In her acclaimed book “A Problem From Hell; America and the Age of Genocide” (2003), Samantha Power, current American Ambassador to the United Nations, sharply criticized the United States deliberate inaction and its failure to prevent a genocide in Rwanda where up to one million lives were lost.
As she explains it, Washington simply was not interested in stopping the death toll. The thinking in Washington was: "Look, if something happens in Rwanda-Burundi, we don't care. Take it off the list. It's not- U.S. national interest is not involved and," you know, "we can't put all these silly humanitarian issues on lists like important problems like the Middle East and North Korea and so on."
Washington had full knowledge of the potential for genocide. In an April 11 memo prepared for Frank Wisner (undersecretary of defense for policy), it was pointed out “unless both sides [Hutu and Tutsi] can be convinced to return to the peace process, a massive (hundreds of thousands of deaths) bloodbath will ensue.” (Power 2003, p354).
In the face of media reports of the escalating death toll, Washington remained resolute not to stop the killings. As dead bodies piled up, Washington’s imperative became the avoidance of the term genocide. The concern was that if the ‘G ‘word was used and the Clinton administration did nothing, what would be the effect on the November congressional elections.
Power explains the term genocide: ‘Raphael Lemkin was looking for an all encompassing word that would describe the assaults on all aspects of nationhood – physical, biological, political, social, cultural, economic and religious. He wanted to connote not only full-scale extermination but also other means of destruction: mass deportation, the lowering of birthrate by separating men from women, economic exploitation, progressive starvation, and the suppression of the intelligentsia who served as national leaders.’
Power successfully describes in detail the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda and condemnation of America’s inaction. One million lives too late, in November 1994, UNSC Resolution 955 set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to judge those responsible for the massive genocide and crimes against humanity.
Twenty years after Rwanda, the Genocide in Gaza is ignored. Samantha Power has either lost all memory, or she has lost all humanity –but without a doubt, she is completely void of integrity, and complicit in the crimes against Palestinians.
Two decades later, again, prior to November elections, the US is careful to avoid the “G” word. As Israeli law makers call for genocide and indiscriminate killing of Palestinians under siege, and with calls of rape of Palestinian women, the massacre continues with the full backing, arming and and funding by the United States.
America has once again exercised its political clout in favor of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity; its voice the lone one to vote against a call to investigation by UN Human Rights Council into the Israeli offensive's violations of international laws. As the population of Gaza is left without food, clean water, and medicine, and as the annihilation of Palestinians continues, Power and her bosses give their full support to Israel’s continued crimes against humanity and genocide.
Hypocrisy has never shown such an ugly, shameless face as that of America’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power-- in this age of genocide.