Power in the service of Power

Finian Cunningham
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power © Mike Segar
It’s been a bad month for the angst-ridden US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Last week, she was “outraged” by Russia’s veto at the UN Security Council of an international criminal court into the downing of Malaysian airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Three weeks prior, Power was again “outraged” by Russia’s veto of a draft resolution to declare the mass killing at Srebrenica during the Bosnian War in 1995 a “genocide.”

On Srebrenica, Power said: “Russia’s veto is heartbreaking for those families and it is a further stain on this council’s record.

On the latest MH17 veto, the American ambassador fulminated: “When people see Russia’s hand up on something like this, when the whole world is united that when a civilian airliner goes up in smoke and so many families are affected, it is in all of our interests, our collective interests to see that justice is done.

Leave aside Power’s assertion that “the whole world is united” over the crashed airliner, which was apparently shot down near the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, with the loss of all 298 people onboard. The draft resolution for a criminal tribunal was tabled by the Netherlands, Australia, the Western-backed Kiev regime and Malaysia. The first three are allies of the US-led NATO military alliance. Hardly a world consensus, as Power would claim.

But it was what Power said next in relation to the Russian veto on a MH17 probe that reveals the politicized agenda lurking behind her emotive appeal. She told US government-controlled Voice of America: “I think not only does it raise real questions about Russia's relationship to the crime itself and what they’re afraid of within the creation of an independent tribunal, but also raises real questions about the Security Council and whether it can be counted on to enforce the UN charter.”

The US, as with other NATO states, has set itself up as jury and judge on the MH17 tragedy, and has already decided on Russia’s guilt over the incident. From the outset, Western governments and media have insinuated that Russia or “Russian-backed rebels” in eastern Ukraine are the perpetrators. The case has already been poisoned with politicized prejudice, without any evidence. As Christopher Black, a respected international war crimes lawyer, has pointed out to this author, the tribunal proposed by the NATO countries would have been used as “a trap” to incriminate Russia and possibly even indict President Vladimir Putin for having ultimate responsibility.

This is not the place to go into the details of the downing of MH17.

A Dutch-led aviation investigation has yet to publish its findings into the crash. So any move toward setting up an international criminal probe are, to say the least, premature.

As for the 20-year-old Srebrenica massacre in which some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed, again the British-tabled resolution at the UNSC for the incident to be labelled a genocide smacks of a “politicised agenda” that has little do with upholding international justice. During the 1991-95 Bosnian War, there were as many as 100,000 killings, which included countless Bosnian Serb victims.

Why selectively focus on the Srebrenica atrocity now, while ignoring other mass killings during that war? The purpose seems to be to tarnish Serbia – and by extension Russia – with a “genocide” condemnation. Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said his country’s veto was invoked because the proposed resolution was not conducive to reconciliation in the Balkans, by its purported elevation of one group of victims over others.

Samantha Power has become something of an expert at Russia-bashing and using fiery rhetoric for her selective political aims at the UN Security Council. The UNSC is supposed to be the ultimate arbiter on legal standards for the maintenance of world peace. Power has managed to turn the UNSC into a reckless vehicle for American political objectives.

In September 2013, it was Power who claimed that Russia was “holding the council hostage” and “shirking its international responsibilities” over an apparent atrocity involving chemical weapons in Syria. Power claimed then that there was “overwhelming” evidence that the Syrian armed forces of President Assad had committed the attack on hundreds of civilians. The US was about to launch air strikes on Syria on the back of these claims, only to be averted by Russia’s objection. It turned out that Power’s “overwhelming” evidence was anything but convincing. In fact, it later transpired that the horror was most likely carried out by Western and Saudi-backed anti-government militants.

Irish-born Samantha Power, 44, has made a successful career for herself from the profane use of human rights, atrocities and genocide for the furtherance of American foreign policy.

As a young reporter during the Balkans Wars, her selective focus on “genocide” claims helped contrive the NATO narrative of criminalizing Serbia. That led to NATO military intervention and break-up of the former Yugoslavia, which culminated in the bombardment of Belgrade in 1999.

Power would later write a Pulitzer-winning book, A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, in which she developed the policy of “US military intervention for humanitarian protection.” The book has been described to this author by informed legal sources as “a concoction of lies and plagiarism of propaganda in the service of CIA and American government interests.”

Following a stint as professor on humanitarian law at Harvard, she then joined the Obama presidential campaign as foreign policy advisor. She had to resign in 2008 after an injudicious cat fight in which she panned Obama’s rival, Hillary Clinton, as “a monster and liar.”. Power slavered her way through subsequent public apologies to Clinton.

However, Samantha was rewarded for her loyalty after Obama’s election and was made a special advisor on his National Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power (R) talks with President Barack Obama © Brendan McDermid

It was Power who urged Obama to launch the NATO “humanitarian intervention” in Libya in March 2011, which led to a seven-month NATO bombardment, the murder of Muammar Gaddafi and the toppling of his government by Al Qaeda-linked jihadists. Libya has since degenerated into a lawless state, fueling refugees to Europe and gun-running jihadists to Syria.

Power used similar “humanitarian” appeals to side-step the UNSC in order to justify American-led bombing of Iraq and Syria, beginning in September 2014, allegedly to “defeat” the Al Qaeda-linked ISIS terror group. That ISIS has grown out of the US devastation of Iraq between 2003-2012 and its subsequent covert regime-change war in Syria appears to have escaped Power’s reasoning capabilities.

At the UNSC, Power has worked assiduously to shield Israel from sanctions over its violations against Palestinians. Just before the onslaught against Gaza during the summer of 2014, Power said any criticism of Israel was a “red line.”

America’s supposed “foremost scholar on genocide” has also shielded Saudi Arabia from criticism for its ongoing aggression in Yemen, instead accusing the Houthi rebels of violations, this while thousands of civilians have been killed in Saudi-led air strikes and millions face humanitarian catastrophe from an American-assisted air and sea blockade on the country.

Power’s denunciations of Russia’s vetoes at the UNSC as an “embarrassment” should really apply to her own conduct. She has willfully manipulated and distorted concepts of humanitarian law and genocide for the self-serving objectives of American military machinations – machinations that have led to even worse humanitarian crises involving mass atrocities.

In summing up Power’s dubious character and motivations, let’s leave the last word to her. Originally from Ireland, she moved with her parents to the US as a young girl in 1979. On her nomination as US ambassador to the UN by Obama in June 2013, she gushed with gratitude for yet another plum career appointment.

Even as a little girl with a thick Dublin accent who had never been to America, I knew that the American flag was the symbol of fortune and of freedom… I came home from school every day, as my mother can attest, my dad can attest, and I sat in front of the mirror for hours, straining to drop my brogue so that I, too, could quickly speak and be American.”

That abject pursuit of “fortune” in the service of American power has apparently served her well. Others might call it selling your soul.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.