Powell on the way out??


Veeeeery interesting:

By Michael O'Hurley-Pitts, Special to CTV.ca

According to Winston Churchill, truth is always the first casualty of war. He obviously didn't contemplate a war like Operation Iraqi Freedom.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was arguably this war's first casualty. Having failed to persuade the skeptical world community assembled at the United Nations that Iraq posed a clear and present danger to U.S. and world stability, Powell fell off the radar screen. Some would say he was pushed.

Despite having been a major architect of the more supported (and "successful") first Gulf War in his capacity as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell has found himself alienated from the hawkish Pentagon community of the Bush Administration.

Having advised George W. Bush to seek United Nations support, and failing to gain a clear mandate for the use of military force to disarm and change the regime in Iraq, Powell has found himself to be the odd-man-out in the Bush Cabinet.

His wisdom and counsel absent from the White House, Pentagon war enthusiasts and planners have up to this point found favor with Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who has assembled bright, capable and seasoned military officers who have fallen into the cyclically, historic trap of generals being over-optimistic in their assumptions and under-prepared with their planning.

The President's management style is clear –- rely heavily on carefully selected Cabinet Officers for advice. During a pre-war White House briefing, Bush asked General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, how long the war would last. Despite being the President's top, uniformed military advisor, before Myers could answer, Rumsfeld interrupted: "Now, Dick, you don’t want to answer that."

Clearly, the President values Rumsfeld's advice over all others, perhaps with the exception of one of the first picks to serve his administration, Condeleezza Rice. Dr. Rice's role as National Security Advisor has often pitted the first female to serve in this post against the 'old boys' intelligence network at the CIA and FBI. Invariably, George Tenet, Director of the CIA and Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, find that she comes out on top.

Who's in ... who's out

Since the United States' failure to gain UN support for the use of force to enforce Resolution 1441, President Bush’s inner-circle has become even more select. The 'war cabinet' triumvirate of Rumsfeld, Rice and Myers says much about not only who the President trusts most, but the long-term policy objectives of this Administration.

It is possible that Colin Powell is not being "punished" for failing to deliver at the UN but rather is being held aloof from the Bush Administration’s war camp. The announcement of his upcoming three-day trip to Europe to consult "allies" on post-war reconstruction may be proof of this idea. Keeping Powell outside the inner-circle does tend to insulate him from battlefield decisions so that he might retain whatever measure of credibility the U.S. still has and will certainly need in re-establishing international relations once this war is over.

However, had the spin-doctors at White House thought that insulating Powell from the war would maintain his credibility in the world of diplomacy, they would announced as much to the four corners of the earth, in order to signal their desire to normalize their strained relations on the world stage once the war is over.

Having served as a Legislative Aide and Counsel in the United States Congress, a quick round of telephone calls to old friends on both sides of the political aisle confirmed my analysis. Colin Powell has been sidelined, but because of his former glory and stature, Bush has not found it either wise or convenient to ask for his resignation.

More pointedly, in light of the resignation of a leading Iraqi war architect and one of Bush's most trusted advisors, Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle, the White House is anxious to preserve the illusion that an unwavering and unified team remains intact. And Colin Powell, ever the American Patriot, may believe it unacceptable to be seen to be deserting an embattled America and Commander-in-Chief at such a critical time.

Secretary Powell's demise, temporary or permanent, is a symptom of an even greater problem for Bush. The radical and polarizing implications of the President’s style of management, be it in his own Cabinet or in the foreign relations arena, has rung out the death knell for moderates and people who seek and value middle ground consensus. Bush's declaration that "you are either with us or against us" is widely perceived to be the cause of strain in the world community, especially in U.S.-Canadian relations.

Without a doubt, Bush must get high marks for implementing his agenda. Few Presidents have found the ability to move a weary nation and Congress to support such broad use of what is essentially unilateral military action. However, the "friendly fire" and "collateral damage" to great Americans like Colin Powell, and to the United States' long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship with Canada, is starting to take its toll.

While the cost of war is always high, it is sheer folly that causes the unnecessary loss of such patriots, old friends and allies.
Powell, sadly, was on the margins anyway before Sept 11th, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He has views that differ from GWB in that they are more moderate and less inwards looking. Powell having been the US Combined Chief of Staff has had a lot of experience working in and with NATO and sees that unilateralism and isolationism are not the way forward and has lost popularity from within the Bush administration because of it. Ceryainly it is widely known that he clashed with Dr Condy Strangelove on a number of occasions for talkking barking mad nonesense, and that was part of his declining influence. We have seen more of him lately because he is remembered as being the Commander in Chief when the last Gulf campaign was fought. He has certainly clashed again with Rumsfeld who refused to listen to Powell when he argued a greater mass concentration of force was required to achieve the Iraq objective, and this may be contrinuting to his reduced exposure now.

Also, don't forget if he ran against GWB for the Presidency, he would likely win by a landslide. GWB is keeping his perceived enemies close!


I think the SoS is a credit to this country and this administration. Yes, he is not the most popular but he forces them to look at both sides, and adds some outside views to it. Also I don't see his efforts as a failure, the FSM (french surrender monkeys) caused this problems and he handled them as well as could be expected.

He is a true diplomat and very skilled at it, but debating with the FSM and it's coalition is a task I don't think any could have won. He fought well and presented solid information when available, I'd be pissed to see him ousted by the others in this administration.

I hope they can see the greatness of this man and what he adds to their little group
Should Powell run for President?

Based on his performance , and I won't count in the briefings with dodgy intel, as he plainly didn't believe what he was peddling, and frankly, it was a humiliation by others.

If I was American, I'd vote for him if he ran. You need a Combat Leader to decide when America goes to war, not a politician with ulterior motives.

He promised his wife he would never run for the top job because she is worried he would be assassinated for being the first black president. How sad when a man this great can't offer his nation the finest it has to offer because of the colour of his skin.  :-/


I know that most of my relatives south of the 49th would have much preferred him to Shrub. Definately too bad he didn't run for the Republican ticket.

Always wondered whether putting him on the spot at the UN, with the blatant false intel, was a way for Rummy to get him out?
I think Rumsfeld and Condospellingmistake deffo had the hatchet out for him. Unfortunately for them, and that b*stard Prince O' Darkness zionist, they put him in an arena, where the audience use body language as a marker, and they know he wasn't happy, and they had, and still have a sympathy for his predicament.

Powell, I think has the look of a man you can do business with. He is a man in his own right, not a mouthpiece

Interesting that "Head of State" is No.1 in the US box office right now :)


Colin Powell would certainly make an interesting Presidential candidate. He would certainly be able to garner support across the political and racial spectrums and a military background wouldn't do him any harm either -  several past US Presidents have been former Generals (Washington, Jackson, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower to name a few).

I don't know enough about the intricasies of US politics to know how, when or if GWB would choose to remove Powell or with whom he might replace him. However, I am in agreement with Woopert on one point. GWB will probably keep Powell onside, at least until next years Presidential election. To quote Theodore Roosevelt (please correct me if I'm wrong) "It's better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in".
Agreed, and I imagine Powell, and his supporters in the Military, industry and Race relations, could do an awful lot of pi55ing :)


I'm not sure who I would vote for between the two of them, they are both doing what they are charged with doing. I don't think the SoS would face any more death threats that GWB is currently. ::)

I wonder if his wife would change her mind?
I personally don't think Powell is going anywhere, although that might be a minority opinion here in the U.S.

Powell is no doubt more dovish than the rest of the cabinet, and he believes strongly in building international consensus, having been a key part of Bush41's "New World Order" (very Masonic, no?)campaign.

But this Reutersish idea that Powell is a dissident in the Bush camp only strengthens his hand as Secretary of State. Being perceived as the good guy in a government of cowboys and a Prince of Darkness indicates that he's a pretty good diplomat, no?


Whatever he ends up doing, Colin Powell will be one of those figures who is respected worldwide. If he desides not to run for President, next year or in the future, what will he do? I doubt if he will simply disappear into comfortable retirement.

What do the American ARRSE users think about this? What wil Powell end up doing?


well im not a yank but i would like to see powell run for president , he seemed to have a moderate view of the world and is respected .

i respect him  :)

one of the problems with american govt is sometimes they are perceived and inward looking, corrupt, arrogant with american way being the best and the only way, looking after number one bunging businesses to their mates company even if the company has a shaky record at the expense of everyone else

nationalism is a negative force , patriotism is a positive force and powell is a patriot.

im a patriot i love England 1st and the UK 2nd,  :D

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