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30 April 2006


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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

With all the pre-war blame to go around, Colin Powell has the most blood on his hands. Why? Because he knew better and did nothing, said nothing.

"This is about the moral bankruptcy of general officers who lived through the Vietnam era yet refused to advise our civilian leadership properly,'' said one Army major in the Special Forces who has served two combat tours. ''I can only hope that my generation does better someday." [from THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: THE MILITARY; Young Officers Join the Debate Over Rumsfeld By THOM SHANKER AND ERIC SCHMITT,
Published: April 23, 2006, New York Times]

And if you advise them, and they don't listen, YOU RESIGN.

Although not at the Pentagon, Colin Powell was part of the civilian leadership that betrayed the soldiers and the country.

I don't know how he sleeps at night.


It wasn't rocket science, people. Anyone with a modicum of common sense knew better. You had to be willfully ignorant and determined to see the world through your own peculiarly Utopian prism not to know better.

I flunked out of VILLAGE IDIOT NCO SCHOOL, but I knew better!



Colin Powell in my mind is a sellout. During GW I he postulated the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force. The coalition had over half a million troops. And Bush Sr., Powell as the head of the military and Cheney as SecDef decided not to topple Saddam's regime for the exact reasons that have now occured in Iraq.

Yet, when he had the opportunity to be a cabinet officer of the Bush administration and knew better he was silent when Gen. Shinseki was laughed out of dodge. And worse he carried water for the administration to deceive the world and his troops when he presented the administration's case to the UN to invade and occupy Iraq which he must have known then to be false. Now he wants rehabilitation by trying to wash his hands off the debacle. I don't think so. His hands are dirty with the blood of our troops who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed and displaced in the crossfire.

Patrick Henry


I agree..

I think this will go down as One of the Worst decisions and the Worst Military Planning in United States History..

They have even refused to correct any Long apparent Mistakes..by Now..

Put our Troops and thier Familys through extreme Hardships..3-4 Tours..etc..

Sad Mis-used of Guard Troopers..Stretched to Thin..should be home with thier Familys and Working thier jobs..

Don't we have a R/A any more..??

The Only Reason I can think of is because with insufficient Troops...there will be more Conflicts..the War will drag on..

and they can Continue to Justify our Presence there..in spite of talks abput Troop withdrawls..

They have still detailed at least another five years of Occupation..

The was One BIG Sucker Plan..for ALL of US..

This War was One of the Worst Decisions and Most Poorly Planned Wars in the History of the United States..I Think..BASED on the FACTs and the Overwhelming EVIDENCE..

You are Right Colonial..

People in Power should have seen this For what it is..BAD POLITICS..BAD PLAN..BAD PLANNING..

Terrible consequences for the United States..in Several Ways..

People KNEW Better..

And they should have Protested..LOUD and PUBLIC..Because if anyone saw the TRUTH and KNEW the Truth..

That the WAR was a BAD Idea..based on FANTASY PLANS ,,a PIPE DREAM..EGO..

The Insiders and Decision Makers KNEW BETTER.... ALL OF THEM..and they all Played the GAME..

Its on all thier Heads..

Alibis will never cover thier Sins..

If they are waiting for TIME to Tell rather this was a Bad Plan and BAD Idea..

Then TIME will TELL..

Worst CASE Scenario..
Something Wicked This Way Cometh..

I Say..Hope for the Best..

And Prepare for the WORST..

I Think..I Hear Hoof Beats..Coming..


"I would have preferred more troops, but you know, this conflict is not over."

He is sending us a signal here. This war [er, "conflict"] is going to expand outside of Iraq.


Oh, one more thing...whatever I think of Powell, and I have fervantly disliked him, and distrusted him, since the My Lai investigations, I have to love this quote from him:
""And my responsibility was to tell him what I thought. And if others were going in at different times and telling him different things, it was his decision to decide whether he wanted to listen to that person or somebody else." That has to be a pun coming less than a week after the Pres said, "I'm the decider"

Beautiful Gen...I do salute on that one!

Some Guy

I'm with lina in that these "advisors" need to publicly resign and take responsibility for their bad advice. The most disturbing quality of this administration is its concern for power rather than efficacy. That and yesterday's Boston Globe estimating Bush has broken at least 750 laws in office, what with his "signing statements" where he basically says he'll do what he wants anyway.

Extremely dangerous times for a republic. An executive who clearly sees himself as the final word on what laws count, an penchant for extermely reckless and poorly planned military adventures, and a thoroughgoing disregard for the public good (as opposed to his power). A very disturbing time.


Gordon and Trainor's book Cobra II clearly documents Rumsfeld's method of asking Franks for plans and then rejecting them because Franks and the generals wanted to use too many US soldiers. Franks was Rumsfeld's guy because he always came back with lower troop levels. This method allowed Rumsfeld to always claim that Franks was the guy who thought he had enough troops.

The fact was that Bush and Rumsfeld couldn't afford politically or logistically to invade with more than 150,000 US troops. In the first Gulf war, they had the full cooperation of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and all of Europe. Gulf War I was also relatively popular in the US. Bush and Rumsfeld wanted lower troop levels for political reasons, not military ones.

They were lying about the reasons for the war. Most Middle Eastern and European governments knew it, and many Americans suspected it. Bush and Rumsfeld went with the low troop levels because they were the maximum they could get away with and not face unsustainable opposition at home and abroad.

Our leaders are supposed to lead. Resignation is always an option. Powell's public cooperation was key to the Bush/Rumsfeld strategy. Remember, Powell didn't just "not resign" . He was Bush's mouthpiece at the UN in an outrageous performance that we now know even he doubted. His performance was beyond dishonorable.


By now, adding troop to Iraq will have the opposite effect. Unless we know why we are in Iraq, each additional person is just adding another variable into the chaos.

onto relevant morning news:

Refinery fire in Italy and oil climb $2. This after UK oil refinery blowing up? (coincident? yeah right. Modern refinries are efficient and pretty safe. But nobody designs it to get bomb)

So is has been what? 2 weeks with oil above $70? Another 5-8 weeks, and Al qaeda will sucessfully bring US economy into full recession. And Bush has no monetary policy left to fight recession + inflation. (rising rate will collapse the housing bubble, and default the massive consumer debt)

Al qaeda has sucessfully tied up all of our resource in places that they can win.

Nigeria: they can keep blowing up oil facility (with tacit support of government, to raise up the oil price)

Europe: there certainly no love left for our policy.

In Iraq they certainly are winning big time. (eg. none of our strategy holds traction and situation is getting worst)


and the geniuses at Pentagon say they can win a war against Iran? What are these idiots thinking?

Do they have the technology and man power to protect ALL major oil facilities in persian gulf ?

These people are about as smart as the chimpie in charge.


And to think the solution to all these are so easy. (but costly and take time)

Babak Makkinejad

I think people like quick, short, and victorious wars. And Powell is only following the path first blazed by Mr. McNamara in his book: "In Retrospect".
I believe we will see similar tomes published in the next few years as the former officials of the current US administration leave the government.

Frank Anderson

They related to a medical corps screw up in WWI, yet Rudyard Kipling's 89 year old words are eerily current in the context of recent strategic screw ups in Mesopotamia:


"They shall not return to us, the resolute the young
The eager and whole- hearted whom we gave;
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
Shall they come with years and honor to the grave?

They shall not return to us, the young men coldly slain
In sight of help denied them day to day;
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide-
Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
When the storm is ended shall we find
How softlfy but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
Even while they make a show of fear,
Do they call upon their debtors and take council with their friends,
To confirm and re-establish each career?

Their lives cannot repay us - their death could not undo
The shame that they have laid upon our race.
But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
Shall we leave it unabated in its place?"


It's possible Powell wanted Rumsfeld to fail, even knowing the horrific events that would follow, and thus the lies he told at the UN to justify the Iraq invasion. Powell is among the long list of dishonorable men who engaged, and are engaging, in trampling our democracy. A pox on them all. I would rather not hear such feeble attempts to redeem any long-lost honor.


Pat, this shows conduct that is both morally and legally a dereliction of duty. This is the leadership we are given when our constitutionally elected representatives vote for men like Tom Delay to lead in the House of Representatives.



'My God! The fate of the Republic is in the hands of such people.' Yes, and it would seem the Republic hangs by a thread.

Pat, you must have heard the story of the cadets at West Point rioting:


Noam Chomsky (!) addressed the cadets in Thayer Hall five days earlier. A very strange sequence of events. Has anything similar happened at a US military academy? What's your take on it?


Correction, Chomsky addressed the West Point cadets six days earlier:



If I remember correctly from reading Cobra II the war plan depended on the assumption that the Iraqi military would surrender or switch sides early on. And that they would be available later for policing and protecting the borders which I found strange.

Sort of like using the Wermacht in 45 to provide security. How many generals make invasion plans with the idea that the defeated enemy will provide security after the war. And then says nothing when the political leadership fires all former enemy soldiers without any pensions or pay.

W. Patrick Lang


We could have used the Wehrmacht in 1945. In essence that is what we did six or seven years later in forming the Bundeswehr. The same families ran the two armies. Please note that personnel of the Waffen SS were banned from the Bundeswehr and ended up in the Bundesgrenzschuts (spelling?)the Border Guard. pl

W. Patrick Lang


I don't pay much attention to collegiate news. Chomsky? So what.

WP tends IMO to be overly grim and puritanical about cadets, etc. These young people are going to be out leading troops in close combat against tough people. I do not think it is a good preparation for a junior combat leader to try to make him/her into a 21st Century version of Cotton Mather or Oliver Cromwell. Every time your unit makes contact with the enemy, you stand for re-election. They all have guns. Leaders are what are needed not grim little martinets.

This is not to say that they can be allowed to get away with this kind of behavior. They must be punished so that they know that nothing is free in life and that their troops must know the same thing.

I was in a similar riot at VMI in 1960. Eleven cadets were dismissed, never to return. Hundreds received major discipline. Nobody thought that any of these people were BAD. They just had to be punished. In the 1920s at VMI a whole class of seniors disobeyed orders and went uptown on a Saturday afternoon to see some movie. They were all dismissed.

So far as I know nobody has ever seriously maintained (least of all west Pointers)that VMI is an easy place.

It is important to distinguish between the necessity of discipline and virtue.

We see the eleven often at reunions. pl


Powell’s loyalty to the administration was misplaced. By being reluctant to rock the boat, he failed to sink the plans to invade Iraq.

Larry Wilkerson, Powell’s right-hand man should be held to the same standard. He didn’t resign in protest at the time when it was critical that America knew the facts about the invasion of Iraq.

Did Tommy Franks invade knowing he didn’t have enough troops? If he did, he’s no hero. All those who were complicit in the decision made grievous errors.

Some.http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/2006/04/why_didnt_you_say_so.php> military leaders did resign their posts, but they didn’t speak out

Does Fukiyama get a free pass?


Seems kinda pointless to finger individuals who were responsible after the fact. Do we know what their motivation was for staying in their posts? They may have felt that as hopeless as it was to offer opinions about preventing the invasion in Iraq that they could exert influence on the conduct of the war and its aftermath. That’s turned out to be a disaster too.


What needs to be done now is to learn from those mistakes and prevent yet another war from happening.

W. Patrick Lang


You have to make an example "pour encourager les autres."

To say that you went along with stupidity because you could mitigate it is itself stupid. pl


Possibly true...but who of us has a crystal ball and can foretell accurately what the future will be?

My Prime Minister knew Saddam was contained, but he wasn't listened to either.


This administration had plenty of warning and nothing had an effect. They were intent on war. Are they intent again to wage one in Iran?


let me see now...

We are in a Long War against an ill-defined (who is terrorism?) adversary, executed to minimize domestic opposition (guns AND butter - what a novel concept!), by self-righteous elders manipulating a mediocre politcal hack (whose true faith is hubris, buffered by palace eunuchs) who can't understand the Constitution, much less be constrained by law.

Clearly, we have a hard lesson to learn, and we are not yet even close to learning it. Things need to get a lot worse. It probably will.


How can this rogue administration who rules the sole superpower be stopped from committing yet another mistake and plunging the world into deep recession or worse?

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