September 10, 2004


Pardon his French! (Lloyd Grove, 9/10/04, NY Daily News)

Did Secretary of State Colin Powell tell his British counterpart two years ago that the U.S. government's three top hawks were "f--g crazies"?

Respected Brit journalist James Naughtie reports that in private talks with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq, a deeply frustrated Powell used just those words to describe Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Powell's chief rivals in the Bush administration.

Yesterday, Powell - through a spokeswoman - predictably denied Naughtie's account, which appears in a new book, "The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency."

"This is nonsense," Powell said. "I never said anything like that to Jack, nor him to me. Anyone who says I did is wrong."

We just received the book today and it's terrific so far, basically the story of a passionate love affair between Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair. Here's a great bit:
[Blair had just returned from the meeting in the Azores and] was preparing his address to the nation announcing that Britain was at war with Iraq. Sitting in his office, pad on his knee, he wondered how he should begin. Alastair Campbell, who played a courtier's role to Blair like Karl Rove's to Bush, had a suggestion and a joke. How about: "My fellow Americans..."


Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2004 7:27 PM

I'll assume for sake of argument that Powell made the statement. Isn't that what the 'good cop' is supposed to do in a 'good cop/bad cop' strategy?

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 10, 2004 8:38 PM

Powell like many of the career apparat doesn't know if his loyalties lie to the US or to Big Oil and its Arab co-conspirators.

Posted by: Bart at September 11, 2004 7:35 AM

And how many years did you serve in the US military?

Quit with the petty insults already.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at September 11, 2004 10:02 AM

Powell was the jackass who pushed for us not to topple Saddam during Gulf War I, which has made our job in the Shia regions immeasurably more difficult today.

Powell is the guy whose State Department whines anytime a Jew in Israel defends himself from Muslim terror.

Powell is the guy who got his money from his wife's family's affirmative action based TV license, and soda distrbutorship.

Powell should have long since hit the bricks.

Posted by: Bart at September 11, 2004 11:17 AM

He was a military bureaucrat then--they never want to fight.

Posted by: oj at September 11, 2004 11:29 AM

Powell was hardly the only person not to push for toppling Saddam after GW1.

Questioning his loyalty to his country is low.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at September 11, 2004 11:49 AM

Some people seem to forget that the coalition in '91 included a lot of Arab nations, and that the US had indicated that the coalition would not depose Saddam.

If the goal of the US was to bring down Saddam, we should have put together a coalition in '91 that would have made it possible.
Also, recall that we were concerned that if Saddam thought that he, personally, was in danger while we kicked his forces out of Kuwait, he would have used WMD on American troops.

In any case, Saddam was still in power not due to any failing of Desert Storm, but due to the subsequent and disgusting failure of America to support the Shia'a uprising afterwards.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 11, 2004 2:39 PM