most terrorized, most endangered group of people in the world. Women and girls were denied every single human right. They were effectively prisoners in their homes, allowed on the streets only when fully covered and escorted by a male relative.

They were denied the right to education, work and medical care. Women who failed to abide in full by these merciless rules were beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and stoned to death.

The Taliban’s barbaric treatment of women and girls probably couldn’t have justified their overthrow at the hands of the US military. But it certainly justified the US’s refusal to even consider treating them like legitimate political actors in the 10 years since NATO forces first arrived in Afghanistan. And yet, the self-proclaimed champions of the downtrodden in the administration are doing the morally unjustifiable. They are negotiating, and so legitimizing the most diabolical sexual tyranny known to man. Obama, Clinton, Power and their colleagues are now shamelessly advancing a policy that increases the likelihood that the Taliban will again rise to power and enslave Afghanistan’s women and girls once more.

Then there is Syria. In acts of stunning courage, despite massive regime violence that has killed approximately two hundred people in three weeks, anti-regime protesters in Syria are not standing down. Instead, they are consistently escalating their protests. They have promised that the demonstrations after Friday prayers this week will dwarf the already unprecedented country-wide protests we have seen to date.

In the midst of the Syrian demonstrators’ calls for freedom from one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East, the Obama administration has sided with their murderous dictator Bashar Assad, referring to him as a “reformer.”

As Heibrunn notes in his profile of Power, she and her colleagues find concerns about US national interests parochial at best and immoral at worst. Her clear aim – and that of her boss – has been to separate US foreign policy from US interests by tethering it to transnational organizations like the UN.

Given the administration’s contempt for policy based on US national interests, it would be too much to expect the White House to notice that Syria’s Assad regime is one of the greatest state supporters of terrorism in the world and that its overthrow would be a body blow to Iran, Venezuela, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida and therefore a boon for US national security…

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