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January 26, 2008
More on Obama's foreign policy team
Ed Lasky's two AT articles discussing Barack Obama's foreign policy advisory team (here and here) have caused a lot of comment, published and not, within the pro-Israel community. Today, Noah Pollak writes about another member of Team Obama on the Contentions blog of Commentary Magazine:
Pollak cites an interview with Power on the Kennedy School of Government website with these words:
Ed Lasky writes:
I have read Power's book on Genocide, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. This was a superb book. In the book, if I recall, she addressed the paucity of efforts in America to bring the coming Holocaust to the attention of the powers in Washington. The book portrayed a body politic where such "special interest" groups were all but powerless to bring any sort of issue to the attention of the powerful. Now she condemns such "special interest" groups. Hmm... a paradox?
Two more issues. For someone who wrote such an influential book on the topic of Genocide, why has she remained noticeably silent regarding Iran's Holocaust denial and its boasts of planning to commit another one? Her silence is deafening. Instead, she seems intent on following a policy of empowering the regime and looking away from its own proclaimed goals. Secondly, I have to admit that I am stumped about her qualifications to be a foreign policy adviser. Here is her bio: http://ksgfaculty.harvard.edu/samantha_power.
Of course, Warren Christopher was not necessarily the best qualified Secretary of State. But where are the qualifications for Power?
Rick Moran writes:
While concerns about Obama's foreign policy advisors should be expressed, the candidate himself has said most of the right words when it comes to his views on Israel's security:
From an appearance at AIPAC last March (via Haaretz):
Ed Lasky responds:
That is an argument that he will make -- that he is open to a wide range of views. But there should also be a threshold regarding the limits of those views. Why have Malley, who has been peddling lies (he has been impeached by fellow Democrats, including Clinton)?
I think Power's views echo those of Walt-Mearsheimer (and Brzezinski). The question remains: why would he even listen to these people? There are thousands of foreign policy academics and specialists out there. Surely he could have found those with better reputations and more reasonable positions. One has to wonder what his beliefs really are when he gives positions to people of this caliber who hold these views.
A Middle East expert pointed out what a sorry lot these people are. Definitely second tier (if not below that). Hillary got a lot of the "names" because she was the perceived front-runner, perhaps. or had previous ties with these people. Obama's people are not anywhere near the upper-crust. Lake, Brzezinsky? The expert pointed out that if you are a Democrat running for President and need to find "experienced" diplomats who had previously served in a Democratic Administration you had two pools to draw from: Clinton and Carter. The Clintonistas went to Hillary; the Carter retreads to Obama