Friday, March 07, 2008

Samantha Power's split personality?

She made a monstrous comment about Hillary Clinton, and then retracts it this way:

Obama’s top foreign policy adviser Samantha Power has resigned from the Obama campaign, after a Scottish newspaper reported she called Hillary Clinton a “monster.” Power, who was unpaid, initiated the move, according to the Obama campaign.

“With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an advisor the Obama campaign effective today,” Power said in a statement released by the campaign. “Last Monday, I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor, and purpose of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months.”

I couldn't help but compare this to her response, a few days earlier, to Ha'aretz correspondent who interviewed her:

Among other things, he found the following things she said, in a 2002 interview, about what should be done to stop the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

"[It will] mean sacrificing - or investing, I think, more than sacrificing - billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence."

In that same interview, Power said that the situation will "require external intervention."

Pollack very reasonably interpreted this as an expression of support for a "ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories." Otherwise, he wrote, what did she mean when she spoke of "a mammoth protection force"?

Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. "Even I don't understand it," she says. And also: "This makes no sense to me." And furthermore: "The quote seems so weird." She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it's hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant. Anyway, what she she said five years ago is less important that what she wants to say now: She absolutely does not believe in "imposing a settlement." Israelis and Arabs "will negotiate their own peace."

In both incidents, she stated an opinion, position or personal insult, and later confessed that she couldn't quite understand what got into her...

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Update: I didn't know all this about Power and co...

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