Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations is one of the many hawks strongly pushing for a U.S. strike on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and an odd comparison she made last night on Twitter demonstrates her interventionist foreign policy impulses:
Not enough to say "CW were used" just as wasn't enough to say "machetes were used" in Rwanda. Must condemn user-Assad http://t.co/GNTtj8Kvts
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) September 18, 2013
Rwanda’s attacks did not involve chemical weapons.
I understand Rwanda was something that deeply impacted @AmbassadorPower's thinking but desire to compare it to Syria is dangerous.
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) September 18, 2013
@ericschlabs well, there's no international norm vs machetes. Using CW was the offense in Syria, no such response to other atrocities there
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) September 18, 2013
It was the second time yesterday that Ambassador Power appeared to downplay the distinction between chemical weapons and conventional weapons. From her address to the U.N.:
Finally, whether by chemical weapons or by conventional weapons, the violence against civilians in Syria has gone on too long and it must stop. An agreement on the destruction and removal of chemical weapons is not a substitute for a political solution. The 100,000 or more dead Syrians makes it gravely clear that a political transition is urgently needed to end the violence. We, in the United States, remain committed to convening a Geneva conference as soon as possible and practicable.
Note also that she’s not just asking for a strike to stop the use of chemical weapons. She is demanding regime change.
Is it really the United States’ job to overturn every regime that slaughters its own people, whether or not chemical weapons are used?
Editor’s note: The title of this post was revised after publication.