KLMA330
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Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:30 pm

 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:53 pm

Ohh, I bet he doesn't get invited to Christmas Dinner at the White House this year . . .

Wonder why he's been quiet for so long about this? Powell is an honorable man, perhaps his honor and integrity didn't allow him to speak out. The same honor and integrity that caused him to resign as SecState after Bush's first term. Good man, Gen Powell.
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Falcon84
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:57 pm

Quoting KLMA330 (Thread starter):
Nothing new....

Then why post it?  Wink

I think Powell, like ANC said, is very honorable, but I think he's still very pissed at how he was misused to, basically, feed the American people and the world a bag of lies to justify the war in Iraq.

Wonder who he might throw his support to in '08, which could sway some people?
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Aaron747
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:15 pm

I'd love to hear the professional banter being bandied about by Cheney and co. with regard to such comments.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:36 pm

How would you define a Loss in this war.
regds
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I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
kiwiinoz
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:49 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
How would you define a Loss in this war.
regds
MEL

I don't think it will ever be "lost" in the traditional sense, but I guess what most of the world now knows, including Bush himself, is that they probably won't achieve exactly what they set out to do.
 
bilgerat
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:43 pm

I think Colin Powell commands a lot of respect throughout the world. When he speaks, people should listen.

Nobody can deny the fact the military invasion of Iraq was a resounding success, Iraqi forces collapsed much faster than predicted, and the much feared large scale urban fighting for the major cities never really materialised.

I would say the US and her allies are losing the occupation. I think Iraq will probably become to the US/UK and allies what Afghanistan was to the Soviets. It's perhaps ironic that the armed insurgency in Iraq is very similar to that of the Mujahadeen sponsored by the CIA in Afghanistan 20 years ago.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:05 pm

Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 5):
don't think it will ever be "lost" in the traditional sense, but I guess what most of the world now knows, including Bush himself, is that they probably won't achieve exactly what they set out to do.

Fighting an Unknown hidden & ununiformed Enemy is the toughest battles ever.
Victory can never be 100% in these cases.
regds
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:16 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
Powell is an honorable man

Beyond a certain point, an abundance of misplaced loyalty and a lack of balls can put that into question, however...!
 
baroque
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:15 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
Wonder why he's been quiet for so long about this?

The charitable view was he needed time to work it all out, the less charitable one is he took time to get off the bandwagon.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):
I think Powell, like ANC said, is very honorable, but I think he's still very pissed at how he was misused to, basically, feed the American people and the world a bag of lies to justify the war in Iraq.

I think more pissed now than honorable. If he used the position he still has to try to do something to rectify the mess, then he regains some honour, if not honor!

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
How would you define a Loss in this war.

The usual way, if you are not winning, you are losing. In this war more than most, if you dont win, your opponents do and THAT is a loss.
 
bushpilot
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:28 am

Quoting BilgeRat (Reply 6):
Nobody can deny the fact the military invasion of Iraq was a resounding success, Iraqi forces collapsed much faster than predicted, and the much feared large scale urban fighting for the major cities never really materialised.

Funny not many mentions of the lack of use of WMDs. But I will concur with your thoughts, the invasion was successful.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 9):
The charitable view was he needed time to work it all out, the less charitable one is he took time to get off the bandwagon.

I dont think he was ever really on the bandwagon, that is why you saw him leave at the first appropriate time convenient for everyone. After the 2004 election.
Baroque you and I went back and forth along with a few other members on how Iraq was down the line against most of what is known as the Powell Doctrine. If he would have been SecDef instead of State this would have gone entirely different. I am not saying he should have been SecDef, but in his position at State, he was largely handcuffed and marginalized and the general reasoning for this was his opposition to the war.
 
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 10):
But I will concur with your thoughts, the invasion was successful.

Were there ever any doubts that it would be succesfull? I mean seriously. I am having a hard time counting the number of countries that would be able to fend off an invasion by the US. So the invasion itself, while technically a success its more of a "least that could have happened" scenario
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
Beyond a certain point, an abundance of misplaced loyalty and a lack of balls can put that into question, however...!

Quite agree . . . . and thankfully Gen. Powell didn't allow it to get to that point.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 10):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 9):
The charitable view was he needed time to work it all out, the less charitable one is he took time to get off the bandwagon.

I dont think he was ever really on the bandwagon, that is why you saw him leave at the first appropriate time convenient for everyone. After the 2004 election.

And I think he had designs on leaving the administration before the '04 election - but as I said, his loyalty, integrity and personal honor directed that he fulfill his obligations.

Gen Powell is an honorable man, there's no question. I've met the man. I can speak first hand to that.
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:57 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 12):
Quite agree . . . . and thankfully Gen. Powell didn't allow it to get to that point.

I'm not that sure about it - a person with a bit more character would have had a unique position to avert a foreseeable disaster. Staying mum to avoid conflict or inconvenience very gradually mutates into cowardice. Semi-recent german history is full of examples, but the principle doesn't just start when serving a mad dictator.

After all, loyalty is only a secondary virtue - and there are situations where you need to put in in second place.

Especially since his ultimate loyalty should have been to the american people, not to the individual president. The oaths of office explicitly bind officials to the nation, not to specific representatives.

I think he's basically a decent person, but he missed a prime opportunity to exhibit courage when it was needed the most.
 
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:11 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
I think he's basically a decent person, but he missed a prime opportunity to exhibit courage when it was needed the most

I don't think, in the beginning, he had any more information than you or I or anyone else.

When he did begin to realize things weren't as they were supposed to be, he decided it was time to pull the plug. Once again, his loyalty to the country and the office he held prevented him from just walking out the door - that's called integrity and honor.

He put the country, the State Department and his mission before himself, as he's done the entire time he's been in public service - whether that be in Tiger Stripes in 'Nam, in DCUs in Iraq or in the Dept. of State.

I think it took a hell of a lot more courage from him to walk away at the end of the first term.
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:19 am

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 11):
Were there ever any doubts that it would be succesfull? I mean seriously. I am having a hard time counting the number of countries that would be able to fend off an invasion by the US. So the invasion itself, while technically a success its more of a "least that could have happened" scenario

Well the presence of nerve gas could have made things much more difficult.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
I'm not that sure about it - a person with a bit more character would have had a unique position to avert a foreseeable disaster

Bush was going regardless, despite how inept the coaltion of the willing generally is with the exception of Britain, you would not have had any allies involved.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
I think he's basically a decent person, but he missed a prime opportunity to exhibit courage when it was needed the most.

This is a tough one, but ultimately his whole adult life he was a soldier. Soldiers are given mission parameters and told to get it done despite not agreeing with it. He said many times during his time as SecState, he serves at the pleasure of the President. If he would have spoken out publicly he would have been gone immediatly. This administration has long since shown through actions that as long as you toe the company line when it comes to politcal speaking, you will remain in office despite long term ineptness.
If Powell spoke out, he would have been gone, and Bush would have found someone else to be his cronie. I would honestly hate to see where we would be without Powell. Firstly, we probably would not have seen the outcome we did with the Chinese fighter plane collision. We would not have half the allies we do on this so called war on terror. Look at what Powell was able to do in his 4 years compared to what Rice has squandered away. But the common denominator here is Bush. And he may not be a dictator in the governmental sense of having no legislature, but he is similar to one in how he deals with his cabinet. If you disagree with the plan, you are looking for work in the private sector.
 
Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:40 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
I don't think, in the beginning, he had any more information than you or I or anyone else.

Which is not actually correct - outside of the USA, hardly anybody subscribed to the visibly distorted or outright manufactured "information" as presented by the White House. As it turned out, this outside view (based in large part on the results of the past and recent UN inspections and on numerous independent experts in various fields) was almost exactly correct.

Colin Powell also had severe misgivings about the "massaged" claims ("This is bullshit - I can't use this!") but decided to stick it out anyway.

The vast majority of the US population just swallowed the manufactured claims as if they were reliable information. Neither the opposition nor the press objected in any way. It was one of the purest demonstrations of the power of propaganda since WWII.

And Colin Powell never said a public word, despite apparently better knowledge to the contrary.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
When he did begin to realize things weren't as they were supposed to be, he decided it was time to pull the plug.

Not at all - only after everything was too late he merely declined to ask for a second term, well knowing that he wasn't wanted any more in the first place.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
I think it took a hell of a lot more courage from him to walk away at the end of the first term.

What courage? What could anybody have said that could have inconvenienced him in the slightest way that late?

Courage implies that you're taking a personal risk to promote a greater good - and at the high point of the controversy, when he knew all too well that he was promoting a case of cooking the books, he simply followed his orders anyway and never spoke up.

Only after he was already mostly mobbed out of office by his own superiors and underlings he merely didn't run again. The lowest-risk and lowest-impact decision that could be imagined under the circumstances.

I don't think he's an evil guy, but courage is something else entirely. And serving his country before serving an ideology is something else as well.

He had choices, and he didn't take them when it was the time. That will most likely be his place in history.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:59 am

We obviously disagree on this point also Klaus. There's a surprise, eh?  wink 

I cannot subscribe to your interpretation of Gen Powell or what he thought or did . . . not any more than you can subscribe to mine.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
The lowest-risk and lowest-impact decision that could be imagined under the circumstances.

My view is that what he did was exactly the opposite. What her did took gut, and he knew it - and anyone that knows the man knew it.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
He had choices, and he didn't take them when it was the time.

He managed the choices quite well, for the good of the country, the State Dept and lastly himself . . . as he's always done.
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:03 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
Bush was going regardless

Correction: Bush wanted to go regardless!

The point would have been to intervene in the ongoing propaganda campaign and to introduce a so far completely absent voice of reason which could not be ignored.

If the propaganda campaign would have come to a screeching halt, Bush simply couldn't have gone due to lack of public support.

Sure, the odds would not have been too great, but that is exactly what real courage is all about!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
This is a tough one, but ultimately his whole adult life he was a soldier. Soldiers are given mission parameters and told to get it done despite not agreeing with it. He said many times during his time as SecState, he serves at the pleasure of the President.

According to United States Secretary of State - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, his oath of office reads:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Nothing about serving the personal ideology of the sitting president to one's last breath (we've had that in monarchies or dictatorships, but not in democracies).

We probably agree that he misunderstood the actual character of his office and its ultimate responsibilities when he put overly strong emphasis on your quote above.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
I would honestly hate to see where we would be without Powell.

No big difference I could see. That is, unless your only imagined alternative would have been John Bolton!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
Firstly, we probably would not have seen the outcome we did with the Chinese fighter plane collision.

Possibly, but I have my doubts. Situations like these have pretty automatic resolution strategies - unless your preferred option is global thermonuclear war.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
We would not have half the allies we do on this so called war on terror.

Absolutely not!

The fight against terrorism is in (almost) everybody's best interest, and post 9-11 there was an obvious and active interest of pretty much everybody to join in.

Bush did his worst to shoot it all to pieces afterwards, but it did not hinge on Colin Powell at all.

One severe misunderstanding many americans appear to suffer from is that the fight against terrorism was in some way a "favour" others were doing the USA when in fact it is simply a global necessity.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
Look at what Powell was able to do in his 4 years compared to what Rice has squandered away.

I don't see much of a difference, actually.

Apart from the Bush administration being so weakened nowadays that they need to tread much more carefully.
 
Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
We obviously disagree on this point also Klaus. There's a surprise, eh?

Not really, no...! Big grin

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
What he did took gut, and he knew it - and anyone that knows the man knew it.

I don't see it. What actual risk did he take, pray tell?

And what impact did his declining of another term actually have when he did it?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:25 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
What he did took gut, and he knew it - and anyone that knows the man knew it.

I don't see it. What actual risk did he take, pray tell?

We could have had Condi Rice in there mid-term #1, isn't that risk enough? If I know Powell, his public face was a lot different than his private one. He likely raised the  redflag  dozens of times in closed door Oval Office (and other) meetings concerning his thoughts on Iraq. In that light, he put himself at risk, and in that light he did exactly what you quote here:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Like it or not, my friend, I think you're barking up the wrong tree on Powell.

Now if you wanna slag on Rummy some more, please continue.  biggrin 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
And what impact did his declining of another term actually have when he did it?

The impact is simple, he will NOT go down in history as one of the many that missed the boat . . . he tried and failed to change the course (I believe that), he was essentially fired for it (I believe that), and he is now speaking out about it (proof in the thread opener).
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:47 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
We could have had Condi Rice in there mid-term #1, isn't that risk enough?

As tempting as it is, I actually don't perceive a major change of direction since she took over the State Department. Maybe a bit more chilly in the presentation, but pretty much unchanged in substance, apart from the changes enforced by altered circumstances.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
He likely raised the  redflag  dozens of times in closed door Oval Office (and other) meetings concerning his thoughts on Iraq. In that light, he put himself at risk

When you see the iceberg ahead and you can't convince the captain to turn the ship around, you have a duty to dare circumventing the captain!

In this case, he would have had to go public - the SecState has a higher responsibility to the american people than to the ruling president - at the peril of losing his job.

He would probably have had to resign before being able to speak up, but that would have been a sign of actual courage!

Meekly submitting to his superior despite better knowledge and letting the disaster roll anyway was a lot of things, but courageous it was not!

Whether he or another one was the Secretary of State didn't make all that much of a difference, since the actual tone and direction were determined by Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld anyway and he was pretty much reduced to futilely apologizing for the respective faux pas du jour.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
Now if you wanna slag on Rummy some more, please continue.

I don't kick a man who's still got a lovely glowing boot print on his backside...!  bigthumbsup 

The only regrets I have are that:
a) he exhibited a blatant lack of tar & feathers when he was run out of office on a rail  mischievous  and
b) it didn't happen about three years earlier.  gnasher 

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
The impact is simple, he will NOT go down in history as one of the many that missed the boat . . .

He caught the last, insignificant one, but clearly missed the much more dangerous crucial one a lot earlier!
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:58 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
As tempting as it is, I actually don't perceive a major change of direction since she took over the State Department.

Hasn't been one. Why should there be?

She came from NSA to State . . . her lackey was left in her old position. Seems to me that's receipe for stagnation . . .

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
When you see the iceberg ahead and you can't convince the captain to turn the ship around, you have a duty to dare circumventing the captain!

And I think he did that - like I said - in closed door conference.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
In this case, he would have had to go public - the SecState has a higher responsibility to the american people than to the ruling president - at the peril of losing his job.

He would probably have had to resign before being able to speak up, but that would have been a sign of actual courage!

Which would have done an injustice to the country and the State Department. Afterall, Klaus, you have a better shot at changing the course of the ship from the bridge than from a life boat.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
it didn't happen about three years earlier.

{Checkmark}
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:17 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
Hasn't been one. Why should there be?

Could have been, just not in this administration. Which proves the point: Powell speaking up would have been much more beneficial than him continuing to serve as SecState.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
And I think he did that - like I said - in closed door conference.

No, that's just politely tapping the captain on the shoulder and whispering in his ear, making sure nobody else heard a word.

Raising an alarm and trying to turn the ship is something else entirely, even if you have to be ready to face a court for insubordination afterwards.

But that is exactly what courage is all about!

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
Which would have done an injustice to the country and the State Department.

No. The lives of many thousands outweigh the embarrassment and inconvenience of a few, even if you have to transgress some rules in an emergency.

Even the US armed services have a provision which limits the authority of superiors to lawful commands, which clearly allows for a limited but still necessary moral conscience on the part of the subordinate soldier.

It is my impression that Powell put a lot of emphasis on following orders and practically none on keeping an eye on the legitimacy of those orders.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 22):
Afterall, Klaus, you have a better shot at changing the course of the ship from the bridge than from a life boat.

That's why you need to actually speak up after your meek suggestions haven't been heeded in an obvious emergency situation to avert the need for manning the boats!

[Edited 2006-12-18 21:21:06]
 
Mir
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
If Powell spoke out, he would have been gone, and Bush would have found someone else to be his cronie. I would honestly hate to see where we would be without Powell. Firstly, we probably would not have seen the outcome we did with the Chinese fighter plane collision. We would not have half the allies we do on this so called war on terror. Look at what Powell was able to do in his 4 years compared to what Rice has squandered away.

That's an excellent point. I really respect Powell, but always thought that he could have been a bit more vocal in his opposition to something that he had serious misgivings about. But when I look at it from that perspective, it becomes more understandable.

-Mir
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bushpilot
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:50 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Correction: Bush wanted to go regardless!

Further correction, Bush was going to war with Saddam. 9-11 allowed that to happen, by tying it together with Al-Qaeda and WMDs. Both were wrong, and trust me I am not by any means a Bush apologist. 9-11 is what gave Bush the excuse to get congress to fund this.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Bush did his worst to shoot it all to pieces afterwards, but it did not hinge on Colin Powell at all.

That is incorrect, because Colin Powell was a star of that administration. The American people trust(ed) Colin Powell. They know his experience, his leadership, his loyalty. Colin Powell is a great American, and has the scars to prove it. Powell as a figure in the propaganda campaign was critical to the support for the war domestically. Speaking for myself, it was Powell I trusted, now with Powell there, I would bet a thousand dollars hard cash that he was one of the only few cabinet members who expressed thier reservations about the operation. He didnt go to the media about it, because that is not the guy he is. Powell is much more effective at expressing his views as SecState in private to the President than he is being a talking head in the media. Political decisions, especially ones concerning a controversial war, are made behind closed doors. The media can chirp away all they want, the choices are made already.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
I don't see much of a difference, actually.

In a Condi vs. Colin comparison, here is what I think you would see different. NK doesnt detonate the bomb, they may have one, but dont test it. China would be more apt to listen to our concerns about the trade imbalance. You would have better dialogue with the Mexicans concerning immigration and getting thier help, Spain would not have pulled out of Iraq. The Saudis and Turks would have been more involved by now in Iraq. You would have seen a quicker end to the conflict in Israel-Lebanon. I am not saying the circumstances would be entirely different. But they would be less problems than they are now. This comes from the respect Powell has in the international community, of which Condi has much much much less.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
you have a duty to dare circumventing the captain!

Refer to what I said earlier. But this is much easier said than done. Especially with a personality like Bush. The world is better of having Powell expressing his concerns in private to the President, rather than speaking out to the media in a position of no power.
 
Mir
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:16 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
According to United States Secretary of State - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, his oath of office reads:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Nothing about serving the personal ideology of the sitting president to one's last breath (we've had that in monarchies or dictatorships, but not in democracies).

Colin Powell may have thought that the Iraq War was a bad idea, but there's nothing unconstitutional about it. He is not obligated by his oath of office to disobey the President in those cases.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:46 am

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Further correction, Bush was going to war with Saddam. 9-11 allowed that to happen, by tying it together with Al-Qaeda and WMDs. Both were wrong, and trust me I am not by any means a Bush apologist. 9-11 is what gave Bush the excuse to get congress to fund this.

The entire venue wholly depended on the US-domestic propaganda campaign. Which was only near-invulnerable as long as it managed to maintain at least some appearance of legitimacy.

If Colin Powell would have resigned in protest, the leaving of the only presumably sane non-neocon (as you've described your own perception) would have amounted to a medium-scale earthquake on the political stage - it would almost certainly have created a major disruption to the propaganda campaign and would certainly have created an opening, an opportunity for opposition and press to shake free of the stupour and begin to ask uncomfortable questions.

At the same time, it would have made a significant impact on the international stage - Tony Blair might not have had the strength to fend off the Iraq invasion critics after that.

It would have made a major difference!

Unfortunately, Colin Powell didn't feel up to it, and we all know the result.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
That is incorrect, because Colin Powell was a star of that administration. The American people trust(ed) Colin Powell. They know his experience, his leadership, his loyalty.

Yeah. See above!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Powell as a figure in the propaganda campaign was critical to the support for the war domestically

Exactly. See above!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Speaking for myself, it was Powell I trusted, now with Powell there, I would bet a thousand dollars hard cash that he was one of the only few cabinet members who expressed thier reservations about the operation.

I would never bet against that - but it's also well-known that this president is entirely inaccessible for arguments unless they come packaged with actions which force him to respond.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
He didnt go to the media about it, because that is not the guy he is.

Unfortunately! Sad

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Powell is much more effective at expressing his views as SecState in private to the President than he is being a talking head in the media.

Wrong - he was almost completely ineffective the way he served his post!

In every single case where an actual impact would have been direly needed, he failed to make one.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Political decisions, especially ones concerning a controversial war, are made behind closed doors. The media can chirp away all they want, the choices are made already.

Wrong. Especially wrong in an entirely propaganda-driven campaign! Rove & company had a lot of work keeping dissenting views out of view of the population. Disrupting this campaign could have made all the difference.

As much as he wanted, Bush simply could not have gone to war with a large portion of the population against and/or in doubt about it!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
In a Condi vs. Colin comparison, here is what I think you would see different. NK doesnt detonate the bomb, they may have one, but dont test it.

They already did that! Or so they've claimed. According to observations, it must have been pretty much a dud if it was nuclear at all, but they're still trying to get paid for their provocations, more than ever now with a weakened USA!

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
China would be more apt to listen to our concerns about the trade imbalance.

Very unlikely. Due to the US deficit and their holding of US debt they've got the US by the short and curlies - their policies are more determined by their own perceptions of what's in their own best interest than by the tone of a visiting US Secretary of State (since tone was the only thing Powell was able to influence).

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
You would have better dialogue with the Mexicans concerning immigration and getting thier help,

I don't know too many details about that, but from what I know there are substantial issues at question which are not easily talked away.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Spain would not have pulled out of Iraq.

Wrong. After Aznar lied to his population about the Madrid bombings and was caught red-handed, the population voted Zapatero in who had already committed to the pull-out.

Apart from minor date adjustments, there was nothing Powell could have done about it.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
The Saudis and Turks would have been more involved by now in Iraq.

Wrong.

The Saudis are already involved - they're pretty much sponsoring the Sunni insurgents to "counter-balance" Iran sponsoring the Shiite ones...!  crazy 

And believing that Turkey could be coaxed into a participation would be outright lunacy - if there is one thing the turkish leaders have always been terrified of, it's a destabilization of their own kurdish regions. Powell or not, they'll have no part of it.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
You would have seen a quicker end to the conflict in Israel-Lebanon.

Absolutely not. Even during Powell's tenure, the Bush administration was as idle and partisan as they're now. The neocon lunacy of "resolving" the mid-east conflict by invading Iraq was always front and center of their foreign policy and Powell couldn't change that one bit.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
I am not saying the circumstances would be entirely different. But they would be less problems than they are now.

I severely doubt that.

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
This comes from the respect Powell has in the international community, of which Condi has much much much less.

Powell was always received with sympathy, if not with pity. Every single one of his foreign partners knew that he had no say in actual policy matters, so he was well-liked but had next to no actual influence himself apart from delivering the messages conceived by the neocon circle back home.

Rice, on the other hand, is known to actually have the ear of Bush to an extent; So she actually has some influence and is regarded accordingly. She may not be liked as much as Powell, but talking to her is more than a kind gesture to someone who was powerless at home as Powell was.

In addition, due to the self-destruction of the neocon project and the resulting severely weakened situation of the Bush administration and it's dire need for positive news, she needs her foreign partners to a much greater extent.

Which is certainly uncomfortable for her - being herself one of the architects of her own predicament now - but it makes her a much more relevant and interesting conversation partner than Powell was.

Cynical? Yeah. But one eventually gets to that point after six years of Bush...!  yuck 

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 25):
Refer to what I said earlier. But this is much easier said than done. Especially with a personality like Bush. The world is better of having Powell expressing his concerns in private to the President, rather than speaking out to the media in a position of no power.

See above - he was simply wasted and even served as an essential fig-leaf for the extremist policies of the Bush administration without ever fulfilling the promise he held in the eyes of the more sceptical part of the US public.

He became an enabler instead of being the corrective he was supposed to be. Which is certainly the great tragedy of his career. I do feel for him, but he tragically missed the opportunity of stepping up from being a good man to being a great man! Sad
 
Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 26):
Colin Powell may have thought that the Iraq War was a bad idea, but there's nothing unconstitutional about it. He is not obligated by his oath of office to disobey the President in those cases.

Preventing a major national disaster by criticizing the sitting president is pretty much exactly what the spirit of the US constitution is about, wouldn't you say?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
Unfortunately, Colin Powell didn't feel up to it, and we all know the result.

And once again you short sheet the man . . . . it's for this reason you lose credibility with me from time to time Klaus (not, of course that it matters).

"Didn't feel up to it". Makes it sound like the man's lazy? When you accomplish a tenth of what he has, get back to us.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
Wrong - he was almost completely ineffective the way he served his post!

In every single case where an actual impact would have been direly needed, he failed to make one.

 redflag 

No proof to support that, only

Yeah, the guy's a dirtbag Klaus . . . you've convinced us . . .

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Two Presidential Medals of Freedom
The President's Citizens Medal
Tthe Congressional Gold Medal
The Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal
The Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal.

Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor.

Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

There's more, but I digress.
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Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):
"Didn't feel up to it". Makes it sound like the man's lazy? When you accomplish a tenth of what he has, get back to us.

When I've assumed a comparable position and fared similarly, I'll certainly be ready to face comparable criticism.

You've missed my points - I've never failed to express my personal sympathy for him, but when he's lionized for achieving exactly nothing (if not enabling the Iraq disaster) during his tenure in the State Department, there needs to be a rebuttal.

As I've said, I think he is basically decent, knowledgeable and reliable; And I don't doubt (although I know little about) his merits during his military career.

But as I said: Courage, when claimed for somebody, requires facing personal risk for a greater good, and that is where I personally think he failed to live up to it in this particular role and situation.

It's a bitter realization and he is visibly pained by it, but he's hardly the first (or last) to experience the indignity of such an outcome.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
You've missed my points

Nope, I got 'em . . . all of 'em, I just basically disagree with most all of them.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
As I've said, I think he is basically decent, knowledgeable and reliable

And so is my newspaper boy . . . you short sheet this man with every keystroke.

If PotUS ever had a single honorable, decent person in his cabinet it was Powell. Seems to me you discount him for his having been a Cabinet Member in the Bush Administration rather than for his own failings - or you find failing where there truly was none solely because he was a Bush appointee.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
allstarflyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:10 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):
Wonder who he might throw his support to in '08, which could sway some people?

What if he just ran, instead? If Powell runs, or is selected as the VP alongside someone - that ticket will be the one to beat.

I can't imagine Powell saddling up with Clinton, but maybe Obama or Guiliani. Guiliani/Powell would be the ticket to beat. Possibly Guiliani/Powell vs. Clinton/Obama.

-R
Living the American Dream
 
Klaus
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:54 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 31):
Nope, I got 'em . . . all of 'em, I just basically disagree with most all of them.

But you didn't address any of them. People can't be measured along a simple one-dimensional scale. It is more the rule than the exception that real people can excel at some things and totally fail at others.

In that sense there is absolutely no warranty that somebody with an impeccable military record will actually perform well in politics, let alone in highly difficult situations like the one we're discussing here.

But if someone is elevated to universal hero status by some, he better measure up in every respect or dissenting views will be inevitable.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 31):
If PotUS ever had a single honorable, decent person in his cabinet it was Powell. Seems to me you discount him for his having been a Cabinet Member in the Bush Administration rather than for his own failings - or you find failing where there truly was none solely because he was a Bush appointee.

No. But this situation would have called for somebody who Powell apparently wasn't.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 32):
What if he just ran, instead? If Powell runs, or is selected as the VP alongside someone - that ticket will be the one to beat.

I'm probably not alone in believing that unquestioning loyalty even to the wrong people at the wrong time is not the best qualification for a leadership position.

[Edited 2006-12-19 02:04:11]
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:10 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
But you didn't address any of them.

 faint 

Maybe I should hook you up with Dr. Mirrodie for an eye exam?  biggrin 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
People can't be measured along a simple one-dimensional scale.

No they cannot. And Gen Powell definitely is not a one dimensional person. His professional life has spanned a number of careers. You cannot measure him or his achievements and accomplishments by a single act. The fact he acknowledges his shortcoming (I believe the quote was "It haunted me and will continue to haunt me" or some such) places him light years ahead of his contemporaries.

To attempt to label him as mediocre - as you are doing, a coward - in so many words, a failure - which you have said, demonstrates that you're doing just that.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
But if someone is elevated to universal hero status by some, he better measure up in every respect or dissenting views will be inevitable.

No one is perfect, even the heros have flaws. One reason I maintain my respect for the man is because he is able to admit his errors. One reason you have no respect for him - is the same reason - because he admits his errors.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
In that sense there is absolutely no warranty that somebody with an impeccable military record will actually perform well in politics, let alone in highly difficult situations like the one we're discussing here.

In Gen Powell's case, he has done both. Exemplary military record, and a stellar record in the political arena. Likely one of the most "squeaky clean" politicians you'll ever come across.
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Klaus
Posts: 20594
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RE: Colin Powell: US Losing Iraq War

Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:05 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 34):
Maybe I should hook you up with Dr. Mirrodie for an eye exam?

Is that an evil moderator threat™?  mischievous 

No, just please point out where you actually addressed my points...!

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 34):
To attempt to label him as mediocre - as you are doing, a coward - in so many words, a failure - which you have said, demonstrates that you're doing just that.

No, it does not.

Having shied away from a highly difficult but courageous decision at a critical time doesn't invalidate everything else he has done (or might still do) - not at all. It is very much understandable from various points of view and I guess most people would probably have done the same.

It just makes it impossible selling his indecision as particularly courageous when that was pretty much the only thing it wasn't.

No summary condemnation here, just a steadfast refusal to accept a rather obvious distortion.

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