Time for Colin Powell to step down

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. Colin Powell has completed nearly three years of disasters at the State Department. I'm not sure his president can afford another year of screwups from the out of control bureacracy at Foggy Bottom. The open warfare between State and Defense has been startling for an administration where everyone was supposed to be on the same page. Clearly Powell values his reputation with the liberal press more than the President's policies.

    Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has enough on his plate without having to fight a rearguard action against Powell. The State Department desperately needs a shakeup and reorganization. A new secretary could hack away the deadwood and put State back on the President's team.
  2. This is for the President to decide. It may very well be in the President's interest to have a hawkish defense department and a dovish State - allows the administration to offer carrot and stick, simultaneously if need be, as circumstances warrant. Anyone who has been in a leadership position recognizes this.

    And besides, Powell is a political asset that shouldn't be underestimated. My nickel says he will be America's first black President - perhaps Bush's designated successor.
  3. msfe


    Diplomacy in Washington now runs on military time.

    The swank cocktail party celebrating the fall of Baghdad was the hot ticket on Embassy Row.

    The host was the Bush administration's vicar of foreign policy. The guests on Saturday, April 12, included Tony Brenton, acting head of the British Embassy, and dozens of ambassadors from the smaller countries that fashioned the fig leaf known as the coalition of the willing.

    The ambassador of Eritrea was welcomed to the house on Kalorama Road, even as the French ambassador, who lives directly across the street in a grand chateau, was snubbed. The German ambassador is kaput, but the ambassador of the Netherlands mingled with Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. Peter Pace of the Joint Chiefs. The winners were gaily lording it over the losers, sneering at the French.

    Conspicuously absent was the nation's top diplomat. Asked if Colin Powell was invited, a State Department official replied, "No. People here didn't know about the party."

    The host was Rummy, top gun of a muscle-bound foreign policy summed up by the comic Jon Stewart as, "You want a piece of this?"

    Washington has a history of nasty rivalries, with competing camps. There were Aaron Burr people and Alexander Hamilton people; Lincoln people and McClellan people; Bobby people and Lyndon people.

    Now, since Newt Gingrich aimed the MOAB of screeds at an already circumscribed Mr. Powell, the capital has been convulsed by the face-off between Defense and State.

    There are Rummy people: Mr. Cheney, Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Feith, Bill Kristol, William Safire, Ariel Sharon, Fox News, National Review, The Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the fedayeen of the Defense Policy Board — Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Mr. Gingrich, Ken Adelman — and the fifth column at State, John Bolton and Liz Cheney.

    And there are Powell people: Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, Bush 41, Ken Duberstein, Richard Armitage, Richard Haass, the Foreign Service, Joe Biden, Bob Woodward, the wet media elite, the planet.

    The dueling secretaries made a show of having lunch Wednesday at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Mr. Armitage said Newt was "off his meds and out of therapy"; Mr. Baker called Mr. Gingrich "someone with no foreign policy or national security experience . . . who was in effect forced to resign" as House speaker; a Powell aide said it was "inconceivable that Newt could have made this extraordinary attack on his own" without running it past Rummy; and a Powell friend said the hard-liners had tormented the frustrated diplomat and made his life "hellish."

    Newt, amateur historian, is part of Rummy's brain trust. The defense chief regularly forwards blathering Gingrich e-mail about military strategy to irritated Pentagon officials.

    This clash is epochal because it's beyond ego. It's about whether America will lead by fear, aggression and force of arms or by diplomacy, moderation and example.

    Rummy may merely be a front man for Dick Cheney, who tangled with Mr. Powell for being too cautious in the first Persian Gulf war, and scorned Mr. Powell's strategy of going to the U.N. before the second.

    Karl Rove scolded Mr. Gingrich for overreaching; W. still dislikes Newt for leading the revolt against Poppy for breaking his tax pledge.

    But the president has not spoken up for Mr. Powell, allowing his credibility to be undermined as he heads off to the Middle East to build the peace. And Mr. Bush has never reined in Rummy's rabid fedayeen.

    W.'s gut leans toward the macho Cheney-Rummy idea that America is not bound by history, that the U.S. can help Israel and reshape the Arab world and the rest of the world and not care who is run over, or worry about what will happen if we don't get cooperation on terrorism, proliferation, AIDS, trading, or if people everywhere get up in the morning thinking about how to get back at us.

    Nerviness, absolutism and smiting enemies are seductive. Nuance and ambivalence aren't.

    The day before Rummy's party, senators were shown an organizational chart for remaking Iraq. Just below Jay Garner, who reports to Tommy Franks, was a line to Larry DiRita, who is a special assistant to the defense chief. Even the time on the chart was "1700," for 5 p.m.

    Diplomacy in Washington now runs on military time.
  4. nice article msfe, who's the author?
  5. Colin Powell is a tremendous asset to this administration, as well as one of the all-time great Americans.

    He has done an outstanding job in public service, and you should be extrmemely grateful that he is our Sec. of state.
  6. msfe


    He's Out With the In Crowd

    By MAUREEN DOWD - NY Times
  7. Figures. Go back in time and read Dowd's past stuff you can see for yourself she is almost always 100% wrong on whatever she writes. Keep up the good work msfe you're batting about the same percentage.
  8. I'm not attacking Colin Powell's service to this country. But he has a pretty long track record of being on the wrong side of important decisions. My main concern is State's continued efforts to push Defense aside in Iraq, plus the disastrous record of State in homeland security. Has anyone forgotten the infamous Saudi express visa fiasco.

    Mo Dowd is bitterly partisan and no friend of this administration. But her article is pretty accurate in defining the conflict here. When we are in this type of delicate foreign situation with more on the table in N. Korea, I don't think we can afford to have an important department singing off key.
  9. homeland security has improved by leaps and bounds since 9/11.

    I live in a big city, and it's obvious.

    If you respect his service to the country, just give him the benefit of the doubt that he's another important piece to this puzzle.

    A puzzle that's been working great recently.
  10. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    I agree, and it's nice to have at least one respected piece of the puzzle not feel compelled to automatically, unquestioningly walk in lock-step with the rest.
    #10     Apr 28, 2003