Sunday, June 10, 2007

Powell on Meet the Press

When I saw Colin Powell was appearing on Meet the Press I figured he'd rip into the Bush administration with everything he had. Well, he didn't.

The only serious criticism he gave of administration policy was the Guantanamo prison facility, which Powell would rather close and put the prisoners into the normal civilian criminal justice system. Also, he suggested that the administration should talk to baddies such as Iran and Syria just as a matter of good faith, to establish dialog, not necessarily in relation to any particular crisis.

Otherwise, he must have infuriated the Left with his first-principles defense of the Iraq invasion. He refuted the idea that administration officials had lied, merely that they were wrong about the WMD case. He did allude to his preference for a much bigger invasion force, but that was well known before this interview. He also made one very obvious observation that the military component of the "surge" is, by itself, insufficient to bring about a satisfactory result. He didn't explicitly say that the troop surge was a bad idea.

I somehow doubt that all of this will be reported very heavily. Rather, the media would rather report that Powell has meet with Obama, and that Powell has not committed unconditional support of the GOP candidate. I think that puts Powell in shared company with the majority of Americans, and is thus not a major story. The major story is that he's sticking by his judgement about the Iraq invasion based on what he knew at the time. If only the American people would understand that we don't possess a time machine, and that D's and R's made decisions based on what we knew, or thought we knew, at the time. The "Bush lied" crowd is feeding off the cognitive dissonance of those trying to reconcile their earlier support for the war with their current dissatisfaction. Powell has utterly rejected that notion, and that is precisely why the media won't report it.


lunkhead said...

I run hot and cold on Colin Powell. I am glad to see that he is willing to stand by the initial decision to invade and overthrow Iraq based on the information at the time. However, you are right. The national media will give this zero play.

Sockless Joe said...

I checked Google News on this story earlier today, and out of about 80 hits probably 78 of them were about Gitmo.

Amazing how Powell is a prophet on some topics but ignored on others.

Anonymous said...

i like powell. i like him a lot. personally, i think what he does should be reported more often, regardless of whether or not it agrees with the version of the news that the media is trying to present. with that said, the "bush lied" issue isn't merely the absence of WMD's, but also the ever-shifting justifications as to why we went to war (most people seem to neglect that WMD's were the second or third reason the public was handed). it's difficult to put much credence in a group which seems to feel you have the memory of a goldfish.


Anonymous said...

and i think i shouldn't be lumped with the 'cognitive dissonance' group, since i've been definitively against the war from the outset. and not on a "war is wrong! wah! wah!" level.

~MJA. again.

Sockless Joe said...

I certainly acknowledge there were people who opposed the war from the get-go who didn't fall into the dirty hippie camp. Kudos to those 4% of the people, your position is looking pretty good right now.

But the rest of the folks who supported it at the beginning but changed their minds later (um, H. Clinton, J. Edwards I'm looking at you) are claiming they were hoodwinked. To say otherwise would be to accept some blame for themselves. Powell is rejecting the idea that the Bush admin just fabricated the WMD case in order to (in the immortal words of Black Sabbath) "[make] war just for fun".

And to the media point, they missed this entirely, focusing on mostly well-known disagreements with Bush et al.

I'm glad somebody else remembers that WMD was a secondary/tertiary justification for the war. Most of the "mission creep" complaints come from those who forget those other reasons and seem to remember only the WMD case.

"it's difficult to put much credence in a group which seems to feel you have the memory of a goldfish." --> At least I know you aren't holding the Democrats in any higher esteem :-)

Anonymous said...

Yup - I'm tired of both sides. I'm tired of the Democrats yelling "gotcha gotcha gotcha! we were lied to!" when they agreed to a completely different reasoning for going to war. So we're being fed shovelfuls of crap - so what? It had zero impact whatsoever on the dems and repubs agreeing to war, it just makes for convenient after-the-fact denunciation. if we find strong evidence that the Al-Q link was fabricated and that someone photoshopped Saddam and Osama shaking hands while terror cell members wave their hands from bunkers in the background, then the dirty hippies and regretful conservatives might be somewhat justified in their back-pedaling.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, also MJA above. I'm just way too lazy to log into the SnoodWarrior account.