November  2008 ISSUE

We do not make jokes, we simply watch the LA Times, the Orange County Register and CID/HOA board of directors and report the facts!

 

Shock & Awe:  Pow! ..Pow!…Pow!….Well?

Posted By CotoBlogzz October 20,  2008 08:00 AM

Colin Luther Powell, a retired General in the United States Army was the 65th United States Secretary of State serving under President George W. Bush. Powell also served as National Security Advisor and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  during the Gulf War.

I tried to avoid this war. I took President Bush  through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers. ...The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms. It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don't know any way to avoid it. It is happening now......It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States,... all the U.S. military could do was put "a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew - General Powell's views on the War in Iraq

General Colin Powell


In July 2007 Powell revealed that he spent two and a half hours trying to persuade President George W. Bush not to invade Iraq but that he did not prevail. At the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado Powell stated, "I tried to avoid this war. I took him  through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers. ...The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms. It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don't know any way to avoid it. It is happening now......It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States," and suggested that all the U.S. military could do was put "a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew."

In returning to Vietnam (1968 to 1970) Powell served as the executive officer for the 23rd Infantry Division, then as the assistant chief of staff of operations for the Americal Division, charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai Massacre. Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." In May 2004 Powell said to Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."

As an officer, Powell valued loyalty very highly. As a military strategist, he has advocated an approach to military conflicts that maximizes the potential for success and minimizes casualties also known as the Powell Doctrine, applied to Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The Powell Doctrine is based in large part on the Weinberger Doctrine (former Secretary of Defense and Powell's former boss),  The central in this doctrine, is to ask a series of questions, which have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

1.    Is a vital national security interest threatened?
2.    Do we have a clear attainable objective?
3.    Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
4.    Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
5.    Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
6.    Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
7.    Is the action supported by the American people?
8.    Do we have genuine broad international support?

Arguably, Powell's experience in military matters has made him a very popular figure on both sides of the aisle:  Moderate Democrats admired his  stance on military issues, while some Republicans saw him as a great asset associated with the successes of past Republican administrations. As a Republican, he began to campaign for Republican candidates and was suggested as  a possible opponent of Bill Clinton in the 1996 U.S. Presidential Election leading New Hampshire polls for the GOP nomination, but Powell declined, citing a lack of passion for politics.

In the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election Powell campaigned for Senator John McCain and later Texas Governor George W. Bush after the latter secured the GOP nomination.

Unless our view of the historical facts anent General Powell are incorrect, following is a series of conclusions:

  • Arguably, General Powell is a different kind of African-American leader:  Not divisive like a Reverend Jackson, or extremist like Louis Farrakan, and not charismatic as Senator Obama.
  • The General was wrong on Iraq 
  • Perhaps General Powell's views are now more aligned with his personal threshold of belief  (TOB) than when he was climbing the military  ladder.  Whereas as an officer, Powell valued loyalty very highly, as a retired General the term has devalued significantly.
  • The Powell Doctrine is well suited for the 20th century, but not necessarily for post 9-11 and the Global War on Terror and the Doctrine does not have a moral and or ethical anchor.  For example, the Thedore Hesburg's (former President of Notre Dame) Doctrine can be summed up as:  "The basic principle is that you don't make decisions because they are easy; you don't make them because they are cheap; you don't make them because they're popular; you make them because they're right"
  • Perhaps the new Powell Doctrine can be summed up as: diversity, tolerance and inclusion are extremely important, however, tolerance must be accompanied by acceptance. Ayers, ACORN, Revered Wright, Father Pflager are trivial issues, for example.  Let's all just get along.  Let's talk to Casto, Chavez and Ahmadinejad without preconditions - otherwise you are being intolerant.


The General is right on endorsing Senator Obama - birds of a feather:  Some politicians use change to promote their careers. Some use their careers to promote change.

Applying the old Powell Doctrine to the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and the implications of selecting Senator Obama to be the next president of the United States

1.    Is a vital national security interest threatened? - YES
2.    Do we have a clear attainable objective? - YES (consolidate and maximize power)
3.    Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? - YES (Ayers, ACORN, Revered Wright, Father Pflager are trivial issues and "over the top" in politics)
4.    Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? - YES, see 3 above
5.    Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? - Beats the alternative
6.    Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? - See 5 above
7.    Is the action supported by the American people? Yes - You Google?  You support Obama!  Just ask Google CEO Eric Schmidt
8.    Do we have genuine broad international support - Yes - Have you not seen how much cash is coming in to the campaign.

 

Shocked or Awed by the General's endorsement of Senator Obama?  Only if you do not know the history!

 

 

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