October 28, 2003

Editorial: Colin Powell/He let the nation down

OK. Sometimes I wonder where the LNS goes...I sent out
the Army Times poll on Sunday (of course, it is not
*scientific* -- but it is of political importance), no
one in the "US mainstream news media" has mentioned
it, BUT sure enough Monday SeeNotNews runs a story on
their latest CNN/GALLUP poll, which supposedly shows
support for Clark (D-NATO) "eroding." Scrutinzing the
story, you discover that "eroding" constitutes being
in a statistical dead-heat (within the margin error)
with the established front runner in contributions and
ink: Howard Dean (D-Jeffords) and several others.
Conveniently for the _resident, the "poll" shows that
Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) too is "fading" and that the
Democrats want a "liberal" candidate now. Remember,
last week's Orwellian twist was from the WASHPs, they
said the Democrats prefered a candidate who *had* been
*for* the war but was *now* *against* it. It is all
fantasy *cooked* up at Rove's bidding. The Democratic
Party will speak soon enough -- in 1Q04, and Liiberman
("d"-Sanctimonicutt), Gephardt (D-Misery), etc. will
be gone. Clark, Kerry and Dean will still be standing.
MEANWHILE, prepare yourselves for a shake-up in this
corrupt, illegitimate and incompetent regime. They may
well throw Rumsfeld and Woefullwits to the dogs. They
may well prop up Secretary of State Calm 'Em Powell
(much to Pat "Nuke Foggy Bottom" Robertson's dismay)
to save the _resident. SO IT IS TIME TO REMEMBER
SPEECH TO THE UN...For many months prior to the
_resident's foolish military adventure in Iraq, I saw
Calm 'Em and
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair as
moderating, enlightened influences, as principled men
struggling to avert disaster...But of course that was
wishful thinking, even if it was their original
intent, they both danced too long with the Devil, they
both lost their souls...Ask Dr. Kelly's wife and
children...Ask the parents of the 300+ dead US
GIs...Ask the widow of the UN special envoy...Here is
a reminder to keep on file for the days ahead, as the
spin doctors and the propapunditgandists try to save
the _resident from his psychotic penchance for
PNACuckle....And if all of that isn't enough evidence
of Calm 'Em lack of principle, consider his bratty
son, Michael who was appointed FCC chairman so that he
could preside of the further and perhaps final and
total corporatizing of the "US mainstream news media"
and the air waves it flows through. Of course, no one
ever mentions Powell's large holding of AOL
Time-Warner stock in relation to his son's disgraceful
handiwork, but then no one mentioned Microsoft's
campaign donations either when Ashcroft ended the
DoJ's anti-trust battle against it, and so it
goes...Remember, 2x2=4

Star Tribune Editorial: "Now comes more news that suggests Powell isn't the man many thought him to be. It's a yearlong State Department study that anticipated difficulties the United States would encounter in Iraq. Indeed, it anticipated many of the problems that have arisen during the U.S. occupation. It was ignored."


Editorial: Colin Powell/He let the nation down

Published October 27, 2003 ED1027A

One of the puzzles of America's war in Iraq has been
the role of Secretary of State Colin Powell. When
President Bush took office, many thought that Powell
-- with his moderate views on social issues, his
experience as the nation's top general and his
leadership skills -- would be willing and able to dull
the extreme worldviews of the more ideological people
in the administration like Defense Secretary Donald

He may have tried, and may still be trying, judging
from the cat fights now taking place within the
administration. But few can forget Powell's
presentation on Iraq to the U.N. Security Council. He
sounded so sure, and seemed to offer quality evidence.
Many believed him -- and thus believed Bush.

Hardly had Powell finished speaking, however, than
large holes began to appear in the case he'd laid out.
Over time, it has proven to be a case based on
imagined dangers and flawed and exaggerated
intelligence -- no case at all to justify a war. Why
did Powell let himself be used in this way? Because
he's a good soldier? In a case so crucial as Iraq,
that won't wash. Because he was duped? That's hardly
more flattering to Powell.

Now comes more news that suggests Powell isn't the man
many thought him to be. It's a yearlong State
Department study that anticipated difficulties the
United States would encounter in Iraq. Indeed, it
anticipated many of the problems that have arisen
during the U.S. occupation. It was ignored.

Asked about the report during a TV interview, Powell
said it was "a good, solid piece of work that was made
available to the Pentagon." But what parts of the
report the Pentagon put to use, Powell didn't know.
Reporters would have to ask Rumsfeld about that.

Powell is secretary of state; the study was prepared
in his department on his watch. He had more obligation
than just to "make it available to the Pentagon." If
Powell believed Rumsfeld was about to make mistakes
that would put U.S. prestige and American troops at
risk, he had an obligation to ensure everyone knew of
the dangers that were being ignored. It appears that
Powell failed to protect the country from what he knew
was bad prewar intelligence and bad postwar planning.

Back in July, an excellent Knight-Ridder article
reported how badly the Pentagon planned for postwar
Iraq. The small circle of Pentagon officials who
dominated the discussion, it said, "didn't develop any
real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis
would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and
Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader
as the country's leader. Pentagon civilians ignored
CIA and State Department experts who disputed them,
resisted White House pressure to back off from their
favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed
amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no
backup plan."

Rumsfeld is an ideologue wearing blinders. At times,
even his military commanders have had to go around
Rumsfeld to make the point that the secretary's
approach wasn't working.

But Powell isn't an ideologue. He was one person
everybody hoped would serve as a consistent, moderate
counterbalance in this administration. Again and
again, however, he has failed to do that, to the
nation's great regret.

Posted by richard at October 28, 2003 07:11 AM