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The DRC Between Two Powerful American Women & a Hard Place

Posted on the 05 June 2013 by Aengw @alexengwete

The DRC between two powerful American women & a hard place

PHOTO: "Samantha Power, left, and Susan E. Rice (Mark Von Holden, left, and Evaristo Sa/Getty Images)" [Washington Post photo legend]

***

I just read on Washington Post the story about Samantha Power being Prez Barack Obama's nominee as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Susan Rice moving from New York to Washington to be Obama's National Security Advisor.

(http://m.washingtonpost.com/politics/national-security-team-shuffle-may-signal-more-activist-stance-at-white-house/2013/06/05/485cf4e4-cdf2-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html)

while back I celebrated here on this blog the fact that Rice, who was being considered as Hillary Clinton's replacement, had been properly "pre-borked" by Republican lawmakers--with the indefatigable Sen. John MacCain and his sidekick Sen. Lindsey Graham leading the charge over her Benghazi talking points.

This time around there won't be any celebrating here over Rice's downfall though as "[s]he does not need to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as national security adviser," as the piece by Washington Post's Scott Wilson mentioned above reminds readers.

Wilson also adds that Rice's new job is "the most powerful foreign policy post in the government, given the administration's concentration of policy-making authority in the White House."

This info would come as a very unfortunate and worrisome information to the Congolese for obvious reasons. 

Rice, Rwandan President Paul Kagame's fan and business associate (according to her foes), was a strong proponent of the balkanization of the DRC during her stint in the Bill Clinton's administration.

What's more, Rice is also known to treat Congolese with utter contempt. I got to experience her disdain first hand once when, in the George W. Bush's years, she was at the liberal garage of the Brookings Institution.

With then Congo UN Mission Chief Ambassador William Swing among the panelists who were discussing the DRC that day, Rice didn't even deign to reply to a question I put to her--whereas the other panelists answered my queries.

Wilson's article about the appointment of Rice and Power is titled "National security team shuffle may signal more activist stance at White House."

Well, if this "activist stance" translates for Rice playing in the Great Lakes a pro-Kagame advocacy game à la Tony Blair, then Congolese are doomed in the foreseeable future, that is, for the rest of Obama's second term.

The appointment of Power doesn't bode well for the Congolese either--though I personally like her for the irrational reason that she was the housemate of my Burundian buddy Alexis Sinduhije when she was lecturing at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I thus got to see and talk to her on more than one occasion every time I went to visit Alexis.

(See also: http://alexengwete.blogspot.com/2010/05/burundi-alexis-sinduhije-my-hero-in.html?m=1)

Be that as it may, however, just like Rice, "Power has also been influenced by the Rwanda genocide." 

To be "influenced by the Rwanda genocide" often means to be biased for Kagame!

Therefore, as I look at these two appointments by Obama, I got the uneasy feeling that the DRC is suddenly caught between two powerful American women and a hard place!

***


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