Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 20, 2014

Samantha Power Warns Against Intervention Fatigue, Performs In "Rise Up" Stunt

ISIS comes to Libya

(CNN) -- The black flag of ISIS flies over government buildings. Police cars carry the group's insignia. The local football stadium is used for public executions. A town in Syria or Iraq? No. A city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in Libya.

Fighters loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are now in complete control of the city of Derna, population of about 100,000, not far from the Egyptian border and just about 200 miles from the southern shores of the European Union.

UN Ambassador Warns Against Intervention Fatigue

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the American public against a kind of intervention fatigue, emphasizing that U.S. leadership is needed now more than ever amid global threats from Ebola to the Islamic State.

I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought’ … one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons,” Power said Wednesday during the Defense One Summit.

What lessons, if any at all, has Power drawn from her Libya "intervention"?


In another appearance yesterday Power was interrupted by "protesters" at an event that launched a cable channel dedicated to "regime change" youth protests:

The protesters were very on-message for Fusion’s event, a gathering of young activists from around the world under the “Rise Up” brand the cable channel — a joint-venture between Disney-owned ABC and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision — has been attaching to its coverage of protest movements around the world. They raised signs saying “Millennials think you’re a war hawk” — a nod to Fusion’s self-declared target demographic — while one yelled “we’re here to rise up.”

The whole story has the smell of an utterly staged "reality" show. "Protester on stage in three, two, one, now!" Power played her role as attacked "war hawk" - knowingly or not - pretty well.

The new channel's main task will be the enrichment of its owners. But it will also be used to further the projects of its political backers, including of Samantha Power. Its mission:

Fusion is about independent, isolated elements interacting to create world-changing energy. Fusion media platforms offer engagement and influence with millennials who are leading and participating in global protest movements and a strong point of view in the areas of news and current events, politics, lifestyle and pop culture.

Translation: This is a propaganda shop that will engage pseudo liberal "youth" to created political "grassroot support" for U.S. regime change operations.

That fits perfectly with Samatha Power's projects. The new channel certainly has not "overdrawn lessons" from earlier interventions. Its purpose is to further new ones.

Posted by b on November 20, 2014 at 16:15 UTC | Permalink


good question... have any more questions to as the front running bozo for usa foreign policy at the un?

Posted by: james | Nov 20 2014 16:57 utc | 1

Well the only thing that needs an intervention is Samantha's face.

Funny how samantha thinks it ok just for US to invade wherever it wants.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 20 2014 17:05 utc | 2

What lessons, if any, has Power drawn from her Libya "intervention"?

Order out of chaos is always the best way to go. It's tried and true so why not stay with it.

She hasn't drawn any lesson because in the elite book of destroy to rebuild Libya is an astounding success

Do you think these people have the same sense of morality as the masses? They don't

Posted by: Penny | Nov 20 2014 17:12 utc | 3

Pure cognitive dissonance from start to finish. Whether it's the fed chair or the state department makes no difference- it's all doublespeak all the time:

..."we are asking an awful lot right now of our forces.”

“The risk of using military force is so significant … there should be a lot of layers and a lot of checks and balances. But at the same time there are really profound risks to our national security that exist today.”

I speak to my dog with more respect for it's intelligence.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Nov 20 2014 17:28 utc | 4

As far as neocons are concerned, Libya was a great success, hence repeat in Syria, and plans to do the same in Russia, Iran, China, etc. The fact Libya is a failed state doesnt bewilder them, its not a bug, its a feature.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 20 2014 17:35 utc | 5

"We think you're a war hawk" Is like a confused neocon producer's imagination run rampant. "Those pathetic fools would accuse us, the brave humanitarians, of being hawkish, and pro war, that is to say 'war hawks.'"

The Samantha Power quote is really good. Thought is not allowed in neoliberal/neocon world. You may not question the premises. The questions have been predetermined and they are "When does it start?" and "How proud of yourself are you for doing such a great job?"

Posted by: Crest | Nov 20 2014 17:54 utc | 6

Agree Harry. I have always believed that the disaster of the destruction of the Iraqi economy and society was quite deliberate, not an 'accident' at all. Similar Libya, etc, etc, etc.

The smashing of States into little warring bands appears to be a deliberate strategy, in the ME this is greatly desired by Israel. Using the term 'failed state' is fine, but from who's viewpoint? I think the neo-cons are quite happy about the outcome in Libya. In fact I'll bet money that the US will work very hard to ensure no functioning state emerges there again.

We've seen repeated use of this strategy all over the place. Basically if a State is not 100% behind the US (or has not bought enough US politicians), then it will be smashed into pieces. Take Russia, few neo-cons hide their desire for Russia to collapse and breakup...exact same strategy again.

Empire of Chaos indeed.

Posted by: Lisa FOS | Nov 20 2014 18:01 utc | 7

She says she works for the president and the president decided to use force in Libya. Of course one wonders how much brow-beating the president took from her and others.

Posted by: dh | Nov 20 2014 18:20 utc | 8

Jesus, there's a channel for everything these days, isn't there? What's next — an abortion channel? Wouldn't that be swell? I can see it now — blood-soaked, make-shift, back-alley operating rooms with bloodied, gnarled used coat hangers hastily strewn about with rats darting in and out for a placenta feast and discarded fetuses packed a mile high awaiting the delayed stem cell truck pick-up. Victoria's Secret and Pampers could be just some of the sponsors.

Posted by: Cold N Holefield | Nov 20 2014 18:23 utc | 9

destroy to rebuild

Rebuild? Where did you get an idea like that? They meant it when they said "we'll bomb them back to the stone age."

Posted by: Cold N Holefield | Nov 20 2014 18:25 utc | 10

Of course one wonders how much brow-beating the president took from her and others.

I bet she gives good spanking — versus head.

Posted by: Cold N Holefield | Nov 20 2014 18:27 utc | 11

@ cold...she probably spank you and then bite your cock off.. As long as she gets her promotion.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 20 2014 18:36 utc | 12

@12 It would be a humanitarian gesture.

Posted by: dh | Nov 20 2014 18:37 utc | 13

"ISIS comes to Libya"

Hui, B..I wonder if the "friends" at Sic Semper Tyrannis will ever discuss Libya* ever again on that blog. Ha. Who laughs last....usw.

*they were all for the rebellion.

Posted by: nobodee | Nov 20 2014 19:01 utc | 14

Color Revolution Squads. Meanwhile Putin sez Russia has learned from past "revolutions" and is protecting itself.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Nov 20 2014 19:21 utc | 15

The only thing that's being overdrawn is the US Treasury.

Posted by: Colinjames | Nov 20 2014 19:46 utc | 16

Going to the source, a transcript of Power's remarks, her intervention statement was in the context of Libya, which of course she has to defend because she was one of the instigators of that misguided adventure.

Short Power: It happened and there was a bad result, but we did the right thing to avoid a "horrific" massacre, and how about Syria?

I think again, if we take Qaddafi at his word and look at the practices that he had employed up to that point in repressing the rebellion – could have been, you know, a horrific massacre.

The intervention occurred. We had a lot of countries by our side and, again, U.S. leadership creating a broad coalition so we weren't bearing the burden alone. The challenge is that there is in Libya a set of tribal dynamics that were unleashed and very little tradition of people peacefully adjudicating their differences because of Qaddafi's former rule. So at some point when Qaddafi left, those elements were going to be unleashed, and unfortunately, we're not living in, not us, but the Libyan people are having to live in that environment.

Again, I think there is too much, “Oh, this is what intervention has wrought.” I mean, you know, if you take a case where – you look at Syria today,.....blah blah blah

This is the mediocre brand of infantile statesmanship found in the US today, at the highest levels. Regarding Libya, of course there was no mention by the US ambassador to the UN that the US exceeded the strictures of the UN resolution by going for regime change in Libya.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2014 19:50 utc | 17

Considering historical examples, where you now have groups of individuals, the zionists for example, years later behaving with a similar moral depravity as the Nazis, according to some of us, that they decry disparagingly of, and one could argue rightly so, while somehow falling into the trap of expecting a different outcome this go around, by creating fabrications to absolve themselves of analyzing and correcting their actions, because it's more profitable not to have to do so, I'm sure that in terms of time what we should anticipate is any person or collection of people who so mangles the truth for whatever justification they can invent, should surely anticipate the opposite results of their intentions. It ought to be some kind of stated principle of cause and effect, but it seems to be too counterintuitive to grasp once you find yourself in your worst enemies shoes.

Posted by: geoff29 | Nov 20 2014 19:51 utc | 18

great. you'd think these hotshot "millennials who are leading and participating in global protest movements" would not be so amnesiac as their exceptional brethren here in the USA, and recall how brutally the Occupy protests were suppressed before taking this disney-fied recipe for chaos too much to heart.

one thing is, the US state dept must be pretty damn bold, if they can try to foment rebellion in other places, without realizing the hazard of letting that genie out of the bottle here in the homeland. unless, that is, they're pretty sure they have nothing to worry about.

and maybe they don't.

Posted by: Hugo First | Nov 20 2014 19:58 utc | 19

A week or two back Stephen Colbert had some fashion designer guest on his show, and John Stewart had Samantha Power on his. The fashion designer, clearly a talented craftswoman, was caught off guard by a question that cut against the grain of her self-empowerment narrative (specifically, he contrasted the story with her being born wealthy and marrying even wealthier). A half hour later Stewart gently veered off the "war fixes things up nice and well" with Samantha Power, and I saw the identical visceral response from her as the fashion designer a half hour earlier. They both struck me as individuals isolated alongside like, and narrow, minded people with little exposure to dissent. Of any position in government one would think our representative to the UN would be aware of alternative narratives, let alone handle the conversation in stride as it cavitates. I loathe the Bush administration. I mean loathe it. But at least their evil had the courtesy to lie with some gusto. Rumsfeld would make you laugh, then hate yourself for having juxtaposed the feelings of warmth that come with laughter alongside the vulnerability of having been lied to. Samantha Power seems driven by the type of blind faith endemic in religion. No alternate narratives need apply lest they be discarded. It's lazy. And it's dangerous. I personally know people who are not doing well in life that are more empathetic, considerate, and tolerant. This post added little to the discussion, to which I apologize.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Nov 20 2014 21:06 utc | 20

@Hugo First #18
the US state dept must be pretty damn bold, if they can try to foment rebellion in other places, without realizing the hazard of letting that genie out of the bottle here in the homeland

Yes. It seems to me that just the idea of creating instability and using force to get rid of somebody the government doesn't like can be transferred to domestic life. Don't care for one of your classmates? Take a gun to school and kill him or her. "We came, we saw, he died." It works for the government, it works for everyone, in that sense.

There is another way, but at the government level it doesn't pay as well. Instead: “I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought.’" Oh my, look what happened, but we tried. --Obama's standard excuse.

Power got her high position because she is an intervener, for "human rights" of course. She used to be better, but got high on power and changed, now advocating force (war) to advance human rights, which of course is impossible, war-is-peace style AND does transfer to domestic thinking and actions. No free lunch.

Power, 2003:

American decision-makers in every branch of government, in every department (the Pentagon frequently undermines State Department stands on human rights), and in every bureau should ask: What are the likely human consequences of this arms deal? Of this aid package? Of this oil contract? Of this Security Council vote? Of this treaty rejection or unsigning? Of this photo op with this abusive foreign leader? Every decision would require a "full cost accounting"-- in which the harm to and welfare of foreign citizens would constitute a key variable in the cost-benefit calculus.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2014 21:33 utc | 21

@14 nobodee

Yes, the colonel was all in on the 2011 Nato aggression against Libya due, I suspect, to his pride in his role in bombing Gaddafi's family in 1986.

Though the colonel now appears to have gotten his fill of "humanitarian interventionism", I also suspect that any posts critiqung that earlier support would be met with the colonel's usual thin-skinned, juvenile pique.

Posted by: sleepy | Nov 20 2014 21:59 utc | 22

The policy that led to the fiasco in Libya was first of all promoted inside the Obama admin by Hillary Clinton. We should not lose sight of that fact. Of course, it remains Obama's responsibility but it was Hillary that pushed this policy inside the his admin (not to forget that she also pushed hard for the policy to over-throw Assad in Syria). In political terms it is more important to stress the fact both Libya and Syria were manifestations of Hillary's world view for how the US should exert its influence. What Samantha might think is not that important.

I certainly hope that this will be an issue when Hillary is running for president. Maybe Rand Paul can make an issue of it.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 20 2014 22:00 utc | 23

Another ugly woman that love to hate Russia:

'Latvia President’s remarks worse than Ukrainian radical nationalists’ – Russia

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 20 2014 22:28 utc | 24

War, even when it's given a benign name like counterinsurgency, intervention, peace-keeping, etc., has always been good for the large corporations and for the economy in general. That's the bottom line, as they say, so politicians respond accordingly and then tell us, as do the generals, that war is inevitable, an unchangeable fact of life. But: --"War is a racket. . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." ---- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1935

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2014 22:48 utc | 25


You know it's interesting to note the number of harridans behind / implementing / out in front of US 'foreign policy'. I wonder if it has anything real to do with Obama's being brought up as a changeling my his mom/grandmom?

There I go indulging in Obama pseudo-psychology just like a pwogwessive.

But the size of the banshee/harridan population at the 'top' of US foreign policy is remarkable.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 20 2014 23:01 utc | 26

Gee, it never seems to end... US imperial aggression in central america in the 1980s under president rr, now bush 1, bush2 and bush2.1. The US CIA created al Queda, the forerunners to the taliban and ISis. Then we get tired of our war toys and try to cleam up our imperialist mess with new war toys. Truly disgusting...

Posted by: james k. sayre | Nov 20 2014 23:22 utc | 27

My favorite article on "Why War."
Uncle Bucky Makes a Killing
by Jeffrey St. Clair

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2014 23:34 utc | 28

Good expose of Clinton.

Posted by: truthbetold | Nov 21 2014 0:26 utc | 29

Don Bacon,

I note she says "when Qaddafi left". In fact I don't think he did leave, did he? Murdered as I recall.

Posted by: Doug Colwell | Nov 21 2014 0:41 utc | 30

This is really from the WTF department...
nothing is sacred, I assume...
but... revolution will not be televised

Posted by: GoraDiva | Nov 21 2014 1:07 utc | 31

@anonymous @ 2

Yeah an intervention with a paper bag.

Posted by: nomas | Nov 21 2014 2:11 utc | 32

Small arms sales falling off, intervention fatigue.
The beating will fall off when you are better motivated.

Posted by: Jay M | Nov 21 2014 2:40 utc | 33

@ Doug Colwell #29
Right, Power talks jibberish -- Qaddafi "left" rather than -- US intel told our Libyan friends which bridge Qaddafi was hiding under so he could be assassinated. Hillary was thrilled. "We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews. Classy. The date was October 20, 2011.

The previous year Qaddafi was an ally--
Embassy of the U.S. Tripoli, Libya
Remarks by Ambassador Gene A. Cretz
at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Friday, June 4, 2010 (speech extract)
–"Today, Libya remains a strong ally in countering terrorism in a volatile region. It has fought the expansion of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has condemned kidnappings, and has taken a position against the paying of ransom to kidnappers."

This assassination went far beyond the UN resolution--
The UN resolution’s principal parts.
* protection of civilians — cease fire and end to violence, protect civilians under threat of attack, excludes foreign occupation forces
* no fly zone — a ban on flights except humanitarian
* enforcement of an arms embargo — by air and sea
* asset freeze

And now Power is -- SHOCKED -- that radicals are running wild in Libya. But it's not her fault. “I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought’ … one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons,” --We all hate those overdrawn conclusions, that Qaddafi was countering terrorism and the US removed that restraint. Even a child would understand that, but power is more stupid than a child.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21 2014 2:46 utc | 34

The new Disney channel is made as a safety pressure release valve to safely release the possible pressure being cooked by the youth. IMO and as I observe, the buildup pressure within the US youth, when explodes can’t and wouldn’t be controlled with this kind of TV PR shenanigans.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 21 2014 2:51 utc | 35

And of course the US doesn't have a free press, with reporters allowed to question Power on her stupid positions regarding "overdrawn lessons" on Libya. There will be no questioning in The Leader Of The Free World, certainly not at Defense One.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21 2014 3:11 utc | 36

God only knows what Powers actual objectives are, I think we can be confidant that uplifting the downtrodden is not among them. They are her stepping stones.

Posted by: Doug Colwell | Nov 21 2014 5:35 utc | 37

You've gotta love the traditional US hypocrisy in Power whitewashing the word "intervention" to make it sound benign and user-friendly, when she actually means 'Overthrow + Chaos' or 'Non-Violent Protest + Guns' as preached by Gene Sharp.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 21 2014 6:20 utc | 38


Oldest trick in the book, co-opting a burgeoning movement by being the 'official' voice of that movement, just the same way OWS was co-opted and the Teaparty was co-opted, although in this case, Disney and their media partners are merely opening a marketing pipeline, looking for sponsors and adrev, in the vein of AlJazeera, ..and will disappear in similar fashion, unless they start selling buds, vaporizers and Mollie Cyrus tee shirts, because these Millenials care nothing for Rising Up™.


I read somewhere that when you rise to a certain level in Fed @ State, they invite you to a meeting, where you're held down in the 5-position, then a robotic insectoid implant burrows through your eustachion tube into your limbic system, so that you become a self-hypnotizing zombie. I've seen a couple great hypnotists, and Powers must be an easy play.
Then again, we must all be easy, wasting our time in prognostication.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Nov 21 2014 10:54 utc | 39

Talking about the myth of Intervention Fatigue, here's What's Left explaining, step by step, in exhaustive detail, the "West's" political agenda. It's notionally about Canada but one only needs to swap names relevant to one's own "Western Demockracy" for Canada's to make it embarrassingly relevant to whichever Utopia (for the 1%) you're "lucky" enough to be living, and lied to, in.

Canadian Foreign Policy and Why it Matters to Workers

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 21 2014 13:31 utc | 40

One large US intervention which changed everything was the backing for the change of government in Ukraine. It has long been US foreign policy to keep Russia and China apart. That's the main reason Nixon went to China in 1972. But Ukraine, with US sanctions, reduced Russia's Western interests and caused it to turn Eastward, particularly toward China for new economic and military ties.

Power: “I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought’ … one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons” -- We can't overdraw the lesson of Ukraine. It's big.

Here is an (I believe) historic photo of the change the US wrought with its mistaken Ukraine intervention, a convivial meeting of Russian and Chinese naval officers. Russia and China have committed to a pair of 2015 naval exercises as a sign of growing military cooperation between the two countries, Russia’s minister of defense said this week. “We plan to conduct a regular joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean next spring,” said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to the Russian TASS news agency. “Another joint naval drill is planned in the Pacific.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21 2014 13:59 utc | 41

Hoaresey @ 39: Thanks for the link. I think most posters here get it, but, excellent A to Z ex-
planation of the way the modern world works.

Posted by: ben | Nov 21 2014 16:05 utc | 42

Whoops, I mean HW @ 40...

Posted by: ben | Nov 21 2014 18:31 utc | 43

@40 hw.. excellent overview in that link. thanks for sharing that.

Posted by: james | Nov 21 2014 19:05 utc | 44

This ruin has already joined to the Pussy Riot, as suggested by Churkin?

Posted by: Scan | Nov 21 2014 20:49 utc | 45

Don at #41. Very true comment about the consequences of US actions in Ukraine. It is completely clear that US policies towards Ukraine are definitely not serving US imperial interests. Encouraging a Russia-China economic and military alliance is not in the interests for either the American people nor its capitalist class. I think this development is more evidence that US policy is not being run by any rational thinking -- it is the result of many competing interests and power centers inside the US fighting for influence. These competing groups are found in the US military (careers can be built expanding NATO not to mention tension with China), the CIA, neocon think tanks, influence inside the two political parties, the Israel lobby and many other lesser forces. It is too bad that Obama does not have the fortitude or strength of character to bring cohesion to these competing factions.

All Obama and Kerry can do, it seems, is respond to one crisis to the next without providing any over reaching strategic direction. This is also evident in their "policies" over the last few years dealing with Libya, Syria and Iraq -- they just reel from one circumstance to the next like a drunk walking through traffic.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 21 2014 21:47 utc | 46

Haim "My only issue is Israel" Saban bought Univision in November 2006 in the wake of the immigration protests here in the US. This was after Stephen Steinlight, Lou Dobbs' go-to guy for US immigration talking points, wrote "Open Borders Threaten Jewish Clout" in The Forward: Abe Foxman tepidly tried to dial back Steinlight's language two weeks later, but the word was out.

Posted by: MRW | Nov 23 2014 23:18 utc | 47

...“ I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought’ … one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons,” Power said Wednesday during the Defense One Summit. ...

Posted by b on November 20, 2014 at 11:15 AM

What? I...I...I can't.

Posted by: really | Nov 25 2014 3:49 utc | 48

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