The God that Failed

|

Adding to Dave's post on Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, sometimes I wonder if some people have any sort of memory, particularly the journalists now playing up this story as if the messiah had spoken.

That's not to say there is no story here; Powell is a stalwart of the Republican establishment and one of the few, far too few, African-Americans who until now has had a genuinely good chance of becoming president of the United States. My problem is that he is a man on whom the establishment has bestowed the title of foreign policy sage, when in fact he proved to be one of the most mediocre secretaries of state in recent memory, in a field including such nullities as Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, and the opportunistic but hollow Condoleezza Rice.

Why on earth do we listen to Colin Powell? When he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he opposed George H.W. Bush's decision to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait militarily, even though the decision was ultimately a sound one. At the end of his term as chairman he advocated a disastrous U.S. operation in Somalia, contradicting his own near unworkable conditions for overseas intervention, the so-called "Powell Doctrine." As secretary of state under George W. Bush, the first item on his agenda was a botched effort to impose "smart sanctions" on Iraq. Powell visited Damascus to persuade President Bashar Assad to end illicit cross-border trade between Iraq and Syria, which was providing vital economic oxygen to Saddam Hussein's regime. Assad promised Powell he would, then ignored that promise, embarrassing the secretary early in his stewardship.    

There came Iraq. Powell persuaded Bush that he would be able to get international support for an invasion if the administration took the United Nations route to gain Security Council approval for U.S. action. When he couldn't do so, Powell made his now-infamous presentation to the Security Council arguing that the Iraqi regime was developing weapons of mass destruction. The briefing was later shown to be based on false evidence, and Powell has since described the episode as a "blot" on his record. However, Powell was as blameworthy on Iraq as the many other American officials who are routinely lambasted today for the conduct of the war. However, he somehow managed to teflonize himself by repenting. No one blames Colin Powell for the fiasco, though he never contemplated resigning and stayed on in office until 2004, by which time it was clear that he had misled everyone.  

(For those of us who thought the war was worth it, Powell is doubly blameworthy: for making it seem since he left office that we should censure others for the debacle in Iraq, but not be too harsh on Colin Powell; and for never having drawn the right lessons from the first Gulf war, namely that Saddam Hussein merited being removed for no other reasons than his past as a mass murderer and for being a relentless purveyor of Middle Eastern and international instability.)

That is the same Colin Powell now imparting wisdom and advice to voters. He may just get it right this time, for once, with all the evidence suggesting that Obama will win. But notice how the endorsement comes when this outcome seems a dead certainty, when the risks of the endorsement are slight and the potential gains great. Give Powell a 10 for gulling the public once again, and give yourself a zero if you're falling for it.

Advertisement

NEXT: Irritable Powell Syndrome

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. But…but he is Black….and a REPUBLICAN.

  2. Give him a break, guys; it’s not like he has a funny middle name or something…

  3. Think what you will about Powell, he’s an establishment Republican disgusted by McCain’s campaign and impressed by Obama’s intelligent grasp of the issues. It’s a big plus for Obama.

  4. “Give Powell a 10 for gulling the public once again, and give yourself a zero if you’re falling for it.”

    Excellent post. Couldn’t agree more.

  5. More stellar analysis from Michael Young. Keep hate alive, dude.

  6. The Neoconservative Columnists’ Association has issued this statement:

    “We denounce Colin Powell for swallowing the line of bullshit we fed him about Iraq. We assume no responsibility for the fiasco in Iraq, because *we* had good intentions.”

  7. No one blames Colin Powell for the fiasco

    FWIW, I do blame Powell. But I also blame people like you, Michael Young.

    There’s enough blame to go around for the 6 digit body count in Iraq. May you and all the hawks have guilt-induced nightmares for the rest of your lives.

  8. Everyone reflexively gives Reason and Weigel a zero, so we’ve got that part covered.

    P.S. In case anyone missed it, here’s a transcript of Colin Powell’s endorsement.

  9. More than 12.7% of the articles here are about blacks. No fair.

  10. Oh my God.
    You’re kidding me.

    Did Michael Young just post something criticizing Powell for his mistaken ideas and predictions on Iraq and the Middle East? MICHAEL YOUNG?

    Oh my lord. Big balls.

  11. OK, everybody get ready to take a drink:

    Why does an allegedly libertarian blog like Reason still allow posts by an apologist for a massively failed and horrendously expensive government program like the war in Iraq?

    Oh, that’s right: Military spending doesn’t count as actual spending, and dead foreigners don’t count as evidence that a government program failed. Got it.

  12. I’ll just give a quick synopsis of this post:

    Colin Powell should have known better than to listen to me.

  13. Why does an allegedly libertarian blog like Reason still allow posts by an apologist for a massively failed and horrendously expensive government program like the war in Iraq?

    He’s a Middle East Expert; didn’t you know?

    I’m thirsty.

  14. no, Doktor T. You’re right. and the assholes who continue to stay fixed to their 2003 conclusions (maybe with some adjustments to their bullshit “reasoning”) still have a seat at the debate. amazing.

    *takes drink of stiegl*

  15. In Powells’s defense, my guess is he was willing to endorse earlier in the year, but the Obama campaign asked him to save if for an October Surprise.

    Just a guess though.

  16. I wonder what happened to reason’s resident neocon. Oh and Tacos wins the thread.

  17. VM-

    I’m fine with giving a seat at the table to the objectively-pro-murder types (yes, it is murder when you kill people who were no threat to you, even if you do it at taxpayer expense).

    I just think it should be a seat in the meal hall at the prison.

  18. God has never failed, he has a reason for everything and whoever shall win this election,God has a purpose in mind.

  19. Why does an allegedly libertarian blog like Reason still allow posts by an apologist for a massively failed and horrendously expensive government program like the war in Iraq?

    I’m thinking the Reason Foundation gets a check for doing so from a corporation with an innocuous sounding name that shares a single DC address with several other corporations with innocuous sounding names.

  20. Cab’s probably right.

    One thing the Obama campaign has done very well this campaign has been to stage-manage endorsements very effectively for strategic news cycle victories.

  21. Michael,
    While you are still a pro-war douche, and I’m making fun of you because we were right and you were wrong, and you have yet to admit it, you make an important point about Colin Powell’s strange status as the sage of foreign affairs. That said, everything else you’ve said for years is bullshit.

  22. Damn, this doesn’t look good after I said on another thread that I wasn’t going to bother with this for two weeks.

  23. Why does an allegedly libertarian blog like Reason still allow posts by an apologist for a massively failed and horrendously expensive government program like the war in Iraq?

    Let a thousand flowers bloom, man. I don’t think there’s any danger of Mr. Young luring Reason readers over to the Necroconservative side at this point.

  24. I thought the same thing a while ago.
    If we took Hussian out in 1991, no reason not to, there whould have been no war now, no September 11, in other words peasce.

    Powell, Scrowoft, Baker, Christopeher are all in the spineless, ponder, then say the obvious but make it sound profund asshole hall of fame.
    Remember if Hussian was taking out in 1991, Powell would not have been invited to sit on AOL board of directors, no lobby fees, nothing.
    Financially, like Scrowoft, Baker and Albright, he would have been worse off.

    You go Mike.
    Powell douche bag. Real brave of him now to endorse Obama.
    Good NEWS: OBAMA IS GOING TO LOSE. Then hopefully, we will have heard the last of Powell.

  25. 6 digit body

    No, T. 7 digit or maybe 8. Tell yer buddy to go AWOL.

  26. A view I disagree with! Fire him! Get rid of this enemy of the people! I can’t handle it.

    Oh, and kudos to those here who are actually engaging in an argument rather than hyperventilating that Young is allowed to publish anywhere other than IN HELL (because that is where everyone who disagrees with me belongs!!!)

  27. SOMEBODY TAPE OVER “VID” ASAP. HIS VIEWS GIVE SOMEONE SOMEWHERE MENTAL TAPEWORM.

    HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S NOT DISAGREEMENT, BUT THAT IT WAS A DISASTROUS POLICY.

    THE WEIBSKOBOLD SHALL FLOG MR. STEVEN CRANE (WHEN HE’S FOUND, THAT IS).

    AND VID SHALL BE HENCEFORTH KNOWN AS “VHS MAN. BECAUSE BETA IS SUPERIOR”

  28. Michael Young’s post here is a nice little microcosm of how the pro-war movement has treated the men it has duped into being its tools.

    The cycle goes something like this: First, rope an otherwise honorable person into supporting your idiotic policies. Then, when those policies fail to work, because they’re idiotic, blame not the architects of those policies, but the sap you tricked into trying to execute them. After that, if your dupe tries to wise up, and get his hands clean, you can dismiss anything he says because the guy’s “a failure”.

    This disgusting display has been duplicated many times, and it’s one of the major reasons why I would advise any person with talent or integrity to run from the GOP establishment as fast as they can, and refuse to participate in their undertakings, and not give in to the temptation of thinking that they can somehow mitigate whatever disaster they’re planning. The GOP views the honor, dignity and reputation of every American to be nothing more than coin to be spent to protect their moron President and his mendacious and incompetent underlings. They traded Powell’s credibility for momentary political advantage years ago, and now they’re happy to spit at him and call him a tribalist for political benefit now.

  29. Remember if Hussian was taking out in 1991, Powell would not have been invited to sit on AOL board of directors, no lobby fees, nothing.

    What kind of idiotic statement is this?

    Really, how stupid do you have to be to think this?

    Unless Powell did something to go to Leavenworth, once he was out of the military he was going to be able to serve on any corporate board he wanted.

    Are you seriously a big enough fool to argue that Powell made the decision on how to advise Bush I based on what he thought his postwar employment prospects were? If so, you are too stupid to have an opinion on anything ever again.

  30. So who’s the bigger douche:

    Someone who thinks we should invade Iraq and tries to convince others that we should invade, or,

    Someone who thinks we should not invade Iraq and convinces millions that we should invade?

  31. No, T. 7 digit or maybe 8.

    8 digit? More than anybody in WW2 except China and USSR? Get a grip.

  32. Oh, speaking of neocons, this really brightened my day:

    A little while ago I was watching Fox News and Bill Kristol came on and was talking to Chris Wallace. And my wife looked at Bill Kristol and said,

    “He’s a ‘confirmed bachelor’, right?”

    I only just stopped laughing a little while ago.

  33. Iraq has a population of just short of 30 million. To say they lost 10 million is the height of asininity.

  34. The evidence that it is 8 is as convincing, no more and no less, than that it is less than 8. All militarymen should stop fighting there.

  35. “If we took Hussian out in 1991, no reason not to, there whould have been no war now, no September 11, in other words peasce.”

    We’d probably be where we are now, we just would have been there for coming up on the third decade rather than second.

  36. What the fuck is wrong with the GOP?

    I mean, I voted for John Warner over Mark Warner years ago when I lived in VA. My positions on gun control and affirmative action should make people like me want to vote anti-Democratic.

    But I mean I would just literally throw up if I had to vote for the current GOP. They seem to appeal to the lowest common denominator now. Their anti-intellectualism has reached an insane climax.
    It’s actually a bad thing to be well spoken, well read, well educated for them. What the fuck is that?

  37. MNG–

    The Republicans are becoming the Party of old, white, rural, uneducated protestants. Anyone else is not welcome. Look at the hatred James Ard gave to Tom Davis on the other thread.

  38. I should add a “white” qualifier to that. Bush/Rove hispanic strategy? Not if Tom Tancredo and Mitt Romney have anything to say about it!

  39. BDB
    I hear ya BDB. They are becoming the party of William Jennings Bryan.

  40. “old, white, rural, uneducated protestants”

    You mean the “real America?”

  41. Ammonium,

    I see Colin Powell as a tragic figure, in the classic Greek sense.

    He was against this war, but he felt he had a duty to be a good soldier for the President of the United States for whom he worked, a view of his responsibility to his nation that goes back to the days when he bled for it on the battlefields of Vietnam.

    This is a classic example of great evil coming out of a drive that is fundamentally virtuous, but limited and unable to temper that virtue with judgement.

    I can’t look at him and think “douchebag.” I can only shake my head sadly.

  42. Yeah. And the “real Virginia”. Did you hear what McCain’s spokeswoman said about that?

  43. What’s this about “uneducated” protestants? I know there are a bunch of elitists here who think anything less than a doctorate is being uneducated, but I’m just not seeing large blocs of uneducated folk in this country. High school diplomas are nearly universal, associate degrees a dime a dozen, and B.A.s are the new bottom rung. Yeah, I know you can find people who dropped out of eighth grade, but they just aren’t enough old white uneducated protestants to count as anyone’s voting base.

  44. If we took Hussian out in 1991, no reason not to, there whould have been no war now, no September 11, in other words peasce.

    That’s idiotic. We would have lost a lot of our allies and the UN mandate that we had would have likely gone away. Not to mention, OBL would have still been around and would still be pissed off about us.

  45. The GOP is trying to appease the mostly-liberal-thinking voter horde, not realizing that people don’t vote for reality. They vote for uplifting fantasy.

    The war in Iraq will turn out to have been necessary to scare off all future terrorist groups from taking a shot at us. When you’re the big dog, you have to beat someone to hell — just about anyone — if someone takes a shot at you.

    Welcome to realpolitik.

  46. Brandybuck,

    According to the Census, for people older than 25, 14% don’t have high school degrees, 62% don’t have a college degree (associates or higher), 19% have bachelors and 10% have graduate degrees.* So there are more people that are high school dropouts than people with a masters or PhD.

    * This is all highest educational attainment.

  47. Terrorists don’t mind if you beat the hell out of someone else. That’s what they’re hoping for.

    See? They really are waging a war against Islam. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do anything to them, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t siding with us, they consider you the enemy anyway.

    Read a little about the IRA. Provoking poorly-targeted overreactions is what gets these people out of bed in the morning.

  48. People call Bachelors “bottom rung” even though only 19% of the population have them?

    Sour grapes?

  49. BDB,
    Actually, it’s 29%, you have to add the people with higher degrees into the total. 19% have a bachelor’s as their highest degree.

  50. I’m kidding of course. I know how Brandybuck was thinking–everyone I know personally has a college degree, as does everyone I work with. It’s just your peer group, though, not the general population.

    I really thought it would be like 33%, not 19%!

  51. Mo–

    Got it. Still, I thought around 33% would have at least Bachelors.

    Ones peer group distorts perspective.

  52. I somehow sense I should be in this conversation, but I don’t have the energy.

  53. TAO–

    SIV said, since you are in training to be a lawyer, that you aren’t a “real American”.

    That’s all you need to know! 😉

  54. TAO
    Discussions of higher ed just makes you cranky, go back to sleep.

  55. MNG – it’s not that they make me cranky. I’m cranky sans stimuli.

  56. Well TAO, to be fair, there is a lot to be cranky about these days.

  57. Not if you live in the “real America” and “real Virginia”, MNG. I still can’t believe the McCain campaign had ones of its spokeswoman channel George Allen.

  58. er, “channeled”.

  59. SIV said, since you are in training to be a lawyer, that you aren’t a “real American”.

    He said that? What a douche.

    I’m resolving to be nicer to people, btw. I think that it’s what counts.

  60. TAO

    No I didn’t say anything like that.
    But since you are asking I’ll say “Suck my Dick you fucking pussy.” Yeah that is for listening to twits and taking their word for what I said.

  61. SIV – I should have said “IF he said that, THEN he’s a douche”. It was a conditional statement.

    My apologies.

  62. Apology accepted.You offer a lot of interesting commentary here whether I agree with it or not.
    You might want to consider the source of who claimed I did on anything else it might say.

  63. SIV–

    Take a joke. Jesus.

  64. Brandybuck,

    I’ll add that those that do have bachelors degrees are by no means well educated. Some of the people I see I see coming out of bullshit undergrad programs make me think that a bachelors degree barely means you can read anymore.

  65. You offer a lot of interesting commentary here whether I agree with it or not.

    Oh jeez, no I don’t! I’m probably one of the least intelligent posters here. But thank you anyway.

  66. I’ll add a “joking” tag to my future statements like that, since some people’s snark meters are broken.

  67. domoarrigato,

    Absolutely. To me having a humanities degree is akin to graduating high school twice.

  68. And my two cents on CP is that I agree he is a (greek) tragic figure. I have a lot of respect for the guy, despite his periodic failures. I’m personally glad he endorsed Obama – at least he can exact some measure of vengeance for the incompetents dragging his name through the mud. He fell on his sword for a lie.

  69. domo,

    I have found an anecdotal direct correlation
    between holding a graduate degree and a complete inability to read a topographic map.A GIS certificate actually makes it worse. My sample does not include anyone with an actual graduate degree in geography.

  70. Michael Young is still publishing his thoughts? Damn, he’s as shameless as he is dimwitted.

  71. Being a Civil War buff I can read any kind of map you give me.

  72. SIV – back when I was in the Air Force at the imagery and mapping agency, I worked with quite a number of army terrain analysts. They could make a map using GIS you wouldn’t believe but could get lost between the taco bell and the Chinese dragon in the food court.

  73. Got it. Still, I thought around 33% would have at least Bachelors.

    Ones peer group distorts perspective.

    29% have at least a bachelors. I would call that ‘around 33%’

  74. Mosby,

    Not if you went to public high school!

    re Colin Powell:

    His statement about Supreme Court justices gives away his actual political views.McCain is not considered to be “reliable” on appointing conservative Justices while Obama is assumed to favor liberal justices.That he would assume the “moderate Mccain” would chose too conservatively puts Powell well left of center on the issue.
    Considering how late he waited to make an endorsement his motive appears to be self interest in a political appointment.It would be nice if his “Powell Doctrine” has some influence on a President Obama’s foreign interventionism but he burnt up any credibility on Iraq II.

  75. Mosby,

    “Absolutely. To me having a humanities degree is akin to graduating high school twice.”

    that’s only if you went to the top 5-10% of high schools. But you know, I’ve met people that are highly educated that have no degree – for me education is nothing more or less than continuing intellectual curiosity.

  76. To me having a humanities degree is akin to graduating high school twice.

    Anecdotally speaking, high school is a joke. College is the first place that I was actually intellectually stimulated, humanities degree* or not.

    * – I have two degrees, one in the “humanities” and one in the “sciences”.

  77. The surge is working. Pretty soon we will have control over oil industry there. It’s going to work out just fine for us. And it doesn’t really matter how many dark skinned people perish along the way.

  78. Who is posting talking points under fake names? SIV, or TallDave?

  79. I hesitate to digress but I associate “education” with the institutional bureaucracies that claim a monopoloy on it.What people learn themselves in or outside such institutions is learning, knowledge, wisdom, skill etc.

  80. My high school diploma is worth something. Of course it was earned in the 70’s before the self-esteem generation hit school.

  81. BDB he posts the Obama talking points under his own name though.

  82. Thanks for letting me know who was doing it, SIV. I apologize to TallDave.

  83. Ones peer group distorts perspective.

    Did you get that idea from your peers?

  84. No, I got it from Sarah Palin.

  85. I think the Republicans are trying to get the “common folk” vote and it’s a pathetic show (it’s pathetic when either party tries to get the “common folk” vote – but they really, in their actions, are morphing into the Democrat Party at the higher levels of the Party, on most issues – the superficial differences are for appearances. We basically have one party now — the Democrat Party. If the Democrats end the war and don’t start another one, and start closing military bases that are based on a cold war mindset, they will have somewhat made up for their stupid economic policies — somewhat.

  86. The right liked Colin Powell when he was a “clean” black who supported their policies but now that he has dared diverge the party line he will probably be just another black guy that they hate.

  87. Maybe if we all close our eyes and go to sleep, maybe the boggie men will all go away and leave the U.S alone.

  88. If Richard Perle can criticize the CIA for overestimating the Iraq threat, then I guess Michael Young can criticize Powell for helping to sell the wars that Michael Young fervently supports. The hate is mightier than the irony.

  89. Maybe Powell is in the closet and he made a deal with BFrank not to out him in exchange for a Dem endorsement…so clever

  90. And to think he was one of the good ones… well, you know how it is with those people.

  91. Watch your hubcaps.

  92. You know the continent of Africa? That’s what America’s future looks like. Say goodbye to our first-world status!

  93. Should I wear a beret or a leopard skin hat?
    Definitely Ray-Bans.

  94. You support a socialist Muslim atheist… when our country is in Iraq fighting the greatest enemy we’ve ever faced? What sense does that make! Our money has “In God We Trust” on it for a reason, no wonder the economy is tanking.

  95. “Spread the wealth around”

    To the PEOPLE!

  96. Being a rabid McCain supporter is like putting your brain on cruise-control… this is kind of fun!

  97. Reperations Its not just the money.
    Miss Elizabeth need to scrub mah flows foh a few hundred years.

  98. Reparations? I’ll show you reparations:

    http://www.blackbroswhitehoes.com

  99. Why is it that any time a Brutha gets success he has to have a Blonde White bitch? Isn’t a Sistuh good enuff? Well at least mah man…….Barry! Get yo ass over heah!

  100. Mr. Nice Guy | October 19, 2008, 7:40pm | #

    re, “old, white, protestant, uneducated, etc.)

    BDB
    I hear ya BDB

    I also agree.

    a thought i’ve had for a while =

    The GOP long ago sold itself downriver for cheap to the “base”… e.g. Southern Baptist Convention, Colorado springs focus on the family, talk radio, reactionary “for the troops!”/”secure the borders!” types, and now its coming back to bite them in the ass.

    I think the traditional GOP “country club conservative”+small business owner+libertarian constituency etc. could eventually be reconstituted… or at the least come to represent a larger share of the republican platform. I think the republicans need a wholesale restructure from top to bottom to present a viable alternative. They’ve got to completely fracture first, however, and i think the process will take years.

    I would endorse a party that returned to a russel kirk/buckley/alan bloom/milton friedman/”That government is best which governs least;”- philosophical core.

    They have to ease up on the God Guns and Gays, culture-war issues. and please stop talking about the “MSM”, when that is generally code language for “I dont read much, and dont believe what I read anyway”-appeal to ignorance rhetoric.

    I think the ‘elites’ in the GOP really should be more influential. George Will has written some of the best critiques of McCain and the GOP strategies. By doing nothing but focusing on wedge issues, they’ve failed to do anything on the core issues.

    If a small-govt, fiscally conservative GOP could be resuscitated, it could win future presidential elections. But I think there are generational issues that will have to be overcome and unless they choose consciously to purge the “kill him!”-screamers and bible thumpers, they’re going to be waiting the next 12-16 years for a major comeback.

  101. Thank you, Gilmore.

    I agree 1000%. Great analysis.

  102. “The GOP long ago sold itself downriver for cheap to the “base”… e.g. Southern Baptist Convention, Colorado springs focus on the family, talk radio, reactionary “for the troops!”/”secure the borders!” types, and now its coming back to bite them in the ass.”

    The Dixiecrats left the Democrats and joined the Republicans, and now the GOP is boiling itself down to a pseudo-Dixiecrat core, minus the outright segregation.

  103. uh, 2 things.

    1) what the fuck was that argument about education? People with bachelors degrees in X,Y,orZ shouldnt feel compelled to brag about it. It’s basically saying, “in *theory*, im not a complete idiot”

    as a side note, i’m reminded of a previous guy who made a bunch of ignorant posts about finance, and when he’s called out, he cited his BA in econ, and disparaged actual FINRA reps as “only needing a GED”. i guess his point being, ‘people who really engage this stuff every day of their lives are somehow not as qualified as people who did a few pieces of homework on it when they were 19 years old.”

    2) whats with the asshole posting inane racist jokes using other peoples handles?

  104. “The Dixiecrats left the Democrats and joined the Republicans, and now the GOP is boiling itself down to a pseudo-Dixiecrat core, minus the outright segregation.”

    dead on. I’ve made this argument to my GOP friends for some time. Seems like the major push back I get is the religious angle. The dixiecrat types have a big overlap with the Bible thumpers – and once you start trying to make the argument to abandon the christian right – they get all defensive. It’s like the annoying friend you are always apologizing for bringing along to your other friends. Pretty soon your other friends “are busy” because they know douchebag is coming with you. But when someone suggests you lose the guy, you say “but he’s the only friend I have left” Well obviously.

  105. I’m thinking the Reason Foundation gets a check for doing so from a corporation with an innocuous sounding name that shares a single DC address with several other corporations with innocuous sounding names.

    Chalabi & Sons Inc.?

  106. re: #2 – ok sorry, missed that earlier thing w/ SIV.

  107. “If we took Hussian out in 1991, no reason not to, there whould have been no war now, no September 11, in other words peasce.”

    Why was there no reason not too, and how would having taken out someone that had nothing to do with 9/11 have stopped 9/11?

  108. 14% of adults don’t have a diploma? Now I truly am depressed. Even more depressing are the continuing efforts to get these people to vote. I say we bring back literacy tests at the polls.

  109. its funny, when Colin Powell was an insider in the Bush Administration until he was obviously used the Republicans loved the ground he walked on. Now he speaks out against them he suddenly is a non valid figure.

    I am so tired of the Republican agenda. I am an independent and will never vote Republican again.

  110. Neither here nor there, but =

    domoarrigato | October 19, 2008, 9:23pm | #
    I’ve met people that are highly educated that have no degree – for me education is nothing more or less than continuing intellectual curiosity.

    well said.

  111. autoprt | October 19, 2008, 11:56pm | #
    its funny, when Colin Powell was an insider in the Bush Administration until he was obviously used the Republicans loved the ground he walked on. Now he speaks out against them he suddenly is a non valid figure.

    I am so tired of the Republican agenda. I am an independent and will never vote Republican again.

    Well if you vow to never vote Republican again, regardless of who runs under their banner or what the “platform” is that makes you either a Democrat, a dedicated third party voter or an apolitical/apathetic/ or non voter,
    NOT an “independent”.Let me guess…….

  112. thank you gilmore. i like your appraisal, also your handle evokes pink floyd laser shows for me which is endearing. you may have noticed that i dont use punctuation [cept periods] and that is because i am a proud high school dropout. as sam clements said, ‘i never let school get in the way of my education.’ it is great fun to have political discussions with my ivy educated friends.

  113. Bullshit SIV.

    You can be an independent and decide you will never again vote for the Green Party, or the Nazi Party, or the Libertarian Party, or even the Green Libertarian Nazi Party and still retain your independence.

    A guy who vows never to consider voting for a particular party can still be indpendent. It merely means that that particular party is no longer worthy of consideration -> not that one is loyal to other political parties.

  114. Well if you vow to never vote Republican again, regardless of who runs under their banner or what the “platform” is that makes you either a Democrat, a dedicated third party voter or an apolitical/apathetic/ or non voter,
    NOT an “independent”.Let me guess…….

    Well maybe autoprt’s a little long in the tooth and only has to worry about 1 or 2 elections to come. I think it’s a safe bet that GOP will be the wrong choice for a while… then again 4 years is a lifetime in politics.

  115. What’s this about “uneducated” protestants? I know there are a bunch of elitists here who think anything less than a doctorate is being uneducated, but I’m just not seeing large blocs of uneducated folk in this country. High school diplomas are nearly universal, associate degrees a dime a dozen, and B.A.s are the new bottom rung.

    And education ain’t what it used to be.

  116. elmo | October 20, 2008, 12:43am | #

    thank you gilmore. i like your appraisal, also your handle evokes pink floyd laser shows for me which is endearing

    If you mean at the (former) hayden auditorium/planetarium in NYC, hell yeah, i saw like 3 pink floyd laserlight shows in all their 80s glory. But i am not related to Dave. unfortunately.

  117. Bring back literacy tests at the polls? Brandybuck, how many bubbles are in a bar of soap?

    If you don’t know (without using Google) what that refers to, then you are perhaps too illiterate to be voting.

    How about “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”

  118. I am a retard, please shit in my hat!

  119. I keep posting/trolling under different names because I’m a basket case and I can’t help myself. And like Eric Dondero, I’m a fake libertarian who supports authoritarian Republicans, but I make him look stable by comparison.

    Someone shoot me, please.

  120. Don’t nobody move, or…

  121. “When he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he opposed George H.W. Bush’s decision to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait militarily, even though the decision was ultimately a sound one.”

    No it wasn’t. Ultimately, that decision on the part of Bush 41 was an extremely poor one. Invading Iraq set in motion a series of events which directly led to 9/11.

    I’m serious.

    Here’s what happened. When Saddan invaded Kuwait, the House of Saud felt threatened as well. Bin Laden et al, fresh from kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan, offered his services to the Saudis to protect the kingdom. The Saudis told him to go play in traffic, and got a really army, namely the US, to do the job. Bin Laden got his panties in a wad (Heathens protecting the Muslim Holy Land! Women driving cars! Oh my!), wait a decade or so, stir, 9/11.

    Basically, 9/11 was, on some level, caused by petty jealousy on the part of Bin Laden due to him losing a military contract to the US Army.

    Blowback is a bitch.

  122. …Spoke to my skull I dreamed

    My Barack Pages

    Bullshit is Bullshit

    McCain is Bullshit from the get-go

    Folks, use your sense & vote third party this year.

    best wishes,

    ‘nother 3rd party voter

  123. Interesting thread. Methinks the last laugh may well be on God in this joke of an election. And no, God ain’t Obama or any of his illuminati cronies, regardless of their skin color.

  124. Reality Check | October 19, 2008, 7:25pm | #
    No, T. 7 digit or maybe 8.

    8 digit? More than anybody in WW2 except China and USSR? Get a grip.

    Yeah, sorry Reality Check, Reality Checks are doomed to fail on that one.

    Good try though, and thanks for the link, it brought up some interesting questions. I’d like to see similar numbers on other wars.

  125. Geotpf | October 20, 2008, 5:07am | #
    “When he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he opposed George H.W. Bush’s decision to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait militarily, even though the decision was ultimately a sound one.”

    No it wasn’t. Ultimately, that decision on the part of Bush 41 was an extremely poor one. Invading Iraq set in motion a series of events which directly led to 9/11.

    I’m serious.

    Here’s what happened. When Saddan invaded Kuwait, the House of Saud felt threatened as well. Bin Laden et al, fresh from kicking the Soviets out of Afghanistan, offered his services to the Saudis to protect the kingdom. The Saudis told him to go play in traffic, and got a really army, namely the US, to do the job. Bin Laden got his panties in a wad (Heathens protecting the Muslim Holy Land! Women driving cars! Oh my!), wait a decade or so, stir, 9/11.

    Basically, 9/11 was, on some level, caused by petty jealousy on the part of Bin Laden due to him losing a military contract to the US Army.

    Blowback is a bitch.

    Egg fucking sactly.

    Given all that, that more people should know.

    What does GW do after 9/11? Rather what should he have done?

    I personally think that Gulf War 1 was wrong.
    Should never have happened. Was not our business.

    Given that it did in fact happen, and that we got attacked on 9/11 for basically containing Saddam.
    Should we just leave from the ME and assume that is not going to be taken as a sigh of weakness for further attacks?

  126. If the world lets big nations gobble up and annex little countries, it will never stop.

  127. This story was planted to distract people from the work Obama’s field agent, Sean Penn, is doing right now to undermine American capitalism.

  128. Rumor had it that the Kuwaitees were drilling at angles that allowed them to tap into Iraqi oil fields. If that was occuring, then Hussein had justification for what he did. We took his action and used it as an excuse to take over their oil. But the time wasn’t right and the world wasn’t willing.
    U.S. presence in Iraq was, is, and always will be about 1 thing and 1 thing only, Oil. Freedom? bullshit. Democracy? Bullshit. Genocide? bullshit. WMD’s? a double shot-o-bullshit. Oil Oil Oil.

  129. “For those of us who thought the war was worth it…”

    Fuck you.

  130. Nice post. I’ve never been a Powell fan; he’s always been an Establishment Liberal.

    Still, one aspect of this endorsement that has not been highlighted is Powell’s conflict of interest. He has a vested interest in an investment fund that is betting massively on green technology, carbon credits, and the like. He stands to profit from an Obama administration, IOW.

  131. I tapped a piece sideways once or twice. It can be done.

    BB, that was always a weak anti-coalition line. You would be talking about oil available right along the border only. That’s like someone reaching over your fence to pick your grapes, while your garden stretches for miles. Kuwait had oil and a nice coast and they were weak.

  132. Still, one aspect of this endorsement that has not been highlighted is Powell’s conflict of interest. He has a vested interest in an investment fund that is betting massively on green technology, carbon credits, and the like. He stands to profit from an Obama administration, IOW.

    By this logic, every single person with a net income about $250k who endoresed John McCain has a conflict of interest that should be covered.

  133. joe | October 20, 2008, 9:49am | #
    Still, one aspect of this endorsement that has not been highlighted is Powell’s conflict of interest. He has a vested interest in an investment fund that is betting massively on green technology, carbon credits, and the like. He stands to profit from an Obama administration, IOW.

    By this logic, every single person with a net income about $250k who endoresed John McCain has a conflict of interest that should be covered.

    And probably those of us who don’t also, because we don’t believe that those who make over 250k will be taking the tax burden at all.

    Actually, REALLY, will most of those who make more than 250 really pay any taxes? I think not, even if they do, they will pay them out of my paycheck. So really anyone who makes money has a conflict of interest with Obama.

    Well a conflict of interest with both, Obama and McCain. They are both socialist and both of them believe that government should be allowed to access our wealth as government sees fit.

  134. joe | October 20, 2008, 9:08am | #
    If the world lets big nations gobble up and annex little countries, it will never stop.

    Well I disagree on various levels.

    I disagree that “the world” is necessarily us.
    I disagree that “it will never stop”.
    And I think that is what alliances are about.
    Georgia wasn’t in one. Neither was Kuwait.

    Want to not get gobbled up by a bigger evil country? Be part of an alliance. Hello Nato.

  135. kwais,

    What is this “the world is necessarily us” business? You do recall that GHW Bush went to the UN, got a Security-Council authorization, and built a global coalition to act according to the UN mandate, right?

    Want to not get gobbled up by a bigger evil country? Be part of an alliance. Hello Nato. NATO wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to admit Kuwait.

    Also, Russia didn’t gobble up Georgia. They launched a punitive attack, then left.

  136. Well, I’m shocked – shocked! – that Powell’s endorsement may have a job attached to it.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/6067997.html

  137. I am still trying to wrap my head around the concept of a Muslim atheist.

  138. By this logic, every single person with a net income about $250k who endoresed John McCain has a conflict of interest that should be covered.

    As I have mentioned numerous times, my taxes will go up significantly under Obama, and I am fully aware that this is one of the reasons I am so opposed to him.

    Still, I think there is a qualitative difference between supporting a candidate because his tax policy will be less punitive to you, and supporting a candidate because you stand to profit directly from his policies.

    Everyone who has spent the last 8 years busting Dick Cheney’s chops for his connections to Halliburton should be busting Colin Powell’s chops for the same reasons, no?

  139. Joe: No offense, but you don’t have to actually occupy a country to be an existential threat to it. If I want to rule you by fear, I don’t have to hold on to your collar 24/7.

    All I have to do is beat you half to death once, and then say “don’t make me have to come back”.

  140. You do recall that GHW Bush went to the UN, got a Security-Council authorization, and built a global coalition to act according to the UN mandate, right?

    Yeah, one of the reasons I dislike GHW Bush and Powell.

    “no new taxes” and then lying is the reason I didn’t vote for pappy Bush, but that whole UN thing further justifies my not voting for him.

  141. Allah Proletariat!


  142. nebby | October 20, 2008, 10:40am | #
    I am still trying to wrap my head around the concept of a Muslim atheist.

    It is an easy enough concept. I can’t figure out why it is not a good thing though, in the grand scheme of things.

  143. Has there every been a period of human history when strong and large powers WEREN’T trying to gobble up or dominate small and weak ones?

    I can’t think of a single one.


  144. Everyone who has spent the last 8 years busting Dick Cheney’s chops for his connections to Halliburton should be busting Colin Powell’s chops for the same reasons, no?

    Yeah,
    I hear on that planet also the guys who are now peddling the Obama is an Ayrab are instead talking about how religious intolerance of any kind is the kind of thing that caused 9/11, and they are looking into their own souls at this point.

  145. “Why on earth do we listen to Colin Powell?”

    If we stopped listening to people because they made a mistake in the past, you, Michael Young, would be out of a job.

  146. Two other things.

    is SIV not denying that he posts under other names?
    Or is he not seeing the accusations because he has the accusers posts blocked?

    Personally I like SIV’s posts. I would though, I am right/libertarian.
    But I also like some of the left/libertarian posters, even the more trollish ones.

    Is TallDave a troll? He has more range that Lefiti and Concerned Observer.

    TallDave is more like a Dave W, but as far as I know, TallDave doesn’t have a stalker side to him.

  147. Still, I think there is a qualitative difference between supporting a candidate because his tax policy will be less punitive to you, and supporting a candidate because you stand to profit directly from his policies.

    OK, let’s think this through: if Barack Obama was proposing to eliminate federal income taxes for a certain industry, and a big wheel in that industry endorsed him, that wouldn’t count as a conflict of interest (according the RC Dean definition of the term)?

    It really doesn’t matter that your political ideology idolizes tax cuts, for the purpose of determining the financial interests of people involved in the political system. You don’t see me turning around and saying that some benefit that accrues to some business isn’t irrelevant in determining the owners’ financial interest based on my ideological amity towards the underlying policy.

  148. KFP,

    No doubt, but when we’re talking about the conquest and annexation of countries, the stakes get even higher. There’s even more history there.

  149. People forget that the Powell Doctrine was a failure as applied in Iraq. It left us with a 15-year mess that is only now finally being cleaned up.

    The Powell doctrine of clearly defined and achievable objectives that can be quickly achieved with massive force failed because it says nothing about whether those objectives actually create conditions for lasting peace.

    Powell’ failed concept of war has now been replaced by what might be termed the Petraeus doctrine: make long-term sustainable progress via a sustained, ground-level effort to bring local forces onto your side politically as well as militarily.

  150. “People forget that the Powell Doctrine was a failure as applied in Iraq. It left us with a 15-year mess that is only now finally being cleaned up.”

    The Powell Doctrine requires that politicians ask themselves the tough questions and make sure they are solid on the answers. It does not pass on the merits of those answers.

  151. if Barack Obama was proposing to eliminate federal income taxes for a certain industry, and a big wheel in that industry endorsed him, that wouldn’t count as a conflict of interest (according the RC Dean definition of the term)?

    I would agree that it is, because these kind of targeted tax cuts are the equivalent of subsidies. It gets blurry at the edges, sure, but there’s a difference between raising/reducing the marginal tax rate on the one hand, and industry specific taxes/tax breaks on the other.

    Everyone who has spent the last 8 years busting Dick Cheney’s chops for his connections to Halliburton should be busting Colin Powell’s chops for the same reasons, no?

    So, how about it, joe? Is it more reprehensible for Dick Cheney to support George Bush because of the benefits of a Bush regime for Cheney’s portfolio, than it is for Colin Powell to support Obama because of the benefits of an Obama regime for Powell’s portfolio?

  152. If a tax cut is going to leave me with $100k more at the end of the year, I have exactly the same interest in seeing it pass if it is a targetted tax cut as a broad-based tax cut.

    The difference you speak of, RC, has nothing whatsoever to do with the concept of conflict of interest.

    I would say it’s more reprehensible in Cheney’s case, but only because Cheney prevailed upon Bush to alter his positions to make them more Halliburton-friendly (humble foreign policy and all of that), while Powell is looking favorably upon the positions Obama would support anyway.

    Money following ideas vs. ideas following money.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.