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 Post subject: Powel Resigns
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:01 pm 
oh crap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:06 pm 
they're playing musical cabinets!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:19 pm 
Hmmm...
A lot of American Bush-bashers have often said that Collin Powell was the only honest person in the administration. Pardon my ignorance, but on what was this opinion based?
And if it's accurate...Then I'll second the "oh crap".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:31 pm 
Well, I'm no Bush basher, but Mr. Powell has a great deal of respect worldwide. He was more moderate than a number of other people, but in the end, the Secretary of state answers to the president. (thus leading many to believe he'd "sold out" his own stand on issues.) To the best of my knowledge, he never has, but he still has a job to do, even when it's relaying positions not in line with his own.

Go to BBC or CNN or Fox if you want his resume, The things I find important are his prior expierience as a soldier, (an exceptional one at that), and the clout that has given him in dealing with many cultures that value fighting prowess above political cunning.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:49 pm 
Travellar wrote:
Well, I'm no Bush basher, but Mr. Powell has a great deal of respect worldwide. He was more moderate than a number of other people, but in the end, the Secretary of state answers to the president. (thus leading many to believe he'd "sold out" his own stand on issues.) To the best of my knowledge, he never has, but he still has a job to do, even when it's relaying positions not in line with his own.

Before he took a job with Bush, Powell was a stalwart member of the Washington establishment, an internationalist and advocate of the "Powell Doctrine:" no military interventions without solid international backing, deployment of overwhelming force, and a plausible exit strategy. In other words, exactly the sort of foreign policy Bush & Rumsfield despised and were determined to avoid. He also had a reputation as an honorable negotiator.

In the course of four years service, Powell has been repeatedly undermined and humiliated in the bureaucratic wars by Rumsfield's crew of Neocon activists. He has rountinely violated the diplomatic principles he learned and practiced under Reagan and Bush I.

When the administration wanted to make a case for invading Iraq to the UN, Powell was the only high official in the administration who was trusted enough by the international community to make the case. He was sent in with bogus and weak evidence and tried to make it sound like a "slam-dunk" case for intervention. That didn't win the adminstration much, but they went ahead with the invasion anyhow. Once the word got out about how much of the evidence Powell presented was either hyped or simply fraudulent, the good reputation he'd been building for twenty years was destroyed. I don't think I've seen him smile in public in the last two years.

Travellar wrote:
Go to BBC or CNN or Fox if you want his resume, The things I find important are his prior expierience as a soldier, (an exceptional one at that), and the clout that has given him in dealing with many cultures that value fighting prowess above political cunning.

Are there really any cultures like that anymore? I think it would be more accurate to say that he was respected because he was so un-military a general. In fact, the traditional complaint about the Powell Doctrine was that it was designed to take no risks; it handcuffed the state department under Bush I and Clinton because the military could always find an excuse not to take action when the diplomats thought there was a need for it. This is one of the reasons the Neocons have treated Powell so badly since 2000; he represented a type of diplomacy they considered cowardly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:01 pm 
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Berken wrote:
Travellar wrote:
Go to BBC or CNN or Fox if you want his resume, The things I find important are his prior expierience as a soldier, (an exceptional one at that), and the clout that has given him in dealing with many cultures that value fighting prowess above political cunning.

Are there really any cultures like that anymore?

... the US of A? ;)

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Living in a state free from the burdens of privacy and democracy since 2008-06-18.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:28 pm 
gnolam wrote:
Berken wrote:
Travellar wrote:
Go to BBC or CNN or Fox if you want his resume, The things I find important are his prior expierience as a soldier, (an exceptional one at that), and the clout that has given him in dealing with many cultures that value fighting prowess above political cunning.

Are there really any cultures like that anymore?

... the US of A? ;)

While we tend to get irritated with diplomacy---it never works in movies, of course, because that would make for a dull plot---the entire modern culture of diplomacy was invented in Europe by leaders trying to escape the endless devastating wars of the 16th and 17th Centuries. A good diplomat is the oil on the troubled waters of clashing cultures and goals. His primary job is resolving issues with the minimal amount of excitement. Like a lawyer, he has to cultivate a certain respect for process over outcome and hypocrisy over bluntness. These tools allow nations to back away from a crisis feeling that they've gotten something for their trouble and salvaged their pride. Hence, he gets criticised by a lot of people, right up until the moment they need his services.

The US was founded and primarily peopled by Europeans trying to get away from militaristic societies. We encountered a number of small-scale militaristic cultures while overrunning the continent and always referred to them as "savages." Right up until the Cold War, we prided ourselves on being the least militarized of the great powers of the world, less so than any country our size had ever been. That sense of pride may have disappated somewhat over the years, but the principles behind it were sound.

So, the United States, least of all countries, should not be a good example of a nation that honors military skills over peaceful skills. I certainly hope it isn't.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:11 pm 
I was actually reffering to societies in which military=leader. a number of middle eastern societies fall into that catergory, as well as pretty much any nation in which the leader tends to be called "General" or wear military uniforms to dress occasions. "Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" tends to add a bit more credibility than "Harvard grad" to the person you're negotiating with in such societies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:08 pm 
Travellar wrote:
I was actually reffering to societies in which military=leader. a number of middle eastern societies fall into that catergory, as well as pretty much any nation in which the leader tends to be called "General" or wear military uniforms to dress occasions. "Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" tends to add a bit more credibility than "Harvard grad" to the person you're negotiating with in such societies.

Oh, something like that, certainly.

8-) Of course, I always thought it was more fun sending Madeline Albright over to the Middle East. A female foreign minister to keep 'em rattled.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:18 pm 
:roll: Ye Gawds, after the pundits naively gave Bush all that advice about "healing the wounds" with a Democrat and the rest of that quaint, sensible folderol, he picks Condaleeza Rice for the job. Little Miss "I don't know," "I wasn't informed," "It wasn't my job," and "I didn't read the report."

Hell, she's the one person we know for sure who is not up to the job. The only thing she's taken responsibility for in four effing years is getting Bush a cup of coffee.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:28 pm 
<hyperbole>With Rice as Sect'y of State, we'll be lucky if we aren't a war with half of our own allies within a year.</hyperbole>

But then, that may be what Bush wants. He seems to thinnk it is his personal, ordained mission to immanentize the eschaton, for real. Word of advice, Dubya: the title for the one who does that in most branches of Christian doctrine is 'Anti-Christ'. As much as I despise you, I seriously doubt that you qualify for that job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:56 pm 
The buzz among the non-Bush pundits seems to be that the Little Messiah is getting rid of "lightning rods;" that is, people who have attracted attention during the first term and might have agendas of their own. He is in the process of replacing them with more "loyal" people. That is, personal staffers and other yes-men from his inner circle.

Newsday reports that the upper ranks of the CIA is currently being purged of anyone who might not be "loyal." I'm not fond of the wooden-headed bureaucrats at the top of that agency, and they are some of the dirtier players in the news-leak wars, but they are at least professionals. This is the last agency in the government you want to see stocked with people chosen for their personal loyalty to the boss. In this circumstance, you also have the problem that all the people who were right about Iraqi intelligence are being fired and replaced by those who will feed the president the intelligence he wants to hear, much like that little auxillary intelligence agency Rumsfield set up in the Pentagon before the Iraq invasion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:12 am 
So it's a purge, then, just with pensions and the lecture circuit instead of a bullet in the back of the head? Not good. Should we start caling them commissars now?


Regardless of whether you support him or oppose him, I think everyone will agree that the last thing Bush needs is fewer people who will tell him the truth instead of a comforting lie. The Snafu Principle will soon reap its terrible price, I think, and we'll all suffer for it.


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