Sunday, July 08, 2007

It ought to be a surprise to no one that Colin Powell tried to talk Bush out of invading Iraq.

Not only was Powell against invading Iraq, just as he was against Gulf I, he did everything he could to keep Bush from giving the orders to invade. He pushed Bush to ask the UN for its approval, a move that delayed the invasion by months and gave Hussein enough time to get rid of whatever WMDs he did have (and I wouldn't be surprised if Powell behind the scenes wasn't doing all he could to make sure the UN Security Council did not go along with Bush). He failed to get any of our so-called allies, other than England, on board, a failure that undercut Bush politically not only abroad but at home). He failed to get Turkey to let us use their territory to launch an invasion from the north, a failure that some have attributed some of our current problems in Iraq (and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that Powell didn't try very hard to get Turkey's cooperation). He came up with that cockamamie 'you break it, you fix it' line in order to keep Bush from invading (had Powell not done so, we would have invaded, figured out what Hussein was doing, gotten rid of Hussein and left - with 3,000 fewer dead American soldiers). And he let his Plame-leaking assistant, Richard Armitage, stay quiet when doing so meant further scrutiny and criticism for those in favor of the invasion.

For the life of me, I don't know what Powell ever did that has made so many people fawn all over him. Yes, he did good while he was in Vietnam, but so did thousands of other Army officers, very few of whom were tagged for advancement the way he was. And since then, he's been pretty much a staff puke his entire career... in other words, his advancement through the ranks was not a result of accomplishing things in the field, but rather by sucking up to important people. He was in the wrong on Gulf I and was responsible for Bush's premature order to call off the attacks on what remained of Hussein's military; had Powell not done so, we likely wouldn't be in the mess we are right now. His so-called doctrine is in reality a scheme of avoiding ever committing troops to battle (it's ludicrous to have an exit plan in advance of conflict).

And let's not forget that Powell was in charge of the State Department when they let the 9/11 hijackers stay in the country. Let's not forget that the State Department did nothing under Powell's reign there to make it tougher for other terrorists to sneak into America. Let's not forget that Powell went Foggy Bottom and was more of an advocate for other countries than he was an advocate of America.

And the fact that he is now advising Obama is further evidence that Powell's declaration he was a Republican was just a gimmick in order to curry favor with the GOP that had control.

Powell is a great politician.... but a lousy General, and a lousy Secretary of State.