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Life Experience

A flawed leader of a flawed country, Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State, died 18 October 2021

Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State, died 18 October 2021, age 84.

Giving false evidence to the UN

On 5 February 2003 Colin Powell was the man who sold the “evidence” of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to the gullible statesmen and politicians in the UN. Their response gave the go-ahead to the Iraq war and the destruction of Iraq, a shameful, murderous act which created hostility, distrust and hatred of western powers. The people of Iraq are still paying a terrible price and so are we.

What he knew

At the time he would have known that the case he was advancing was absolutely valueless.

He would have known

  • that weapons inspectors had exhaustively searched Iraq and had destroyed numerous weapons and weapons facilities and believed their job was complete.
  • that “the inspectors” was not just a few dozen men and women but 276 teams of inspectors with 3,845 operatives at work for eight years
  • that you can’t find more hidden weapons by bombing a country
  • that withdrawing inspectors was counter-productive to the declared aim
  • that if weapons of mass destruction did exist they could not, at the same time, be both invisible and unfindable AND be known to be ready to attack the west at a moment’s notice
  • that if weapons of mass destruction did exist then that is not a sufficient reason to bomb a country – think of the countries known to possess nuclear weapons. Should they all be bombed?

The world was not deceived

Tens of millions of people around the world saw that the proposed bombing was an outrage against reason and humanity and took part in the world’s biggest ever anti-war demonstrations.

The supreme arrogance and dishonesty of the US

The US tells us frequently of its democratic values. Was it the democratic wish of the Iraqi people

  • that thousands of their people should be killed,
  • that most government administrative buildings should be destroyed, making the running of the country impossible in the short term
  • that their country should be occupied by US forces,
  • that Iraq’s oil industry should be taken over,
  • that over 200 Iraqi state run businesses should be privatised, available to foreign buyers
  • that over 11,000 Iraqi opponents of the occupation should be arrested – all in defiance of international law?

Earlier misdeeds

In his autobiography Colin Powell tells how, as a soldier in Vietnam, he torched Vietnamese villages setting the straw huts ablaze with his own Zippo lighter.

This was not an honourable man

That Powell played a key part in all this is not to his credit. We cannot honour such a man. Let’s not pretend the evil he has supported and facilitated has all been good for humanity.

The destruction of Iraq. British politicians, encouraged by Tony Blair, voted for this

David Roberts, 19 October 2021

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David Roberts

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Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

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