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  • azalphainvestor azalphainvestor Nov 22, 2004 6:08 AM Flag

    Colin and the Crazies

    Colin and the crazies

    The culling of the US secretary of state is symptomatic of a swing even further to the right
    Sidney Blumenthal
    Thursday November 18, 2004

    The Guardian
    Colin Powell's final scene was a poignant but harsh exposure of his self-delusion and humiliation. The former general held in his head an idea of himself as sacrificing and disciplined. But the good soldier was dismissed at last by his commander-in-chief as a bad egg. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld regarded him either as a useful tool or a vain obstructionist. They deployed his reputation as the most popular man and the most credible face in the US for their own ends, and when he contributed an independent view he was isolated and undermined.

    As secretary of state has been a peripheral figure, even a fig leaf, ever since his climactic moment before the UN security council on which he staked his credibility. There he presented the case that WMD in Iraq required war, a case consisting of 26 falsehoods, and about which he later claimed to have been "deceived". When the statue of Saddam was toppled, he offered President Bush 17 volumes of his Future of Iraq project, but it was rejected. Predicting everything from the looting to the insurgency, and suggesting how it might be avoided, the project was politically incorrect.

    Powell had wanted to stay on for the first six months of Bush's second term to help shepherd a new Middle East peace process, but the president insisted on his resignation. Condoleezza Rice was named in his place. She had failed at every important task as national security adviser, pointedly neglecting terrorism before September 11, enthusiastically parroting the false claim that Saddam had a nuclear weapons programme, while suppressing contrary intelligence, mismanaging her part of postwar policy so completely that she had to cede it to a deputy, and eviscerating the Middle East road map.

    As incompetent as she was at her actual job, she was agile at bureaucratic positioning. Early on, she figured out how to align with the neo-conservatives and to damage Powell. Her usurpation is a lesson to him in blind ambition and loyalty.

    Powell's sacking and Rice's promotion are more than examples of behaviour punished and rewarded. His fall and her rise signal the purge of the CIA and the state department, a neocon night of the long knives. Bush's attitude is that of the intimidating loyalty enforcer that he was in his father's political campaigns.

    A system of bureaucratic fear and one-party allegiance is being created in this strange soviet Washington. Only loyalists are rewarded. Rice stands as the model. One can never be too loyal. And the loyalists compete to outdo each other. Dissonant information is seen as motivated to injure the president, disloyalty bordering on treason. Success is defined as support for the political line; failure perceived as departure from the line. An atmosphere of personal vendetta and an incentive system for suppressing realities prevails. This is not an administration; it does not administer - it is a regime.

    � Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is Washington bureau chief of

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    • IF..canu is ever on the under side of one of those the firestone tire/ford thing.....he might have a diff view of lawyers...(i'm not presuming to think for him...just that he would surely rationalize it imho)

      >> so would i....but fortunately...haven't had such a problem/ a couple lwyr buddies in jax who chase those things...and..i don't know..guess it's helpfull...if your tire blows out or your pinto gas tank explodes...or they cut your heart out when you need to have you leg amputated....:-)

      >>and those 2 bros are very wealthy...and democrats...hummmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Then why pray tell, are you btichin. Do I dare ask in all political incorrectness if it is that time of month.


    • Cant hardly belive the man that knows everything is calling me out. EVen thoguh it TGivnig, Canudle, FU.


    • YUM YUM YUM..............

    • Much better.

      Must be Thanksgiving.

      >at least the french like him!!!

      I doubt this very much. The French don't like Bush and didn't like the rush to war. MM confirmed their opinion. Okay, maybe the "Ridicule" angle. Very French.

      Happy Thanksgiving, all.

      I have just made a Banana Cake [Silver Palate Cookbook] to take to a party. Must ice it with cream cheese icing.

    • oop....i can't comment...hasn't been on TV yet...(thh)

    • i'll give ya MM is.. was... and has been very creative....and can be admired for his ability/talent..whatever you wanna call have achieved the degree of success he has....(hate using the word successful..cause i'm so sure he is/was)

      >> what i don't like about him..and never that he has done it at the expense of some others....i think he coulda still done it..achieved a lot (success) if done differently..diff approach-- maybe not!!....

      kinda like the smart bank robber who coulda been head of KO if he hadn't had a criminal mind)

      at least the french like him!!!

    • I can see you're not a careful reader. When you brought this up the first time, I MENTIONED ERIC HOFFER. I once was a reading group leader in a church adult ed course on The True Believer. So go jump.

      I suggest you start there.

    • Alpha, this a quite the pat on the back you give yourself, but I don't see it earned...

      >>>Sometimes, Angel, people don't go some places, because perhaps it is better not to go there. Now I generally like to leave such situations to the individuals. I don't like censorship. I prefer criticism and debate. So I criticize and debate. <<<

      First you ridicule the presenter, then you editorialize with your own opinions annointed as 'facts'. You have too much of the self importance of a lawyer.

    • A true believer, angel, is one who basicly see things as black or white. Some are gifted, but not all. And they exist on the left and the right. They seldom see nuance.

      As mentioned previosly Eric Hoffer, longshoreman turned social philosopher, wrote a book by the title True Believer. Now he may not have been the first, but he certainly was at least seminal. So if you are interested, I would start there.

      Sometimes, Angel, people don't go some places, because perhaps it is better not to go there. Now I generally like to leave such situations to the individuals. I don't like censorship. I prefer criticism and debate. So I criticize and debate.

      I thought Gibson's Passion of the Christ was brutal. I found it full of gratuitous violence. I did not expect such violence. Perhaps in a B movie, ugly war movie, blood thirsty vampire movie or s&m delight. Not in a religious film. Others liked it in the sense they believie it was more realistic. Which brings up an entirely different debate.

      So decide for yourself which is what I imagine you were going to do no matter what I said.



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