Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why Does Colin Powell Hate America So Much?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck Colin Powell.

He had a chance to really make a difference; he's the only person in America who had a real opportunity to derail the Iraq war, and instead, he essentially guaranteed it was going to happen with his U.N. "bullshit" dog and pony show. Then, when Iraq proved the stunning incompetence of the Bush admin war planners (added to their already-grossly illustrated perfidity), Powell could have spoken up during the 2004 campaign and maybe helped put some non-insane people in charge. Instead, he held his tongue while thousands died needlessly. Now he's squaking in a pathetic, Kissingerian attempt to burnish his image? Wash your hands all you want, Colin, the blood won't come off.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Tony D said...

It is understandable that some feel that way but that’s likely a simplistic view of a complex person. Number one there is the assumption that he could have derailed the buildup to war. Perhaps so but more likely if he protested too hard he would have likely been totally sidelined and left with zero influence over the evolving situation.

As for 2004 I think we need to count our blessings that Georgie got his second term. Iraq was going to get uglier no matter who got in office. If it had been Kerry and you can bet your ass that the far right republican spin machine would have made it out to be all his fault and the mindless masses who need people to think for them would have bought it hook line and sinker and 2008 would have seen HUGE gains by pseudo conservatives

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony D:

You have an excellent future as a DLC Beltway campaign strategist a la Shrum.

Personally, I'd take your purely hypothetical "huge gains" to have Roberts and Amato off the Supreme Court and a better FDA, just for starters.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew I forgot something: Katrina.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Whew, I fear my vitriol may be catching...

11:10 AM  
Blogger Tony D said...

Fortunate son I think you lack imagination as to how much worse the pseudo cons could be.

As for Powel perhaps I didn't say it too well but this quote from TR kinda hits the nail on the head:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I lack is the ability to predict the future of a hypothetical world.

Unlike you.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Crap. Gotta break the habit of commenting as soon as I read.)

Tony D, your TR quote sits oddly with your relief that Kerry missed his chance in the arena.

And, in case I wasn't clear, I can imagine plenty about "how much worse the pseudo cons could be" but that would only come after your "huge gains", which I say again are purely hypothetical. It's that kind of imagination that keeps people out of the arena.

And my handle is NO fortunate son, nfs is fine.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Amato"! Did I actually write that? Double crap. Alito.

4:05 PM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Anyone helping McCain/Graham/Warner does in fact hate America.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, good thing Powell kept his mouth shut and kept that crucial "influence" of his. Lord knows how shitty Iraq could have gotten if he hadn't been there to whisper futiley into Bush's ear. Hell, Saddam might be in the white house by now!

If, by early 2003, Powell hadn't realized that him and the state department were being chemically castrated, that Rumsfeld and Cheney were running things, and that the only difference he could make was by revealing what he knew BEFORE they could start their splendid little war, he's an idiot. If he did see the truth, and still kept silent, he's a knave. Take your pick.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Hilzoy: It's very bad.

Me: OK, I'm warming up to it.

* It would eliminate the right of any alien who is in US custody outside the US, or who "has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant", to file for habeas corpus.

Me: Good.

*It would eliminate the right of any such alien to take any legal action against "the United States or its agents" concerning the conditions of his or her detention, other than to appeal the results of Civilian Status Review Commissions or military tribunals.

Me: I like that.

* Both of these provisions apply to all cases pending when the bill becomes law, which means that any of the cases currently wending their way through the legal system that haven't been resolved by that time become moot.

Me: Cool. The chance that the last remaining detainees are Mother ibn-Teresas and not Adolf bin Ladens is exceedingly small. And if a few got caught up unjustly, I hope we sort it out, but I reckon even they've already thrown their feces and semen at the guards, which rightfully keeps them in the dungeon that we saw Hannibal Lecter in.

* It changes the definition of war crimes: currently, any conduct that violates Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions counts as a war crime; the draft bill changes this to "a grave breach of common Article 3".

Me: Good with that too. Article 3 would be laughed out of any court of law as unenforcably vague.

* And it makes this paragraph from the Detainee Treatment Act applicable to any prosecution for war crimes involving violations of Common Article 3...

Me: Yeah, whatever.

If somebody wants to stand up and say that we shouldn't use strongly coercive tactics even if it costs innocent lives, let them say so.

I could respect that. Just say it.

If they say that we might save a few lives in the near term but lose many more by relinquishing the moral high ground, let them say so.

I could respect that, too.

But there is no "torture doesn't work" easy escape from this. That is moronic. We just saved a ton of lives by turning Rashid Rauf over to Pakistan's tender mercies. He gave up the whole plot.

It's a moral dilemma, and to pretend that it isn't is fantasy. There is no easy way out of this.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tom van dyke:

Why is it that you respond to hilzoy here instead of at Obsidian Wings?

7:35 AM  
Blogger Tony D said...

Two things:

As bad as they are the psuedo cons could be further unleashed and even worse. At least in my opinion! Sorry if that upset a few but I thought civil debate was encouraged here.

Second, I believe its easier to judge the man (Powell) than it would have been to do better job in his shoes. Past short comings aside I for one am glad he is speaking out now.

8:20 AM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

nfs, you should be asking why he's responding like a fascist not an American.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've noticed that asking tvd an open ended question like that tends to turn into unending wrangling. I'm hoping that my simple question will not have that effect.

Tony D:

If you are talking about me then I think you have misunderstood what I wrote. What I am objecting to is not your characterization of the psuedo cons and what they might unleash. I object to your conviction that a Kerry presidency would have led to "HUGE gains" by them.

This purely hypothetical and in addition insulting to Kerry. You have no way of knowing that Iraq would have been as disastrous for him as it has been for Bush.

And then to say that we need to count our blessings that Georgie got his second term, well as I said that's the attitude that keeps people out of the arena.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Because I delude myself that I'm part of this community, nfs. Hilzoy was put on the table. I answered. Pass the mashed potatoes.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, it doesn't appear as though torture(if it was done to Mr. Rauf), yielded anything in this case:

But after two weeks of interrogation, an inch-by-inch search of his house and analysis of his home computer, officials are now saying that his extradition is ‘a way down the track’ if it happens at all.

It comes amid wider suspicions that the plot may not have been as serious, or as far advanced, as the authorities initially claimed.

It should be noted that Pakistan hasn't
handed Rauf over to the British yet, which does raise a few questions, IMHO.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ok, I can accept that, but do you plan to comment at hilzoy's own site or are satisfied to have your criticisms pass below her radar?

Also, it appears that Rauf was arrested in Pakistan, so nobody turned him over to "Pakistan's tender mercies." And the published reports do not indicate they learned much from him.

I got my information off Wiki, where did you get yours?

12:07 PM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Dahlia Lithwick on Americans-for-torture.

Via this explanation.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

NFS, I tend not to post on blogs where there are a ton of comments. Just one of those things. Makes me feel unspecial.

Hilzoy and I had a nice exchange awhile back on this blog, tho, over the now-familiar meme that one should restrict their criticisms of world events to the flaws of the US, in the belief that the US' conduct is all a poor blogger can expect to influence.

I, naturally, disagreed.

9:24 PM  

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