I watched this. I suppose that President Obama will find something for Colin Powell to do for the next few years, but that will be unfortunate.
Powell is someone who truly "blotted his copybook" as the Brits used to say. After a lifetime of service and achievement, Powell chose in the end to "drink the koolaid" that flowed in the bloodstream of the Bush/Cheney/neocon regime that has ruled the United States for the last eight years. He was Secretary of State at a time when his firm opposition, and ultimately his resignation would have crippled the onrushing utopian crusade for Westernization in Iraq.
He did not choose to follow that path. Instead, he chose to believe the corrupted judgments of an intelligence community leadership that betrayed the country and the armed forces by producing nonsensical estimates designed to create support for war among an ignorant and bellicose public that hungered for revenge aganst an enemy they could not even define.
Today, when he was asked by Brokaw about his role as perhaps the greatest enabler of the Iraq War decision, he took shelter behind the collection of garbage that was served up in 2002-2003 by George Tenet and company as justification for war.
For Shame! For Shame!
He should hide himself and hope that someday men will remember the good of him and not the worst. pl
PS Contrary to Brokaw, on MTP, it does not appear that Powell commanded an infantry battalion in the 101st Division in VN. Comment?
well said, col lang.
colin powell’s endorsement is more related to rehabbing colin powell’s reputation and hooking himself to a clearly winning and, yes, transformational, side.
the only reason colin powell was selected to be secretary of state was because he possessed the stature and unquestioned trust of the american people — that was to be cynically manipulated to lead this country to war. he knew better; but he couldn’t bring himself to stand against those forces that have brought this country such disgrace, catastrophe and heartache.
but i must give him props for a nicely stated rationale for why he supports obama.
A good friend served in the
Americal Division 69 70.
He understood that Powell
was an officer there. It was based in the Chu Lai
region south of Da Nanang.
The 101 was up north in the
Quang Tri Phu Bai are.
Everyone ought to read Doris Lessing’s collection of essays titled “Prisons We Choose To Live Inside.” She wrote it in the 80s and 90s, and muses on the hysteria of Communism and anti-Communism in the 40s and 50s. Her comments on how mass mind works are still germane.
Let us all remember how monolithic the prevailing sentiment was a mere six years ago. Anyone who objected to the rush to war was labeled a terrorist sympathizer or worse. I am sorry that Powell did not have more courage in those days, and I cannot understand how he could recite all that claptrap he delivered at the UN. But. He is only human. How many of normal members of the establishment have the courage to row so fiercely against the tide?
I am from a family of freaks, weirdos and dissidents, so it’s easy for me to say that he should have registered his objection. Our host, Colonel Lang, is a military man and has more standing to criticize than I do. I would hope that more members of the military would live up to Colonel Lang’s ideals. Clearly they do not.
One more reason why I am grateful for the Colonel’s blog and comment. A few voices crying in the wilderness may not seem important or convincing in the moment, but it’s amazing how sentiments change and suddenly the solitary dissidents become part of a crowd.
To be more pointed, he served Bushian factionalism when should have served American nationalism.
He should do public work ala Jimmy Carter as penance.
he redeemed himself a little today.
all the stuff about his collateral involvement re My Lai is at the Wiki.
while doing a little research at Woodward’s book Plan of Attack, here’s a little untoward tidbit re the Viking wanna-be Rove, speculative that it may be:
Page 250: Karl Rove, a Norwegian-American, is obsessed with the “historical duplicity” of the Swedes, who seized Norway back in 1814. This nationalism manifests itself as hatred for Swedish weapons inspector Hans Blix.
Woodward’s book, The Commanders, which covers the Gulf War, mentions the Col. several times.
I usually lurk, but wanted to comment after watching Colin Powell on “Meet the Press” today.
I wasn’t impressed with Powell’s endorsement of Obama or his railing against the Republican party. What, he didn’t know that his party is full of bigots?
I was impressed that Powell stood up and spoke out about the anti-Muslim sentiment that is widespread in this country. It is about time that a nationally recognized figure said something. Too bad Obama didn’t do it, himself.
Define “nationalism”, if you would. What, in the world, is Jimmy Carter serving “penance” for?
My thought exactly. pl
I agree with Pat on Powell’s failure to stand up and be counted ahead of the Iraq war. I also think he’s now safely seeking to jump on a winning team…
But in isolation from his own faults and motives, his “what’s wrong with being a moslem stuff” on the kid at Arlington from NJ was very, very strong.
Jonst and Pat Lang… think you misunderstand jerome on two points:
1- the “penance” is for Powell to serve for having enabled the Bush/Cheney imperium…
2- the “nationalism” to be valued is contrasted with the “factionalism” of Bush/Rove and Cheney that is detrimental to the national interest…
do you think the obama camp will have the common sense to ‘distance’ themselves from powell’s ‘endorsement’?
one glaring thing that sticks out every time that browkaw comes on meet the press — i brokaw am an unabashed mccain supporter, so stuff it in your snoots john q public. IMO that’s the whole demeanor that brokaw comes across with.
OT: Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, has served a stranger “penance” for having failed to effectively preside over his administration and the government even though his basic instincts can be viewed positively (eg., Paul Volker at the Fed began the recovery from stagflation, the early identification of energy policy as central to the future, not going to war with Iran over the hostages, etc.).
An ironic speculation: would Cyrus Vance have resigned if Desert One had succeeded? As for Colin Powell, my biggest gripe is that he did not stand up for Shinseki… but then again, would it have made any long term difference if the MNF had been 400,000 and if it had been a broader coalition?
I agree with your sentiments, however, I feel very few of us spoke out (including myself)when we should have. Let’s not hold the General to a higher standard. His ambitions and failings, so obvious now, were just the fruit of misplaced and greedy human striving. Look how “presidential aspirations” have twisted the moral fiber of Mr. McCain.
Besides, the Republican party and Colin Powell were compromised long before he made his UN presentation.
As I recall, Powell commanded in the 2ID — 1-38, 1-23, something like that. I was up north at the time.
Powell’s legacy as SECSTATE was his move to properly resource the organization that had been gutted during the 90s. Diplomats and developers are going to play a more of an important role in the “long war” than most of us defenders.
Powell had 1/9IN in Korea under Gen. Emerson after Vietnam. The Manchus who knew him held him in high regard especially during a very difficult period in terms of morale and discipline. AFAIK this was his only battalion command. IIRC he had a brigade command under Gen. Wickham in the 101AB.
I have no love for Colin Powell, but as others have said, he started “rehab” today as far as I’m concerned.
The best thing about this endorsement is it will dominate the news cycle for three days. And with only two weeks to go before the election, that is not insignificant.
I doubt he’ll play any official role in the Obama administration other than being available by phone from time to time for Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Stephe Clemons has been reporting on Powell endorsing Obama. He gives the issue an interesting twist in pointing out how he has been prodded by people like Bill Kristol to do that.
Waving Good-bye to Bill Kristol, Colin Powell “Might” Endorse Obama
When it Comes to Colin Powell, What is Bill Kristol Up To?
From the latter article:
A rovian/ neo-con co-effort in cleaning the Republican party of those despicable and troublesome ‘Realists’? It appears that they have now succeeded. I find the idea scary, to say the least, to have a party that only has hard core ideologues or disoriented people like Palin influencing the party’s foreign policy line. Permanent neo-con dominance over foreign policy in a GOP permanently dominated by it’s right-wing?
And then think of the prospect of a Project Palin, say, for 2012.
No. I understand exactly. I despise nationalism. I agree with Elie Khadourie’s definition that Nationalism is the love of one’s country or group at the expense of someone else’s country or group. Conversely, Khedourie defines patriotism as love of one’s country or group. On that basis I will admit to being a patriot. Powell, IMO, did what he did because he was essentially motivated by his own interest.
Yes, maybe, if they too are not simply seeking career advantage.
I spoke out and wrote against it, but what I said did not matter. pl
An ironic speculation: would Cyrus Vance have resigned if Desert One had succeeded?
… and it’s worth noting he tendered his resignation before the operation began.
As for Colin Powell, my biggest gripe is that he did not stand up for Shinseki…
… and for the professionals at State who had fully understood what the post-invasion would would require…
but then again, would it have made any long term difference if the MNF had been 400,000 and if it had been a broader coalition?
… and if it had included a post-invasion stabilization plan (ie, no looting, finding and keeping the “good” Baathists, etc.).
On “nationalism” versus “patriotism”…
… I agree 100% because I was not making the distinction but accept it as meaningful.
For me, in fact, ‘nationalism’ can exist even where a formal state does not exist (or where it is fragmented into different polities…) while ‘patriotism’ can only exist where ‘citizenship’ is either a reality or a concrete aspiration…
I frankly have been struggling with that distinction for a while and appreciate this dialectic exercise…
Colin has always been with the team. Not just My Lai, but Iran-Contra as well. He’s always been just left of the likes of Elliot Abrams.
And what kind of guy rolls over on his own doctrine? The kind that stood by while Shinseki was pushed down the stairs representing it.
In 1996, I was as enthusiastic of Powell for US President as some are about Obama today. Powell came across as “transformative” and I viewed his popularity in the Deep South as a much needed breakthrough that shattered some deeply engrained perceptions. (And in 1996, Powel apparently was more popular in the South than anywhere else in the nation — a point the msm today seems to go out of the way to ignore, offering more proof that suggests on the part of the msm an ill adapted and anachronistic point of view, imo.)
And as a civilian, anytime I read about someone from the Vietnam and post Vietnam era military, I look to see what that person thinks about Bernard Fall. Powell cited Fall’s book in his autobiography. Granted, it wasn’t a discourse but the book was mentioned. So, while Powell may have been a Washington player, I always believed he was on the right track, at least from my civilian perspective (and also admitting that I saw Powell in part as a “cultural” icon, much as Obama supporters do today.).
So naturally his stance as Sec. of State in 03 was disappointing. Ray McGovern, at about the time of the release of the Suskind book, wrote an interesting analysis of Powell’s tragic mistake.
And all this said, I just don’t see the foreign policy aspects of the Democratic platform as “transformative”, if Ilan Pappe, Jimmy Carter and Walt and Mearsheimer are correct in their analysis. (Again, “if” they are correct and I dunno‘ because I haven‘t spent enough time in the Middle East). But “if” they are correct, then the Democratic platform is a sell-out as much as anything else that has happened of late.
Good grief, at the Democratic convention, Axelrod and company made Jimmy Carter sit at the back of the bus, just like the ol days. But the msm failed to explore reasons for such a decision, offering more evidence of arrested development to go along with ersatz Greek columns that appeared made of Styrofoam. (And surely MLK Jr. would not have “gone along to get along” when it came to US foreign policy. No way.)
So neither party seems imbued with the courage necessary to make some tough decisions. But, yes, I am voting for Obama and somewhat excited of upcoming changes, although no evidence exists that Ron Paul would ever sell out. And while it’s not Obama in the least that concerns me about the Democratic Party, at some point Obama will have to show moral courage at the foreign policy game. Haven’t seen it yet. It’s same ol, same ol, although Hagel as SecDef offers a glimmer of hope. But wait…Hagel is a limited government Republican with an anti-imperialistic streak, as was Powell supposedly at one time.
The Bushites specifically, and movement conservatives generally, consistently prioritize factional good ahead of national good. Powell served factionalist ends, though I do not view his loyalties as factionalist in the manner of Cheney, Rove, Delay, Bush and so many others.
If Jimmy Carter has done anything requiring penance, his estimable public work after leaving office is satisfactory. Powell has penance to do, but if has done any I have not heard.
Powell was very clear, powerful and quite moving in his endorsement of Obama, especially when he spoke an America which would give the 7 year old Muslim boy growing up in America hope to be president, and when he recognized that there are Muslim soldiers in the US Army – see the grave of the soldier he talked about, SPC Kareem Khan, here: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/krkhan.htm
By using that example to criticize the right-wing know-nothingism that the Republican Party has become, he made a great point.
As for his support of the Iraq war, I give him a pass. Having seen the acres of a couple of large Iraqi ammo dumps, bunkers and bunkers to the horizon, I saw how it was reasonable to believe that Iraq had chemical weapons. That was one stated reason for the war; everyone knew there were several others, both venal and altruistic. There was oil, and there was the idea of the democratic paradigm shift in Arab politics. If Powell is to faulted, it is for not opposing Rumsfeld’s idiocies by resigning earlier.
BTW, what is up with Larry Johnson? His “methods have become unsound.”
Colonel Lang – what you said did not seem to matter at the time. However it does matter in the long run. I for one have been very grateful to meet a patriot, Army officer, Southerner and conservative such as yourself who spoke out early against the war. Your experience in the military and in the first Gulf War adds to the weight of your opinion.
Reminds me that we shaggy-haired liberal peaceniks were not just parroting knee-jerk reactions – we were against the war for good reasons, and we are joined by others who love our country as we do, even if we don’t all agree on (for instance) social issues or the fine points of economic policy.
in my imaginary world. I would be sitting next to that UN Powell’s speech. And I would say….
Hey Powell, gimme that vial, I have the key to sequencer room right here. It better be not baking soda. be back after lunch.
This speaks to the double-edged nature of loyalty. (Personally I think it’s way over-rated. It is HELPFUL to have someone trusted say “Bad idea, boss!”) Yet it seems that “loyalty” is a paramount virtue in the military. Powell always conducted himself as a loyal member of the military/administration. (In the first case this is understandable and usually admirable; in the second case, it was poor judgment because political loyalty is BS and can lead to koolaid poisoning.) It must be hard to live by those values and then have your loyalty betrayed by your superiors. But when they start talking about torturing detainees in WH meetings, it’s time to run away, shouting “Danger” as loud as one can. He didn’t do that.
Better late than never!
And in addition:
– Someone has written in about my judging people in accord with my “ideals.” Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t have “ideals,” but I do have “standards” and Powell doesn’t meet my standards of behavior when he still does not accept reponsibility for the rotten and probably self-serving decision he made in spouting that rubbish at the UN.
– And then there is the matter of the “review” that he and Wilkerson conducted out at Langley on all that trash reporting and analysis before Powell went to the UN and made a major contribution towards sending thousands of American, British, Australian and other soldiers to their deaths in Iraq. He took Wilkerson with him on that expedition to the CIA and not one or more of the seniors from State INR. Why? Good question! Was it because those excellent analysts and leaders of analysts would have seen through the BS? Neither Powell nor Wilkerson was in the least qualified to do that. How do I know this? Wilkerson told me about who went to CIA.
– He endorsed Obama. Good! Did he show any repentance for his moral and intellectual failure at the UN? No! He blamed the intelligence community the way such people always do. Always!!!.. pl
Powell’s endorsement of Obama closed with the story of the burial in Arlington of a 20 year old army specialist who along with four comrades, was killed by an IED in Iraq in August of 2007. His headstone did not show a Christian Cross or a Star of David but the Muslim Crescent and Star.
“And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself [sic] in this way.”
In warning us about the dangers of continuing to engage in the politics of division, I think Powell was returning to his roots. He is a black man who joined the army as a 2nd Lt. in 1958 or 10 years after Truman ordered desegregation of the military. He did not give up his identity, but honed his political skills by learning how to survive and grow in a system that was still struggling to become integrated even as it gave him more and more responsibility.
Powell’s telling the story of Spec. Khan was his way of reaffirming to himself and us that he had not forgotten who he was and where he had come from. And, more important, that we as a country also needed to remember those things lest we return to a time where citizens could be publicly scapegoated and worse because they were different from the rest of us.
As several commenters have pointed out, Powell’s description of this event was extremely moving and IMO as a result, likely to be more truly reflective of his personal values and convictions than any speech he made to the United Nations.
My wife wondered whether Powell’s difficulty in clearing his throat during the interview was a symptom of this emotional tension. Those of you who have seen the Memorial to the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Leavenworth which Powell initiated in 1982 will also have some appreciation of the depth of his emotional investment in this area.
Like the rest of you, however, I feel anger at Powell about his role in the Iraq War and believe as did James Baker as reported in Woodward’s The War Within:
“He’s the one guy who could have perhaps prevented this from happening.”
I’m just sorry that he didn’t try
Known far and wide for my amazingly accurate and fortuitous predictions (Hah!), I remember from more than a month ago, this one:
So imagine my consternation after so successfully divining the nation’s political tea leaves, to awaken this morning and find no pony under an Xmas tree.
How could this be? No pony for me!
And to make matters worse, why there wasn’t even an Xmas tree.
I humbly accept the correction of my word “ideal” in favor of the more appropriate “standard.” Thank you for making me see the distinction.
The “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments? Give me a break! I come from an OLD Army family. The Black troopers and riflemen who fought the Plains Indians, the Utes, the Apache, the Spanish Army, The Filipino Insurrectos, the Moros and Pancho Vila and Huerta’s men under their white officers were nothing but a rumor by the time Powell was commissioned. Until they both died my father’s greatest friend in retirement was a retired sergeant major of the 9th Cavalry. My father’s friend was a real Buffalo Soldier. They were inseparable.
Powell was a “C” student at CCNY. He probably would not have received a Regular Army commision under the DMG program if he had not been Black. He was a world class beneficiary of the Army’s search for worthy Black officers throughout his Army career until Weinberger picked him to be his military assistant. After that, the stars converged. The term “political general” describes this man. I remember to this day my dismay at the sight of him seated on the platform at the Republican convention in New Orleans when he was still on active duty (not retired).
He was choked up? Yes. He was choked up. The difficulty that he had in explaining his moral failure, the failure that has cost so many American soldiers their lives or their limbs was apparent.
I used to like this man, used to like him personally, but, then, I liked Wolfowitz and Armitage as well…
I have a lot to regret. pl
Would it be fair then to say that Powell’s record of advancement in the army was not dissimilar to that of Al Haig?
And, that Powell’s only connection to the Buffalo Soldiers was his involvement in helping to create the memorial at Fort Leavenworth and in otherwise publicizing their service to the country. I always assumed, perhaps in error, that Powell’s interest in publicizing their exploits was based on their common racial heritage.
Neither of these points, however, should obscure what I believe to be Powell’s genunine concern about the negative impact of the politics of division in selecting a new president.
You are absolutely right about the “rehab.” However, it is not just for his providing “cover” for the Iraq war, but also for his role in torture…
AFTER he let Larry Wilkerson go around speechifying and letting the world know that Powell knew nothing about this, it came out that “enhanced interrogation techniques” were discussed in excruciating detail on multiple occasions at the Principals meeting with Colin Powell present. Powell has not really been called out on this. Once when Diane Sawyer asked re him this apparent contradiction Colin Powell said that he didn’t have “sufficient memory recall” about the meetings; that he had participated in “… many meetings on how to deal with detainees…”; and, “… I’m not aware of anything that we discussed in any of those meetings that was not considered legal…”
From July: http://www.ph2dot1.com/2008/07/powell-rehabilitation-project.html
I was 2nd Bat 502nd Infantry in 101st in the late 90s. I distinctly remember seeing his picture among past commanding officers at either briagade or battalion headquarters near the staff duty desk.
here’s a computer simulation of the son tay raid
If Obama wins, it will only be a beginning. However, if Obama wins, I guess he will be among recent presidents the one who owes the most to effort by the average citizen. And so maybe he will pay more attention to us.
“I used to like this man, used to like him personally, but, then, I liked Wolfowitz and Armitage as well..”
Not entirely relevant, but at least some of these men are great, great con-artists.
Wolfowitz for instance.
If one trolls through his journalist-cv claims (I phrase it this way because it’s possible it’s all been made unfairly on his behalf) it’s claimed he speaks indonesian fluently.
Indonesian is the easiest of the major Asian languages to learn (the only competitor in the easy stakes is tagalog, which is hardly relevant).
I speak Indonesian very, very well for an American. I (briefly) tested Wolfowitz on it once, and he was much weaker than me. He was at the level of an averagely-bright mining engineer who spent a lot of time in remote parts of Borneo or Indonesian New Guinea. That is, piss-poor.
My own level was greater, but not so good that i could act as translator of this language. On a CV in the US, describing a comparable ability in Spanish, I would describe myself as “proficient.”
So. I have no doubt that his command of indonesian might yield a version of “amigo, dos cervezas por favor” but I doubt he has any real grasp of the language. Indonesian is, as i’ve said above, an easy language. Far, far easier to learn than Arabic, for instance (a language against whose rocky shoals i’ve almost beaten myself to bits and which the wolf claims to speak). Yet arabic is another of his claimed languages.
My overwhelming feeling upon seeing Powell’s endorsement was to wish that I could vote for him, instead of one of those two other clowns.
I remember the piece he wrote for Foreign Affairs a few years back. Like most here, I think, I disagree with his arguments on the issue of Iraq – disagreed with him then as now. But he does possess a clarity and honesty of thought that eludes much of the rest of the political and military infrastructure in the US. His card is indeed marked with his failure to take the courageous stand against Gulf II, but there is a baby in this bathwater. If the next President can use him, they probably should.
alnval writes: “Would it be fair then to say that Powell’s record of advancement in the army was not dissimilar to that of Al Haig?”
Well it depends on which period of their careers you’re comparing. Despite his personal quirks, Haig was a proven combat leader in two wars. He was among those tabbed for fast track after Korea. By all accounts he was a very good battalion CO in Vietnam. The troubling aspect of his service was his role as the WH Chief of Staff while on active duty as this portfolio goes beyond the usual billets at DOD or even the NSC staff in terms of partisan politics. From 0-1 to 0-8 I don’t think anyone would question whether Haig deserved to advance at that pace. Questions emerged when he was appointed as the SACEUR due to his inexperience in terms of division and corps command.
As for Powell, he was deemed a competent officer according to those who’d access to his fitreps. However compared to the peers of his generation, his wartime record isn’t an exemplary one. He was tabbed for fast track when he did very well at the CGSC. After the tour with Americal, Powell was selected as a WH fellow. Frank Carlucci (and later Weinberger) became his mentor, and rapid advance followed despite a bad fitrep by Hudachek when Powell was his ADC in the 4ID. I remember at the time of his nomination as the JCS chair there were rumblings among his critics that he had lacked command experience required for the billet. As David Hackworth once had quipped all flag officers above 0-8 are politicians. I think the comparisons after both had reached flag ranks perhaps are relevant. However their career tracks from 0-1 to 0-8 aren’t that similar.
1. Well what about Powell and his buddy Armitage and Iran-Contra????:
“In 1984-85, as the Iran-contra storm clouds began to build, one-star Gen. Colin Powell was the “filter” for information flowing to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. It would be what knowledge flowed through that “filter” that investigators would try to determine years later — a mystery still relevant as Powell’s political star rises and his importance to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign grows.”
“When Iran-contra broke in 1986-87, Powell would claim to know next to nothing about unlawful 1985 shipments of U.S. weapons from Israel to Iran — or about illegal third-country financing of the Nicaraguan contra rebels. But was the general lying? The documentary record made clear certainly that his boss, Weinberger, knew a great deal.”
2. What about Powell’s son at the FCC while Powell was at State — nepotism and more? Does this explain Powell’s pliant behavior?
3. So just what is the word “transformational” code for? Anyone have ideas?
Are CorpsMedia moguls and their mouthpieces average citizens?
I don’t know who was courting who but Obama would be much better served if he got Adm. William Fallon’s endorsement. Powell brings nothing to the vote table whie Fallon might have much more clout with reasonable thinking White Americans.
Why is it a surprise that a man whose “report” on the My Lai masscare stated that relations between American troops and the Vietnamese people are “excellent” and therefore the charges baseless could lie before the UN and drink Cheney’s kool-aid?
Somethings don’t change, and this is one of them.
In 1992 Colin Powell told the House Armed Services Committee that the United States required “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage” and that, referring to the U.S., “I want to be the bully on the block.” This is Neocon/nationalist red meat. Powell may have become queasy with some of the means the Bush administration used to pursue Neocon ends, but make no mistake about it; he supported and promoted those ends. He is an exceptionally attractive figure upon whom many projected sensibilities and strengths that he simply does not possess.
Why would anyone accept Powell’s judgment now on Obama after his poor judgment in the past re: the UN and General Shinseki?
I wish he’d kept his mouth shut back in 2003…and today as well.
As far as I am concerned, there is absolutely nothing that man can do to redeem himself. He deserved an Oscar for that U.N. performance. He is to blame for 4000-plus deaths and 30,000 (at least) injuries.
He is a disgrace to the military, his party and his country.
the general’s endorsement was useful to obama
sarah palin was on Saturday Night Live and Colin Powell was on Meet the Press on sunday morning
nbc earned increased viewers and obama got more attention than sarah palin
i wonder if powell’s appearance was scheduled to counter palin or maybe palin’s appearance was scheduled to counter powell
Yes. He was Fair Game. The commentariat were on him like Rottweilers.
I think it is a bit of utopian wankery and means different things to different people – save it involves no heavy lifting. It is a de-eschatologised homologue of the fundamentalists’ “Rapture”.
Colonel, I mostly just lurk here too. I’ve learned so much from you and the commenters here.
I agree with your thoughts regarding Generel Powell but feel the only redeeming qualities he displayed on MTP were his comments on the diparagement of musllims and arabs. It was long overdue. It’s ironic and disheartening coming from someone who participated so wholly in the Iraq fiasco.
I used to have much admiration for Powell. Now I feel he is just the first of many future rats to jump ship.
I beleive Powell had several tours in RVN, but could be wrong.
a test. i commented yesterday but it never appeared. will i succeed now?
I think I qualify as an average citizen, I’m 61 years old, a nurse and have 5 grown children and 3 great grandchildren and another on the way. Every time I have had to listen to McCain and Palin talk about Pro American states, I have sent money to the Obama campaign. It does add up. One of my daugters live in NC and she just had a baby and has limited money and she has contributed to the Obama campaign.
I am fiercely pro American and when I hear them talk about the real Americans and the other Americans my blood boils. I live in California, so I know what they think about me. I think that is why Obama has made so much money, we hear ourselves insulted by McCain and Palin and we contriubte to Obama.
For those of you who are willing to give Mr. Powell a pass for his stance on Iraq – where we watching the same news in 2002/2003 ? I distinctly remember Mr. Powell going to the U.N. claiming the U.S. had irrefutable proof of Iraqi WMDs, implying they knew where to find the stuff. I remember thinking “if the Americans have this knowledge, why not give it to the U.N. weapons inspectors ?”. I’m sorry, but either Mr. Powell is a moron, or he was flat out lying. He deserves to be tarred and feathered and run out of town, not a pass.
Colin Powell’s announcement that he will vote for Barack Obama is his way of expressing his dissatisfaction with his experience in the Bush administration and Republican Party in general. Sadly, his manner in presenting it is also reflective of his failure to stand up and be heard when it could have been more beneficial to our country
at a critical moment. Both our civil and military leaders have a responsibility to weigh in on life and death matters, not stand by and accept what is spooned out to them — not to be “yes men”. A President’s decisions are really a reflection not of him alone, but of those picked to fill both civil and military positions of responsibility. Weak links can
be fatal as we have witnessed. And, in this respect, I think Obama’s staff have miss some incredibly important pointsthat should have been made in the debates. One of these is that the surge was merely a tactic in a bigger strategic picture that is being played out that probably will not allow us to say that we “won” this regardless of how long we dally around and waste resources in Iraq. The other is that people should be aware that even if McCain were to win this election as a self proclaimed “maverick”, he will still have to cope with the Republican machine in filling key positions — the result could very well be a continuation of Bush like rule. Sadly, the two party system appears tohave degenerated into acceptance of ideological stances rather than thoughtfulness and common sense for the good of the American people. At least Colin Powell’s announcement at this time should stimulate our thinking about all the implications of our current state of affairs and the direction we should take.
Dear Col. Lang,
What what you said did not prevent Iraq. Neither did what Wes Clark or Tony Zinni said either – but it made a huge difference to many of us – it gave me hope, not in an abstract way but real hope.
Green Zone Cafe,
LJ is a dear friend, he thinks no less of me voting for Obama than I do of him not. I am proud to call him a friend and he’s a damned good one to have.
Just my two cents.
You’re aces w/me. Well said.
Powell refuted and went against his own intel agency, the State Dept.’s INR, who along with the Dept. of Energy which disputed the aluminum tube nonsense.
As noted in comments above, Powell served in the Americal Division in VN. In my opinion, from covering the Calley trial and speaking with several people who had first hand knowledge of his service in VN, Powell’s career was made by his service to (former) Major General Koster in helping to keep the My Lai massacre out of the press and under wraps. Koster and Powell both returned from VN unsulled by My Lai — Koster to the post of Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. (It was not until Sy Hersh exposed My Lai and the Army was forced to “investigate” the massacre that Koster was stripped of one star, removed from his post at West Point, and forced out of the Army.) By then, Powell had been awarded a sabbatical at George Washington Univ. where he picked up his mandatory Masters, followed quickly by a White House Fellowship, and the rest, as they say is history…or tragedy, depending on how you see things, I guess.
I have a problem with those who denigrate Powell’s endorsement vis-a vie his record as SOS.
The USA is a miltary society! We spend more money on “defense” than all the rest of the world combined. That culture demands obedience to the command structure or the whole thing collapses.
I am as disapointed as anyone can be about CP’s performance as the Sec./State, but what should we expect when the portion of descrestionary of our national budget goes to the military/industrial complex?
If we were all honorable in our professional lives, the jails would be full of us folks who came to blows over what we perceived to be the facts!
In Obama Administration, Powell would advise
“How many of normal members of the establishment have the courage to row so fiercely against the tide?”
Well, McCain for one. If McCain had not bucked Pat Buchanan’s anti-immigration movement — i.e., if McCain were as venal as Colin Powell — he could run against Obama on the immigration lightning rod. McCain has too much character to lie for his own good so brazenly.
I have no doubt that McCain would speak out against a war he did not believe in. As he stood up to Reagan on Lebanon.
Colin Powell’s announcement that he will vote for Barack Obama is his way of expressing his dissatisfaction with his experience in the Bush administration and Republican Party in general. Sadly, his manner in presenting it is also reflective of his failure to stand up and be heard when it could have been more beneficial to our country at a critical moment. Both our civil and military leaders have a responsibility to weigh in on life and death matters, not stand by and accept what is spooned out to them — not to be “yes men”. A President’s decisions are really a reflection not of him alone, but of those picked to fill both civil and military positions of responsibility. Weak links can be fatal as we have witnessed. And, in this respect, I think Obama’s staff have missed some incredibly important points that should have been made in the debates. One of these is that the surge was merely a tactic in a bigger strategic picture that is being played out and that probably will not allow us to say that we “won” this regardless of how long we dally
around and waste resources in Iraq. The other is that people should be aware that even if McCain were to win this election as a self proclaimed “maverick”, he will still have to cope with the Republican machine in filling key positions — the result could very well be a continuation of Bush like rule. Sadly, the two party system appears to have degenerated into acceptance of ideological stances rather than thoughtfulness and common sense for the good of the American people. At least Colin Powell’s announcement at this time should stimulate our thinking about all the implications of our current state of affairs and the direction we should take.
Nancy K. I don’t understand what your response of 20 October 2008 at 03:48 PM means or to which of my posts you are responding.
[change of subject]
I forgot to say how much I liked this sentence of jedermann | 20 October 2008 at 12:05 PM:
Colin Powell’s announcement that he will vote for Barack Obama is his way of
expressing his dissatisfaction with hisexperience in the Bush administration
and Republican Party in general. Sadly, his manner in presenting it is also
reflective of his failure to stand up and be heard when it could have been
more beneficial to our country at a critical moment. Both our civil and military
leaders have a responsibility to weigh in on life and death matters, not stand by
and accept what is spooned out to them — not to be “yes men”. A President’s
decisions are really a reflection not of him alone, but of those picked to fill both
civil and military positions of responsibility. Weak links can be fatal as we have
witnessed. And, in this respect, I think Obama’s staff have missed some incredibly
important points that should have been made in the debates. One of these is that
the surge was merely a tactic in a bigger strategic picture that is being played out
and that probably will not allow us to say that we “won” this regardless of how long
we dally around and waste resources in Iraq. The other is that people should be aware that even if McCain were to win this election asa self proclaimed “maverick”, he will
still have to cope with the Republican machine in filling key positions — the result
could very well be a continuation of Bush like rule. Sadly, the two party system appears to have degenerated into acceptance of ideological stances rather than thoughtfulness and common sense for the good of the American people. At least Colin Powell’s
announcement at this time should stimulate our thinking about all the implications
of our current state of affairs and the direction we should take.