Obama chose, early on, the egregious and execrable Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s man. Does Obama really wish to be associated with Jimmy Carter in any way? Brzezinski helped Carter abandon the Shah (with Gary Sick playing his little role as an “Iran expert”), though I doubt that Brzezinski had a hand in composing Carter’s treacly letter to the Ayatollah Khomeini, who was addressed by Carter “as a fellow man of faith.” And Brzezinski, with Carter, was the chief bullier of Begin and the rest of the Israeli delegation at Camp David.
For Brzezinski, to put it mildly, has always been noticeably unsympathetic to Israel. And what is most striking about Brzezinski is that in all his decades out of power, with the usual money-making and careful promotion of his children (Mika, indistinguishable from a thousand others, having risen high, thanks you for your efforts on her behalf), has apparently not felt it his duty to learn a thing about Islam. Yet in the last six years, what has he had to do all day save to attend, a few times a year, a few board meetings? But he pontificates away. And someone — perhaps Obama himself — decided that Brzezinski was the man to go to. That worries.
And then there is Samantha Power, possibly just back from her honeymoon. Her entire career has been owed to her “work” on genocide; the Sudan made her. Yet there is no indication that Samantha Power, any more than her fellow traveler or fellow-dabbler in the miseries of the Sudan, Nicholas Kristof (whose career was similarly helped so mightily by his own dispatches from Sudan, or from Darfur — dispatches that merely reported, but never explained or made sense of things for readers), understands that the Sudan has been an exhibit over the past two decades of two kinds of Muslim Arab malevolence and aggression: toward the Christians and animists of the south, it has been a classic Jihad, designed to continue the push southward by the forces of Islam that has been going on, slowly at first, over the past century in the Sudan. The result has been about 2 million murdered or starved to death. And in Darfur, which for some reason was of much greater interest to the kristofs and the powers that be, exhibits the signs of being not a classic Jihad against the Infidel, but is rather a manifestation of the Arab supremacism of which Islam has always been the vehicle.
Samantha Power is a detail girl about some things. Her last book was an unreadable 642 pages on the life and death, vita morte miracoli, of Sergio Vieira de Mello — when if she had possessed the gift of summary, and the esemplastic or shaping faculty, she might have produced something one-quarter the size and forty times as good. There is no hint that in all her cellphone calls to Obama, Samantha Power has ever explained to him that in Darfur as in the southern Sudan, the same impulses, from the same texts and tenets, are at work as were at work in the 9/11/2001 bombing, or in the beating to death of a Hindu passing Muslims coming out of Friday Prayers in Bangladesh, or in the “Jihad” (Col. Ojukwu’s own words) against the Christians in Nigeria during the Biafra War, or in the decapitation of Christian schoolgirls by Muslims in Indonesia. Connecting the dots can only take place if you first recognize that the dots have to be connected, and that can only come after having familiarized yourself with the texts, tenets, attitudes of Islam. This Samantha Power — is the honeymoon over yet, and did anyone think to kiss the Blarney Stone? — shows no signs of having done. And if Cass Sunstein, whom she just married, remains an adviser to Obama, who in his right mind does not think there will be a place for Samantha Power as an “expert” on foreign policy?
Oh, she’s done very well for herself, but now she may possibly feel obliged to save even a single life in the Sudan. And that can only be done with an American military intervention, one requiring not much by way of soldiers, but simply the overnight destruction of the Sudanese airforce, and seizure of Darfur and the southern Sudan, until such time as a referendum on independence can be held.
One could go on, in a leisurely prosopographical way, holding up for inspection now this “foreign policy adviser” and now that, but this, for now, will have to do.