By Edmond Y. Azadian
When Samantha Power published her award-winning book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Armenians — along with human rights activists globally — believed that she had been sent from heaven to defend the underdogs — victims of genocides and human rights abuses. She was so factual, legalistic and passionate as not to leave any shade of doubt that she was the apostle of human rights and justice.
During President Obama’s first election campaign, she approached the Armenian community with written statements as well as You Tube videos that once elected, Mr. Obama would recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Rallying support from the Armenians and from different groups with human rights agendas, she helped Mr. Obama’s election and she was rewarded with a job at the White House, as special assistant to the president and senior director of multi-lateral affairs and human rights. She could have landed at a higher profile position had it not been for her earlier fallout with Hillary Clinton, whom she had called a “monster” in an interview with The Scotsman.
Today, as she is nominated as US representative to the United Nations, replacing the beleaguered Susan E. Rice, Ms. Power is a completely different political animal. She did not deliver on her pledge on the Armenian Genocide nor did she remind her boss of his solemn commitment on the issue. Instead, she resorted to the ruse of putting in Mr. Obama’s mouth the term used by the late Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, “Medz Yeghern,” to avoid the use of the word genocide which has finite legal determinants. In his turn, Mr. Obama continued harping that he has not changed his stance on the issue, without, once again, defining that issue.
The Armenian Assembly issued a press release on June 7 outlining Ms. Power’s earlier activities and statements, which could portray her as an honest academic and human rights advocate, without any reference to her later dishonest political gymnastics, to be able to continue climbing on the ladder of political power. The above-mentioned press release concludes with the following statement: “The Assembly expects a robust US Senate confirmation process in the coming weeks.”