Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Good Soldier Powell" Apparently Stays True To Bush's "Stay The Course" Philosophy

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Bob Schieffer of CBS' Face The Nation of the Iraq War: "We are losing. We haven't lost."

How are we to feel about Powell? Some in the liberal blogosphere are cheering the above quote. But I remain unimpressed with "Good Soldier Powell."

The former Secretary is still advocating the "Pottery Barn" rule, which refers to a "you break it, you own it" policy of a retail store that holds a customer responsible for damage done to displayed merchandise.

Powell told Shieffer that, as noted in the Iraq Study Group report, "(I)t’s grave and deteriorating, and we’re not winning. We are losing. We haven’t lost. This is the time now to start to put in place the kinds of strategies that will turn this situation around."

At the same time, Powell doesn't believe the U.S. should increase troops -- as some in Bush's inner circle are advocating. But he doesn't believe the U.S. should start redeploying until it has turned things around, conceivably from "grave and deteriorating" to "shiny and happy."

In other words, Powell is on the "stay the course" bandwagon. He's the loyal soldier.

But that's apparently been the case all along. As Bob Woodward explained to Mike Wallace of CBS' 60 Minutes in 2004:

WOODWARD: (President Bush) calls Colin Powell in alone, sitting in those two famous chairs in the Oval Office -- and the president said, "Looks like war." Then Powell directly says, "You know, you're going to be owning this place." And the president says, "I understand that."

The president knows that Powell is the one who doesn't want to go to war. The president knows that Powell is the one who doesn't want to go to war. He says, "Will you be with me?" And Powell, the soldier, 35 years in the Army, president has decided, and he says, "I'll do my best, Mr. President, I'll be with you." And then the president says, "Time to put your war uniform on."


Some on the left cheer Powell whenever he says something like "We're not winning." But just about everyone outside of the President and his neocon circle is willing to admit as much.

To me, it's same old, same old.


Anonymous gratuitous said...

Gee Colin, do you believe what you're saying this time?

And why should it be up to the Iraqi people to "win" in their own country? We, after all, are the "grown-ups" who decapitated Iraq's leadership, permitted the vacuum to collapse the civil society, and now three years later are debating whether we should walk away or run away from the mess we created.

All because Mr. Powell went to the UN with his prevaricating Power Point presentation, trying to pass off phony drawings as "evidence" of the imminent threat Saddam posed not just to the rest of the world but directly to the United States. I wonder if Schieffer had the bad taste to bring up Colin's shining moment from February 2003? Surely not.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Drum said...

He's still on the outs as far as I'm concerned, and got a whole lot further to go to get anywhere near my good graces. When someone I've admired is complicit in such a thing (as the Iraq debacle and) with such dubious characters, it's a long uphill walk back to my esteem.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous EST said...

Powell is that same utterly disgusting slimeball who quashed the report on Vietnam atrocities.

The same sickening piece of filth whose connivance provided cover for the Iran-Contra double-dealings, for which that miserable hunk of human excrement Raygun and his bush 1 pally should have been impeached and executed.

He was in the junior cabal because that's where he belonged. Repulsive garbage.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous NRaleighLiberal said...

I've never understood the strong draw to him. Even the company that I work at used his "leadership statements" to circulate around the company for "inspiration". Well, I say, words are cheap (never cheaper than recently) - to me, Powell is just one more snake doing everything to look good, but doing nothing to make things better for anyone but himself.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous paulk said...

I think you're wrong -
Powell clearly indicated in the FTN interview that he felt Bush's "course" was a failure.

That he didn't go as far as you might want in no way diminishes the impact of his criticisms, and they will have an impact.

Sometimes, in war (and we are at war with BushCo), you have to take your allies where you can find them.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you look at what powell is advocating, it's stay the course, finish the job, fix the country, etc.

there's no hint of anything remotely in sync with the Democratic Party.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Sherman A1 said...

I disagree

Powell did not suggest "stay the course" at least in the version I watched. He supported the ISG's findings, did not support the "surge" without clearly defined objectives and reasoning. And I saw him speak here in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. I believe he is greatly disappointed with Mr. Bush although he never came out at said same.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he didn't use those words but if you don't advocate more troops, and you don't advocate redeployment, and you basically say that we haven't lost yet but we will if we don't do a better job doing what we're doing, what does that leave you with?

6:08 PM  
Anonymous shain from kane said...

He should have called a halt to the Viet Nam War after My Lai. I'm not saying that he had the power to stop the entire war, but he could have raised holy hell to such an extent that something would have been done.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous rollopollo said...

My take on this is that he was being candid about the situation, something the Bush administration has not been: "I agree with the assessment of Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton. It’s grave and deteriorating. As Secretary-designate of Defense Bob Gates said at his confirmation hearing, we’re not winning. So it’s grave and deteriorating, and we’re not winning. We are losing. We haven’t lost."

Powell also said he didn't think that more soldiers would improve the situation. This is important because it seems now that that is the most likely next step, that Democrats also seem to be willing to go along with. The rationale that Bush (and even Reid) have used for additional troop deployment, is that the generals in the field are calling for it. In other words, defer to people with military judgment. For Powell, who has been Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff of the US military, to counter their claims and state that more troops will not help is likely the best counterbalance we have towards the possibility of expanding our presence in Iraq.

1:02 AM  

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