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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Samantha Power’

Kerry, Livni and Abbas Take a Seventh-Inning Stretch

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Here is an on-the-spot play-by-play report on Wednesday’s action in the Peace Talks Charades.

Tzipi Livin screws up her face and throws a spit ball at the Palestinian Authority, which swings and misses.

John Kerry calls Abbas and reaches first base.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman steps up to the mound and pitches a curve ball by announcing he will vote against any proposal to release Arab murderers who carry Israeli citizenship.

Martin Indyk takes a walk to Jerusalem and scores a triple play with Livni and Saeb Erekat.

Commentator Samantha Power puts in her two cents, which is about all it is worth, and opines that unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority “will be a profound threat to Israel and devastating to the peace process.”

Duh.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, playing right field, urges Netanyahu to find another game and cancel the Oslo Accords, forgetting that they sank long ago in Foggy Bottom except when the State Dept. fishes them out for stale news.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, the government’s biggest windbag, carries his bat, points to the bleachers, and says that Israel can punish the Palestinian Authority by annexing Judea and Samaria and slapping sanctions on Ramallah.

His home swing misses by a mile, and he takes a shower.

The Arab League, playing shortstop, forces everyone to take a rain check for a week, when it will meet to grunt and groan and come up with a face-saving pitch for Abbas.

Samantha Power Still Can’t Get Foot Out of Mouth

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

And then she went and did something stupider.

This is as much fun to watch as a guy slipping on the stuff he didn’t pick up after his doggie. Last Sunday night, our Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power made the mistake of tweeting the tried and true official claptrap about peace and understanding and how we should all restrain ourselves and do our little bit so that violence will stop. It’s stupid, it’s entirely without any foundation in the reality of our current universe, but it’s her leftist mantra and she has no other, so she tweeted it.

Big mistake. Because the tweet came as her takeaway from her own speech as the guest of honor at a UCLA memorial dinner for slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, and she made it sound, God help her, like the beheaded Pearl should have curbed his violent tendencies, because, hey, look how he ended up.

There’s stupid and there’s stupid, and this one broke the record for stupid, held, I believe, by Sarah Palin for seeing Russia from her house, and Alexander Hague’s attempt at a shortcut to the U.S. presidency with his “I’m in charge.”

Power tweeted: “Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN”

She was attacked by angry mobs of keyboard wielding Americans, anyone with an ax to grind against the administration, basically. The stark contrast between her kindergarten teacher morality and the satanic viciousness of Pearl’s murderers evoked holy rage in anyone to the right of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. And then she went and did something stupider.

Any media adviser fresh out of high school would have told Power to shut up, keep her head down and in a couple of weeks only mean spirited, conservative pundits would remember this fiasco. But, apparently, she was fresh out of those.

So she tweeted a correction. Ouch:

Correction: @DanielPearlFNDN’s work is a reminder that individual accountability + reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.

What she did is suggest that she didn’t mean the murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, but rather the foundation named after him, they should help in breaking the cycle of violence.

In other words, she took a lawyer instead of a publicist to deal with the problem. It didn’t go over well.

schlute: So @AmbassadorPower is still saying Daniel Pearl shouldn’t have been such a Jewy Jew? Is she seriously that tone deaf?

T. Becket Adams: I still have no idea what this means.

Harold: Thats like…so philosophical, man.

Mike Newman: Some people who try to be philosophical, just sound like idiots.

Hating Breitbart: When will the cycle of Muslims cutting people’s heads off end? When Jews & Christians stop being born?

It just went on and on like that, because the woman threw a new, upgraded slab of raw meat in front of the crowd, so the crowd rolled out the barbecues out of the garage again.

So now she went all out with a second correction:

Samantha Power ‏@AmbassadorPower

As I said last night, the men who murdered Daniel Pearl did so because “he was an American, and most of all, because he was a Jew.”

Needless to say, it didn’t help much. The responses are still coming in, but, so far, these guys were not buying it:

Moose Airborne: @AmbassadorPower Maybe it should have been your head?

Robot J. McCarthy: @AmbassadorPower You are a worthless Communist!!!

Incidentally, according to JTA, during her Sunday night at the 12th annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture, Power asserted that the United States opposes boycotts of Israeli institutions and products “as disruptive of the peace process.” Not illegal, mind you, not a vicious, possibly criminal campaign against a close ally – just unhelpful to the peace process.

What are you saying, Ambassador, that were it effective in pushing the peace process forward you’re all in favor of the boycotts?

Someone at the white house, do the administration a big favor, when she’s not looking, grab Ambassador Power’s iPhone and delete her Tweeter account. Before she issues another correction.

Amb. Power Puts Huge Foot in Mouth with ‘Cycle of Violence’ Comment

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Posted by Samantha Power on Twitter:

Samantha Power‏
@AmbassadorPower

Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN

Last night, the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA proudly presented the 2013-14 Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture, featuring Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with an introduction by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Dignified, right? Black tie? Check. Very clear right and wrong – check. So what happened?

In one instant, in a flash of unintended honesty, Ambassador Powers showed she learned absolutely nothing, but I mean zero, zilch, nada, from the Daniel Pearl tragedy. She showed that she is as unqualified to give the Daniel Pearl annual speech as, I don’t know, Noam Chomsky, maybe.

Daniel Pearl is in the category of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria kind of historical figures, whose life’s achievements tend to be blurred over the years, until, eventually, they are remembered only for their final few moments. The Archduke will be forever remembered as the man whose assassination by a radical in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, ushered in the First World War.

Daniel Pearl was the Wall Street Journal brave hearted reporter who was kidnapped and executed by a jihadist group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. Pearl was decapitated on video after 9 days of captivity. He will be forever honored for his unabashed statement, on camera: “My name is Daniel Pearl, I am an American Jew.”

Millions of us have been deeply disturbed by the Daniel Pearl murder. It touched so many previously universal assumptions and turned them upside down: the assumption that no one wants to hurt the press, since everybody wants good press for themselves – wrong; the assumption that when criminals are showing their victims on video it is to extract some kind of ransom, and so as long as the video is running, the victim is safe – wrong; and, of course, the ultimate assumption, that every enemy has a cause over which we can eventually bargain with them, until we meet half way – really, really wrong.

The fact is, millions of us have walked away from the Daniel Pearl execution with the universal conviction that the only way to go now must be to annihilate these bastards, until they’re all dead and gone. It was a Churchill in Dunkirk moment, following which the old bulldog gave his heroic “we shall fight them on the beaches” speech. Just as there was no possibility to negotiate with Hitler in 1940, there’s no negotiating with the jihadists. They are enemies of humanity and must all be exterminated – that’s what the entire civilized world took from the Pearl beheading.

Well, not the entire civilized world, as it turns out.

I don’t have a copy of what U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power told the good folks at UCLA last night. She probably touched all the bases. But I do have her tweets in front of me, and they’re stunning.

The first one is totally on the money, no problem there:

We must be vigilant in protecting the rights of the press. 2013 = 2nd highest # of journalist deaths and arrests all-time. @DanielPearlFNDN

To those of you who don’t speak fluent Tweet, Powers is citing herself at the foundation speech, giving her followers the gist of her message. And, of course, it’s unacceptable that close allies of the United States, such as Turkey and the Palestinian Authority, have been detaining journalists, photographers and even people making unflattering Facebook entries.

She was called on it, of course, by a few of her Tweeter followers:

RDPinRVA: That’s pretty rich coming from an appointee of an administration committed to limiting the press’ freedom.

Casey Kim: You’re part of the same administration who just suggested brining in the FCC to monitor newsrooms.

Power Pushing Israel’s Bid for Security Council

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Samantha Power, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, recommitted to securing Israel a tour on the U.N. Security Council after assisting its entry to a U.N. regional group.

Israel last month became a member of the JUSCANZ regional group at U.N. headquarters in New York. JUSCANZ stands for Japan, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, some of the 15 members of the regional group, which is a sub-group of the Western European and Others (WEOG) regional group at the U.N.

Israel was admitted to WEOG in New York in 2000, and in Geneva in 2013. Israel had been a member of JUSCANZ in Geneva, but until late last month not in New York.

In an address Monday to the Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee, Power said she will not give up on achieving a seat on the U.N. Security Council for Israel.

Israel is vying with Germany and Belgium for a seat on the 2019-20 Security Council.

“We have pushed relentlessly for the full inclusion of Israel across the U.N. system,” Power said.

Joining regional groups is an important example of the “continuing effort to chip away at systemic discrimination against Israel at the U.N.,” she added.

AJC Executive Director David Harris praised Power for shepherding Israel’s membership into the JUSCANZ grouping.

“JUSCANZ membership is another important step in rectifying the systemic discrimination against Israel at the U.N.,” Harris said. “Both Ambassador Power and her Canadian counterpart, Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski, were instrumental in achieving this long overdue breakthrough.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu would travel to Colombia and Mexico this spring following the announcement that Israel was granted observer status in the Pacific Alliance.

The alliance, formed in 2011 to increase economic cooperation among its member states, is composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The United States and France are among its observer states, which can participate in conferences and in staff work.

The decision to add Israel as an observer state was made Monday at the Pacific Alliance summit in Cartagena, Colombia.

Israel exports $864 million in goods to the Pacific Alliance countries each year, which is about 1 percent of its total exports, according to Ynet.

Israel Seeks UN Security Council Seat; Will Power Proffer Power?

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Late last week the Jewish State publicly announced that it plans to run for one of the ten rotating positions on the Security Council of the United Nations for the 2019-2020 year. Virtually everyone agrees it will be a tough battle for Israel to land a seat on the Security Council, but this year Israel has a special weapon it has not had in the past: US power. Or, more accurately, U. S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

This past July, when Power appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her vetting in advance of being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) bluntly asked Power whether she would assist Israel if the Jewish State seeks to fill one of the ten rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council.

“Absolutely, sir,” Power responded. “The Security Council seat is one that has eluded Israel, despite its many contributions across the years, and I commit to you wholeheartedly to go on offense, as well as playing defense on the legitimation of Israel, and we’ll make every effort to secure greater integration of Israeli public servants in the U.N. system.”

Now for a little background information: in order to win one of those ten rotating seats, two-thirds of the 193 member states of the U.N. General Assembly must vote to support a country’s bid.  In the 64 plus years during which Israel has been a member state of the U.N., it has never been approved for a seat on the U.N.’s Security Council.

Israel never has, but every one of its’ neighbors has had a seat on the Security Council several times: Egypt, four times; Jordan, twice; Syria, three times and Lebanon, twice.  Even Iraq and Iran have been voted on to the Security Council. But not Israel.

The Security Council can make policy decisions which have binding authority.  It can impose sanctions or authorize the use of the military. In contrast, the General Assembly can only pass resolutions, which are non-binding statements.

The ten rotating spots for the Security Council are chosen from within the five regional groups into which the U.N. is divided: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin American and the Caribbean, and the Western Europe and Others group (WEOG).

Although geographically – which is exactly how the groups are organized – Israel would naturally fall within the Asia Pacific group.  But the Islamic countries refused to permit Israel to be a member of that group. Sounds impossible, or at least impermissible, but it is what happened. And it was permitted.

So for years Israel was a U.N. member nation without a regional group home.  This meant that it was unable to participate in certain U.N. activities, one of which was being considered for a position on the Security Council.  But in 2000 the semi-magnanimous members of the WEOG permitted Israel to become a partial member of their regional group.

And then, in 2004, Israel was made a permanent member of WEOG. With that decision, after 55 years as a U.N. vagabond nation, Israel had a home in a regional group and became eligible for a seat on the Security Council. Israel will be running against Germany and Belgium for two seats available to members of WEOG.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador Ron Prosor said that “We’re going all out to win” because “it’s about time.” But going “all out” may not be enough, given that 120 of the U.N.’s 193 member states belong to the “Non-Aligned Movement,” the vast majority of which are decidedly hostile to Israel.

All eyes should be on Power to see how she plays offense – and defense – on behalf of Israel. As promised.

Can Samantha Power Change the UN?

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

It only took Samantha Power a few minutes to win over her critics in the pro-Israel community and refute other challenges to her appointment as the next United States ambassador to the United Nations. By now it’s known that I have strongly supported Samantha’s nomination and that her life’s work of genocide prevention has influenced me deeply, especially her 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

At her confirmation hearing last week, which I attended, Samantha made some of the most positive pro-Israel remarks on record. “The United States has no greater friend in the world than the state of Israel.” When she was later pressed by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to address her comments on Israel from 2002, calling for the US government to possibly withdraw money from Israel and deploy troops to protect Palestinians from Israelis, Samantha made statements that we rarely hear from a public servant, let alone in such a sensitive public hearing. She repudiated her remarks from over a decade ago and humbly dismissed that interview as “rambling and remarkably incoherent.” That act of humility took the sting out of much of what was to follow. Senators were still going to ask her tough questions about policy, but much of the original hostility was gone because the average American politician knows how rare it is to hear candor and self-abnegation in a public setting.

Samantha Power is a new breed of American public servant in that she speaks her mind and can get in trouble for it. But as Senator Kane of Virginia said at the hearing, a candid and plain-spoken American Ambassador is exactly what’s needed to combat the foggy grey zones of United Nations amorality (I’m paraphrasing here). For me Samantha is a relief from the sanitized, dull political culture we have today. Politicians simply conform to partisan party lines instead of being honest. We often speak of how partisanship leaves the country mired in gridlock, and that’s true. But we overlook how it also makes the political environment a yawning bore. When I ran for Congress it’s what I hated most. Speaking your mind and following your convictions is not rewarded but punished in politics. And it’s this aspect of politics that continues to turn me off.
In addition, punishing people for previous statements and not allowing them to repudiate them means that years before an individual runs for office they are already stripped of any interesting opinion or personal convictions for fear it will come back to haunt them later.

I have no interest in someone as bright as Samantha Power changing her opinion on the Middle East to accommodate the pro-Israel community. Conviction is essential. But less so do I believe that people cannot evolve or change opinions over time, based on personal circumstances and experience.

Americans tune-out when politicians speak because they’ve lost their ability to engage the public. Even President Obama who once electrified the nation with his speeches today commands a fraction of the audiences he once garnered. Samantha has many critics. But that’s the price one pays for being a real person, not a caricature. She has emerged as the foremost anti-genocide activist because she’s travelled to war zones and witnessed human suffering firsthand. She has been seen the plight of slaughtered people across the globe and it has informed her humanitarian worldview throughout her career. And it’s this aspect of her life – standing up for human life and condemning tyrants who slaughter their people – that has earned my lasting respect.

Next week I will be taking “America’s Doctor” Mehmet Oz to Israel on his first trip to the holy land, along with his family. Right afterward I’ll be visiting Rwanda for the second time in a year. Senator Marco Rubio asked Samantha to address her comments when she was a Harvard professor in 2003 about America’s “sins.” In her answer many felt she was evasive. But while I agree with Samantha that America is the “greatest country in the world… America is the light,” there is no question that we blew it completely in Rwanda.

To be sure, I do not believe in America being globocop. We can’t expend the lives of our selfless soldiers and endless national treasure to stop every human rights abuse in the world. But neither can we ignore the most egregious violations, of which Rwanda was the worst in the past 20 years. Stopping the genocide there would have necessitated only minimal involvement from the United States and other Western nations. But we remained inactive throughout the duration of a slaughter that took nearly one million lives.

Rwanda currently holds the Africa seat on the UN Security Council, something that Israel has unjustly never been allowed to do and Samantha committed to fight for Israel to obtain a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and combat the “unacceptable bias” against Israel at the U.N.

To be sure, Samantha still needs to prove herself in policy, not just in words and gestures. But it is my firm belief that she will bring her life’s work of human rights and genocide prevention to a body that protects dictators and makes a mockery of human rights, and will hold governments that slaughter their people accountable. She will make sure that rogue regimes pay a price for the oppression of innocent citizens while challenging the doublespeak and misplaced ethics that has characterized the United Nations in recent history.

The confirmation process, it turns out, has been the easy part. Changing an entrenched UN culture of amorality will be Samantha’s real challenge.

Yet Another Enemy of Israel Poised to Join US Foreign Policy Team

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

For people who pay close attention to what is happening in the world of U.S. government diplomacy and the players not just on the field, but those on deck, Robert Malley is a name that rings a bell.  For those who care deeply about the security of Israel, the bell that is rung has an ominous, if familiar, tone.

Rumors have been circulating for about a week that Robert Malley will soon be named by Secretary of State John Kerry for a senior advisory role with a portfolio that focuses either on Syria or on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

According to various sources Malley is “under serious consideration” or the decision to appoint him is already “a done deal,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

So what’s wrong with Malley?  He couldn’t possibly be as bad as Samantha Power, or John Kerry or Chuck Hagel, could he?

Well, that depends who you ask.

Robert Malley is so offensive, he was actually kicked off (despite the lipstick smear called “resignation”) the Obama election committee in 2008 for meeting with the terrorist organization Hamas, although he had been one of Obama’s closest advisors for Middle East issues until his affinity for Hamas became public.

Malley is a Harvard-trained lawyer who currently works at the George Soros-affiliated International Crisis Group.  There are those Israel supporters who see Malley as an international crisis all on his own – his father, Simon Malley, was a virulently anti-Israel member of the Egyptian Communist Party and a close confidante of Yassir Arafat.  (Malley’s mother, who raised him, is named Barbara Silverstein – we’re not going there.)

Robert Malley blamed Israel for the failure of the Camp David Peace Talks in an op-ed in the New York Times.  As Ed Lasky pointed out in an on-point article  in 2008, Malley’s recollections of what went wrong at Camp David was in direct contrast to every other major player present, including President Bill Clinton and Clinton’s Middle East Envoy, Dennis Ross.

In another op-ed from the same era, Malley revealed his strong support for the Syrian regime, and scoffed at the idea that Assad should be treated as a pariah.

This past fall Malley explained why he believes it is not only likely, but essential for Hamas and Fatah to unite.

 I think at this point it’s inconceivable that Fatah will eliminate Hamas, and I can’t see that Hamas is going to eliminate Fatah, so the only solution if what you want — if what people want — is to see a meaningful negotiation between an empowered Israeli government, a representative Israeli government, and an empowered and representative Palestinian national movement, the only way to do that is for Palestinian ranks to unify.

And as Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, Malley even criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for taking off the table the concept of containing a nuclear Iran – in other words, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and then asking the Islamic regime to pretty please not use them was a reasonable position Malley resented Obama’s failure to consider.

So, will Malley be the worst person in the U.S. administration with a foreign policy portfolio that could have a significant impact on Israel?  Maybe not the worst, but as an addition to a group which already have raised serious concerns, if Malley is selected by Kerry it is certain to make things even worse.

 

 

Power Pick Highlights Obama’s Genocide Problem

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The nomination of Samantha Power for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has drawn the Jewish community’s attention to her controversial 2002 remark about hypothetical U.S. action against Israel to protect Palestinians from genocide.

But Power’s confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate is also likely to address a broader question: How can lawmakers judge her record on responding to genocide when the government agency she has headed for the past year has no public record of taking any action to fulfill its stated mission – to prevent atrocities in Darfur and elsewhere around the world?

Just weeks after President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the International Criminal Court indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for spearheading the Darfur genocide. He was charged with sponsoring the Arab militias that were “murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing, and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property” in Darfur.

The Obama team included many outspoken advocates of U.S. action against the Bashir regime. Before becoming U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice had publicly urged air strikes on Sudan. Samantha Power wrote a book urging U.S. intervention against perpetrators of genocide. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama himself vowed, “I won’t turn a blind eye to slaughter” of civilians abroad and said, “There must be real pressure placed on the Sudanese government.”

Developments on the ground in Sudan during Obama’s first term provided good reason for U.S. action. In 2009, Bashir’s mass expulsion of foreign aid agencies led to widespread starvation. In late 2010, the ICC reported hundreds of civilians murdered and thousands displaced in renewed attacks by government-sponsored Arab militias against villages in Darfur. By the summer of 2012, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was reporting from Sudan about new “mass atrocities that echo Darfur” against non-Arab tribes in the Nuba Mountains.

Yet the Obama administration’s response was lethargic – and worse. The new U.S. envoy to Sudan, J. Scott Gration, told the Washington Post in 2009 that American policy should be based on “giving out cookies” and “gold stars” rather than punishing Bashir. In 2010, Gration told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S. now supports having Bashir judged by a local Sudanese court rather than by the ICC (even though that would increase the chances of an acquittal or a light sentence). In 2011, Gration’s successor, Princeton Lyman, told an interviewer, “We do not want to see the ouster of the [Bashir] regime, nor regime change.”

Meanwhile, Bashir was brazenly flaunting the ICC indictment by traveling openly to various Arab and African countries. Even though some of those countries were major recipients of U.S. aid, neither Obama nor advisers like Dr. Power publicly criticized them.

In the face of all this, disheartened Darfur advocates were given new hope by the president’s dramatic 2012 announcement – from the podium of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – that he was creating an Atrocities Prevention Board, with Power as its chair. The most optimistic were tempted to see parallels to the remarkable lifesaving work undertaken by the War Refugee Board, after pressure by Congress and Jewish activists forced President Roosevelt to establish that agency in 1944.

And there was substantial public support for Obama’s initiative: a poll by Penn Schoen Berland found 69 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should “prevent or stop genocide or mass atrocities from occurring in another part of the world.”

With public opinion on its side, would the administration finally turn a corner in its genocide policy?

Unfortunately, it did not.

When U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced a bill in 2012 to suspend non-humanitarian aid to countries that host visits by Bashir, the State Department worked behind the scenes to bury the measure. A petition by 70 leading Holocaust and genocide scholars to Dr. Power, urging her to back the bill, went unanswered. (Ironically, Power, in her book, had urged the U.S. government to use “economic sanctions” and pressure on its allies to combat genocide – a fact noted in the petition.)

Asked by a Fox News interviewer in January 2013 why the U.S. had been silent over a recent Bashir visit to Egypt, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Bashir “does need to be held accountable for what happened on his watch as president” but emphasized that the U.S. had to “prioritize” and focus on maintaining good relations with Egypt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/power-pick-highlights-obamas-genocide-problem/2013/06/13/

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