News Release

Samantha Power’s Role in Yemen Disaster

Media reports indicate that Joe Biden is considering naming Samantha Power to head USAID [the United States Agency for International Development].

DANIEL KOVALIK, dkovalik@outlook.com@danielmkovalik
Kovalik is the author of No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using “Humanitarian” Intervention To Advance its Economic and Strategic Interests (see on Simon and Schuster’s website.)

He said today: “While making her name by penning a Pulitzer-prize award-winning book inveighing against the evils of genocide — A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide — Power went on as Obama’s ambassador to the UN to actually help facilitate quite possibly the greatest slaughter of innocents in modern history.”

Kovalik cites the work of Shireen Al-Adeimi who wrote the piece “How Dare Samantha Power Scrub the Yemen War From Her Memoir,” which states that Power, in her 2019 autobiography, The Edu­ca­tion of an Ide­al­ist, “down­plays her role in the blood­shed that fol­lowed in Libya. … The most strik­ing thing about Power’s mem­oir is her com­plete omis­sion of her role in what became the world’s worst human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis: the ongo­ing U.S. inter­ven­tion in Yemen.”

Kovalik added: “As Foreign Policy noted back in October 2015, the fact that the United States was supporting the Saudi coalition military offensive against Yemen — in the form of intelligence, logistics (including mid-air refueling of Saudi jets), and even cluster bombs — and ‘inflicting extreme hardship on civilians in one of the Mideast’s poorest countries provides an awkward counterpoint to the Obama administration’s stated commitment to stand up for the region’s oppressed people.’ In addition to the military support for the Saudi coalition operations, this same piece mentions that the United States also provided diplomatic cover to these operations at the United Nations. Thus, the U.S. Mission to the UN, led by Samantha Power herself, scuttled a proposal which merely would have asked all the key actors to cooperate with human rights investigations in Yemen and would have reminded them to abide by international humanitarian law norms and human rights law in the prosecution of the conflict.”

Colum Lynch reported at the time: “Behind closed doors, the United States has sought to limit international scrutiny of rights abuses in Yemen. Last Friday, the United States blocked a proposal in a UN Security Council sanctions committee to have the committee’s chair, Lithuanian UN Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, approach ‘all relevant parties to the conflict and stress their responsibility to respect and uphold international humanitarian law and human rights law,’ according to Security Council diplomats. The committee also recommended that Murmokaite ask the key players to cooperate with its investigations into potential human rights abuses in Yemen.”

See piece in Al Jazeera from a year ago: “Yemen ‘could lose six million children’ from malnutrition.”