Sunday, April 06, 2003

Colin Powell Rocks!

On April 3, 2003 Colin Powell was interviewed for German TV. The State Department has posted a transcript of the interview on their website.

This is a phenomenal interview. In no small part because of the smackdown that SoS Powell serves to the interviewer. I pulled out a couple of key sections below but you should read it all.

Question “But Germany and others clearly want to have the U.N. in the driver’s seat, in control, in the leading the role. This is not what you intend, or is it?”
Secretary Powell “But as I said, and I’ve said this several times, the coalition that went in, that was willing to put at risk its young men and women, and lost lives, paid a great amount of money to conduct this campaign and also paid a political price for this campaign as well. We are committed to making sure that that sacrifice and that investment is not lost. We believe we have to play a very significant, perhaps a leading role, in order to make sure what replaces this corrupt, rotten regime is a democratic system that is responsive to the needs of its people and will reflect all of the people of Iraq, and will use the treasure of Iraq, its oil, to invest in the people and not invest in weapons of mass destruction.

I love this. I love that he is clearly stating that those who take the risks are responsible for the outcome. I think that this says something about the American way. We are a nation of risk takers and we are taught from an early age that it is greater thing to take a risk for potential rewards than to be too afraid to risk anything. I think that this is contrary to the European thought process it is a continent that is risk averse. We are the descendents of the people who took the big chance and came to the ‘new world’ they are the descendents of those who figured that they could cope with tyranny. Every once and a while we seem to be responsible for pulling out the cousins that we left behind out from under the dictator of the day. Why Germany does not see the historical similairities amazes me.

In response to Powells statement above Question “I hear what you are saying. What many people in Europe will hear, through your words, is this is how the new partition of labor will be: America is looking for its Allies, is going its course with or without Allies, any number that’s available, and be it zero. And then the U.N.’s role is to go in as a good Samaritan and clean up the mess. That’s all they can do. America is already looking at its next destination.”
(This is the point that Powell opens a can of whupass)
Secretary Powell “That’s absurd. It’s an absurd, simplistic, shorthand response to what people think we’re doing. In fact, we went to the U.N. in the first place with respect to this problem. It was a problem that belonged to the U.N. for twelve years -- this terrible regime that tortures its people, that developed weapons of mass destruction, that used them against its own people and then invaded its neighbors on two occasions. And we finally said to the United Nations, “If you would be relevant, if the international community would be relevant, we must deal with this.”

Powell continues along the same line – read it all – it is nice to know that the German public was exposed to an angry ex-soldier defending his nation. The whole thing is brilliant! Powell brings up the fact that we have helped many nations in the past and that none of them are now a colony – it is wonderful.


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