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article imageOp-Ed: Obama appoints Susan Rice as his national security adviser

By Ken Hanly     Jun 5, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Barack Obama announced today (June 5) that he was appointing Susan Rice to be his national security adviser. She will replace Tom Donilon who was expected to resign during Obama's second term.
Obama also announced that Samantha Power will take over Rice's job as ambassador to the United Nations. Power is an advocate of humanitarian interventionism and was a strong supporter of the Libya intervention. Perhaps she will support more US and international action in Syria against Assad.
The appointment of Rice to be Obama's national security adviser will no doubt enrage many Republicans. Rice is regarded as one of the chief architects of an apparent cover-up of what really happened in the Benghazi raid. Five days after the assault Rice appeared on U.S. news shows maintaining that the attack was a spontaneous development arising from a protest, rather than a terrorist strike. A response is already in from Rand Paul.
Rice was a top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but in that case Republican opposition over the Benghazi affair led her to withdraw her name last December. Her appointment to this job requires no Senate approval so the Republicans can only howl from the sidelines. As top security adviser, Rice will be a key player in the development of the Obama administration's foreign policy.
John Avlon, columnist and CNN contributor said: "Susan Rice is not on the Republicans' Christmas card list, but this appointment, which doesn't need Senate confirmation, is being read as a slap in the face. President Obama says he doesn't much care. He is rewarding Susan Rice for her loyalty to his administration and moving her into the White House. She can have more influence now than she ever did on White House policy." Avlon maintains that Obama appears liberated by his second term and is not worried about burning bridges to Republicans and Congress who are already critical of him. If he is so liberated, why does he not take real action on closing Guantanamo or at the very least sending back Yemenis to Yemen?
Heather Conley, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that the appointment of Rice will consolidate even more shaping of foreign and security policy within the White House: “It’s cleared the way for more centralized policy coming from the White House. This allows a fairly clear playing field for Ambassador Rice to focus on the president’s signature foreign and security policy and legacy issues.”
Rice is known for a certain abrasiveness according to David Rothkop of Foreign Policy magazine but she has the advantage of a close relationship with President Obama. Many human rights organizations have criticized her for trying to prevent UN statements that criticized Rwanda for supporting a rebel group in Congo that was infamous for committing atrocities. The Black Agenda Report goes into more detail about Rice's support of assorted African dictators. However she was outraged by the actions of Gadaffi and supported intervention in Libya and you can rest assured that she will support attempts to overthrow Assad.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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