The Real Colin Powell
Middle East Crisis Committee
from the Internet, January 2001
Colin Powell has climbed the political ladder not because
he is a "warrior-statesman," as the media portrays him,
but because he pleases those in power. He presents the faÁade
of a bipartisan pragmatist, but he is in fact a Reagan-Bush ideologue
who serves his masters in deadly and undemocratic ways. Powell
not only committed war crimes against the people of Panama and
Iraq, where he oversaw and covered up civilian massacres, but
he also misled Congress on the Iran-Contra affair.
Let's look at Powell's record. He came to prominence during
the Iran-Contra corruption scandal that brought the Reagan-Bush
presidency to a halt. Although he admitted to helping the CIA
move missiles to the Nicaraguan Contras--known widely for rape,
torture, murder, and drug running--Powell was chosen to head the
National Security Council, where he restricted a Senate committee
from investigating the Contra drug connection.
His mentors are Caspar Weinberger, who oversaw the largest
peace-time military build-up in American history, and Frank Carlucci,
who replaced Weinberger as Reagan's Secretary of Defense. Powell
calls Carlucci his "godfather of godfathers."
Powell's close relationship to Frank Carlucci is deeply
troubling. Carlucci is a careerist State Department "legend"
with deep ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. Carlucci, like
Reagan and Bush a dogmatic anti-communist, has been involved in
covert operations in Latin America and Africa since the 1960s;
where-ever Carlucci has been stationed, coups and counter-revolutionary
bloodbaths, wars and violations of democracy, have occurred. Carlucci
hand-picked Powell to replace him as National Security Advisor
when he moved to Defense. "Godfather" indeed.
When George Bush was elected president in 1988, he offered
Powell the directorship of the CIA. Turning down a post he was
qualified for (the most hidden and undemocratic of institutions),
Powell instead became chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and played
a key role in the December 1989 invasion of Panama. Just as he
deceived the American people during Iran-Contra, Powell lied to
the public about the bombing and brutal massacre of civilians
in the El Chorrillo residential neighborhood, which he defended
as necessary to "protect" U.S. lives and restore "democracy"
Powell's war crimes reached horrific proportions against
the people of Iraq. In 1990 the U.S. dropped 177 million pounds
of bombs on Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, including tens
of thousands of children. Newsweek reported on Sept.3, 1990: "More
than anyone, Powell is responsible for shaping the U.S. military
response in the Gulf." Powell also supports the sanctions
against Iraq, which are responsible for killing tens of thousands
of more innocent people, most of them children. Estimates from
the United Nations range up to 5,000 children dying per month.
Colin Powell is neither a warrior nor a statesman. He doesn't
fight in wars: he orders mass killing from afar. He is a deadly
front man for the corporate, military, and political masters he
serves so compliantly.
Powell's position as a major player in the new Bush administration
can only mean more misery and death for the world's people.