To the surprise of no one: Simon Coveney hearts Samantha Power

The military isn't the only tool of US empire.

Samantha Power takes a selfie with a student who is holding a name tag that reads
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power's visit to Israel in 2016. Photo: Matty Stern / U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

For many in the US, the Biden administration is eagerly anticipated during these so-called “nail-biting final days”. For the rest of the world, an amalgamation of the three administrations prior to Trump will change places, much like the participants at the mad hatters table. 

Many are aware of the various hot wars – Syria, Afghanistan – and cold wars – Russia and China – that the US is instigating. However, the military is not the only tool of the US empire. Sometimes, a softer touch is required.

USAID is the soft power apparatus of US imperialism. Founded in 1961 at the behest of J. F. Kennedy, USAID was initially used to fund certain groups in Cuba, groups that were later implicated in the Bay of Pigs. The administration expanded its operations significantly over the 1970s and onwards. Unsurprisingly, their actions have not to the benefit of the world at large.

The states, who are the recipients of such aid, have remained underdeveloped for decades and in some cases have seen a deteriorating quality of life. Countries like Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, South Sudan and Somalia have been reduced to dependencies of the US through this programme. It is, of course, fitting for the hawkish Samantha Power to take the helm of this operation. 

Power’s career is conflated with a history of imperial violence. 

Power became prominent when her book A Problem from Hell claimed the U.S. had not done enough to intervene in Yugoslavia. This claim is contradicted by reality: the US, in fact, heavily bombed Yugoslavia with depleted Uranium, acts which killed more than 100,000 people and, decades on, continues to claim lives through bizarre cancers previously only found in Hiroshima. 

During her role as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Power was actively involved in pursuing interventions in Libya, Gaza, and Yemen. Today, Libya has an active slave-trade thanks to this “humanitarian” intervention. During the 2014 aerial bombings of Gaza, Power failed to condemn civilian casualties. Yemen is currently on the verge of the largest famine in this century.

Power accused the governments of Syria, Russia, and Iran of “barbarism against civilians” in Aleppo while, in turn, she supported the al-Qaeda faction in Aleppo; the same faction that were responsible for the mass graves of mutilated civilians in Eastern Aleppo.

When questioned by the Russian permanent representative Vitaly Churkin of the U.N. on why the USAF attacked the Syria army, she walked out of council. She advocated Western countries have responsibility to protect the underdeveloped from themselves.

It is equally apt for the notorious NATO advocate and neutrality underminer Simon Coveney to congratulate Power.