Power has officially been tapped as head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a soft-power cutout allegedly used by US intelligence to enact regime change and other questionable dealings under cover of administering humanitarian aid or “promoting democracy.”
USAID, an ostensibly independent agency with ties to the State Department, is notorious for pouring taxpayer dollars into “civil society” groups in countries where Washington-backed ‘revolutions’ subsequently germinate, whether it’s Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ukraine, or elsewhere.
Also on rt.com Interventionist Samantha Power is latest pick to serve in Joe Biden administration as USAID head In taking up leadership of the agency, Power would effectively be picking up where she left off as ambassador to the United Nations under Barack Obama, traveling around the world to “fix” what the US has broken over the last few decades and helping to topple any leaders who try to stand in the way.
Under Obama, the US didn’t just launch an unprecedented number of drone strikes. Thanks to the “responsibility to protect” doctrine Power helped create, in which military intervention is “justified” by the mere potential of genocide or mass slaughter, the commander-in-chief’s hands were freed to start wars without even the fig leaf of Congressional approval. Recasting acts of war as acts of humanitarianism was a stroke of brilliance, if a supremely evil one, and epitomized the double-standard the US has set for itself and NATO versus the rest of the world.
Based not on a congressional vote but on a UN resolution, the US jumped into the disastrous war with Libya in 2011, following Power’s recommendation to declare a no-fly zone under the bogus rationale that leader Moammar Gaddafi was going to slaughter his own people. Power’s “responsibility to protect,” a.k.a. military virtue-signaling, allowed Washington to lay waste to what had been the most advanced country on the African continent before its leader committed the unforgivable crime of suggesting African nations sell their oil under a new gold dinar currency. Propagandists skilled in the lurid art of atrocity-porn were deployed to divert the world’s attention to the Libyan leader’s supposed proclivity for feeding his soldiers Viagra so they could rape more helpless civilians.
Coupled with such cartoonish depictions of evil, Power’s deft sleight of hand at turning illegal wars of aggression into warm fuzzy “humanitarian bombing” proved a great gift to the Obama presidency. Congress’ sign-off, previously required to take the US to war, had become superfluous. Unsurprisingly, she was a major proponent of taking the Libya approach in Syria, where the Obama administration instead focused on training “moderate” rebels with ties to the same Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda head-choppers Washington was supposedly fighting, and appears to have taken great creative liberties regarding her support-turned-opposition to the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen.
Former President George W. Bush may have started the ill-advised war on terror that has shredded the Middle East and bankrupted the US both literally and morally, but he at least made a show of wrangling approval out of a spineless, neutered Congress. Armed with a Nobel Peace Prize, Obama continued bombing Afghanistan and Iraq and expanded the combat theatre to five more countries before his second term was over – bombing more nations than any other US president since World War II.
While the term “responsibility to protect” has not crossed the lips of the Trump administration – President Donald Trump wouldn’t be caught dead praising an Obama-era policy – the paradigm of “bomb first, ask questions later” has remained very much in effect. Trump broke Obama’s records in terms of airstrikes ordered and civilians killed, and very nearly took the US into war with Iran, ordering the airstrike that killed Iran’s Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani without bothering to clear it with Congress first.
Also on rt.com Obama-era hawk Samantha Power reportedly tapped as US foreign aid body head. Critics ask: Libya, Syria & Yemen legacy, anyone? Power made it clear in a recent Foreign Affairs article that her convictions have not shifted – it’s Trump’s blunt aesthetics, not his affinity for bombing countries that don’t pose a threat to the US, that she disdains. She calls for the US to demand a certain level of anti-corruption measures from any country seeking preferential trade agreements, as if the US (and particularly her new boss) has a moral leg to stand on regarding corruption. Power even name-drops the Global Magnitsky Act, named after the tax adviser of notorious scam artist Bill Browder, as if daring the reader not to laugh.
But reading between the lines of that lengthy paean to American exceptionalism, it’s clear her sudden interest in international corruption is rooted more in the surge in anti-corruption protests around the world than any sincere concern. As leader of USAID, she will be tasked with finding and exploiting weak spots in target states through the “civil society” groups the agency bankrolls. And if that means pretending to care about corruption while working for an administration that’s soaking in it, so be it. Power didn’t win an award from Henry Kissinger himself for having morals or ethics.
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Interventionist Samantha Power is latest pick to serve in Joe Biden administration as USAID head
Though her appointment was rumored in Washington for weeks, Biden’s transition team officially confirmed it on Wednesday. Power is best known for her “humanitarian” interventionism advocacy. As an aide at the Obama White House, she championed US intervention in Syria and Libya – where US-backed Islamist militants sought to overthrow secular governments – in the name of stopping “genocide.”
Also on rt.com Samantha Power at the helm of USAID should set off alarm bells globally as Obama’s deadly foreign policy returns for an encore She went from teaching human rights at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008, and almost derailed her government career by calling his primary rival Hillary Clinton a “monster.” The off-the-record remark during an interview, which resulted in her resignation from the campaign, didn’t refer to Clinton’s foreign policy but campaign shenanigans, and Power was soon back in Obama’s good graces as a staffer on the National Security Council.
In 2013, after Clinton left the State Department to focus on her upcoming second bid for the presidency, Power was promoted to UN envoy. She took her advocacy to East River, repeatedly accusing Russia of aiding and abetting “atrocities” against the US-designated “moderate rebels” in Syria. One such exchange, in December 2016, saw her claim Russia, Syria and Iran were perpetrating “conquest and carnage in Aleppo.”
Russia’s Churkin pushed back, describing her speech as “particularly strange” and said Power spoke “as if she was Mother Teresa,” rather than a representative of a country with a “track record” that speaks for itself.
Also on rt.com ‘As if she was Mother Teresa herself’: Russia’s Churkin snubs US Power’s speech at UNSC Power precipitated another famous clash between the two in February 2014, when she hosted two members of the US-backed activist group ‘Pussy Riot’ and lamented the supposed Russian oppression of “groups that advocate for fundamental human rights and basic government accountability.”
Churkin responded that the duo was arrested for desecrating a church, and urged Power to invite them on a “world tour” where they could “perform” at the National Cathedral in Washington, followed by St. Peter’s in Rome, then Mecca and ending with “a gala concert at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.”
However, when Churkin suddenly passed away in February 2016, Power called him a “diplomatic maestro” and a “deeply caring man.”
Power will “be a powerful force for lifting up the vulnerable, ushering in a new era of human progress and development, and advancing American interests globally,” the Biden transition team said in a statement. In a separate statement, the incoming Vice President Kamala Harris said Power will help to restore “America’s global leadership as a champion of democracy.”
The blueprint for that advocacy has been Power’s 2002 book ‘A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,’ in which she sought to define US foreign policy as finding and stopping genocides that were happening everywhere around the world.
This is a good choice in the sense that as the head of USAID, an agency *ostensibly* devoted to assisting other countries, Samantha Power can work to repair the damage to all the countries she helped destroy the last time she was in government with her unhinged militarism: https://t.co/NNwxjJfsaw
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 13, 2021