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Samantha Power and the Art of Tweeting

7:01 AM, Aug 22, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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At 5:09 pm on August 21, Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted this:

Samantha Power is no ordinary citizen venting her frustration. She's our ambassador to the United Nations. She presumably will soon be making the case for action at the United Nations, with the world media watching.

So why this seemingly pointless tweet? Here's why. It's as close as she can safely come to publicly expressing her distance from and disgust with her boss, President Obama. As we recall, and as Power does too, President Obama said a year ago that the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons would be a red line. And he said it would be a red line for the United States, not the United Nations.

Samantha Power, I believe, favored intervention against the Assad regime. She is also, I believe, familiar with the work of Leo Strauss. On the surface, her tweet seems the pathetic statement of an unserious official in a feckless administration. But all the world knows Samantha Power is serious. The careful reader must therefore assume that Power was well aware of--that she fully intended--the subversive implications of her tweet. Her tweet is not a serious call for the United Nations to act. Samantha Power knows the United Nations will not act. Her tweet is an indictment, for the record and for the history books, of President Obama.

UPDATE: The most perceptive of the many responses from readers to this post:

"It should be noted that the middle word of her tweet (if you don't count the ampersand as a word) is 'weapons.' Obviously a call for intervention."

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