Let me say that again…wow.
I NEVER expected this move from Powell, but I’m glad he’s speaking out now. Many on the left decried his speech at the U.N. even when our media trumpeted it as an open and shut case. Now he’s saying it was a low point in his career.
In any event, this is a major step towards getting some honesty in the debate about the situation in Iraq and I’m glad he’s come forward.
From the Times Online
COLIN POWELL, the former US Secretary of State, harshly criticised the Bush Administration yesterday for its failures in Iraq, calling the country a mess and voicing concerns that it may slide into civil war.
General Powell, who left the Administration in January, also said that his speech in February 2003 to the UN, making the case for war, was a painful blot on his record.
Making his most damning remarks about the conduct of the war since he was replaced by Condoleezza Rice, General Powell criticised the White House and Pentagon for their post-war planning and failure to send sufficient troops.
And this claim is even bolder still:
General Powell said that he had ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnever seen evidence to suggestÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? a connection between the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the regime of Saddam Hussein, unlike Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, who has made such a claim.
Whoa. This is going to open up the political floodgates in a way I think few of us can appreciate right now. Expect the President’s approval rating to drop even further after this news.
So what are his thoughts about the future of Iraq?
He said that there was little option now but to continue investing in the Iraqi Armed Forces. Despite his hesitation about the war ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m always a reluctant warriorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? he said that he was glad that Saddam and his regime had been removed.
Voicing concerns about the possibility of civil war, he said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œA way has to be found for the Sunnis to be brought into the political process. You cannot let . . . Iraq devolve into a mini-state in the north, a larger mini-state in the south and sort of nothing in the middle.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
Well said Colin. You now have my respect back.
I mean, not that you knew you lost it in the first place…but still…you’ve got it back.