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Both Rice and Power, though they lean liberal, are humanitarian, interventionist hawks. Both Rice and Power backed Clinton two years ago in supporting the months-long American bombardment of Libya, an action that toppled Muammar Qaddafi but ushered in chaos and a militia-dominated, semi-failed-state there. They represent a dangerous flank of the liberal establishment in American foreign policy circles, interventionists who believe that every mass killing, or threatened mass killing, borders on potential genocide à la Rwanda.
Both supported U.S. bombing of Sudan during the much-inflated crisis in the western Sudanese province of Darfur, for instance. And they claimed that the military assault that Qaddafi planned against Benghazi in eastern Libya was impending genocide, when there was no evidence whatsoever that the Libyan forces were planning to do anything more than recapture a city that had been seized by rebels.
Power, who wrote "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," is a staunch advocate of using American military power abroad in defense of human rights. She served on the NSC staff until earlier this year, as Obama's chief human rights aide.
Robert Dreyfuss, a contributing editor for The Nation magazine, is an investigative journalist specializing in politics and national security. Copyright © 2013 The Nation--distributed by Agence Global