Prior to the Iraq fiasco, I had a lot of respect for Powell. I think a lot of people did. He seemed like a patriot and a rational man with integrity. I thought he would have trounced the field if he had run for president in 2000.
The former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2 and a half hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today’s conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.
"I tried to avoid this war," Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. "I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers."
Powell has become increasingly outspoken about the level of violence in Iraq, which he believes is in a state of civil war. "The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms," he said. "It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don’t know any way to avoid it. It is happening now."
He added: "It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States." All the military could do, Powell suggested, was put "a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew".
But when we needed him the most, he chickened out and did the wrong thing. He didn't just refrain from speaking out publicly, but went to bat for Bush at the U.N., lending his credibility to the case for war. His duty was to the country, not to George W. Bush. This isn't a freaking monarchy.