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Chalabi Curveball Kills Powell

It is sad writing the obituary of a man who to all appearances is still alive. General Powell, Secretary of State Powell, Chairman Powell, is apparently politically dead because of a wicked “curveball”. How the curveball struck him so hard between his ears that his brains leaked out right there, in front of the UN and the whole world is a mystery to some.

Nothing said by Chalabi or his lame, tame and too easy to blame intelligence sources was believable. The man had a record of dishonest behavior as long as his reach, which hopefully may have finally exceeded his grasp. Although he still appears to be in charge of Iraq’s banking system. A job he apparently won in the same way that Haliburton won their contracts in Iraq, he earned it. At least he earned it in the eyes of the Bush Administration; some of the rest of us have doubts. The very real question is, how did he earn it? Apparently he earned it by telling Cheney and the other Chicken Hawks in this naïve Administration exactly what they wanted to hear, precisely when they wanted to hear it. But how did Powell get caught up in the little charade of lies and ignorance that permeated the run-up to this messy little war? He certainly ought to have known better after a stretch of successful bureaucratic infighting following his early military career. Was he just honoring his commitment to the Commander in Chief like a good soldier? Or had he really used up his quota of luck and finally lost the capacity to duck at the right time?

The story of Powell’s attempt to sell this war to the UN will help define the history of this war for future generations. This war has turned out to be overreach of the most unwise variety that a powerful nation can commit. It is fiscal overreach, military overreach and political overreach of the highest order seen in the last one hundred years. It rivals the hubris of Russia reaching for Afghanistan at a time when they could not even feed and house their own population. It exceeds China reaching for Tibet and the USSR trying for a cheap missile base in Cuba in the 1960’s. It is far worse in regard to the consequences of failure than Vietnam or Cambodia or any of our quiet dirty little wars in Central America. It matches, in its stupid failure to recognize real circumstances, our insane expansionism in Iran using the Shah as a replacement for democracy. It certainly excels in its brutal capacity to demonstrate the thrill of incompetence leading to the agony of disastrous results.

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Posted by Henri Reynard at June 2, 2004 3:52 PM