November 20, 2004


Powell 'pushed out' by Bush for seeking to rein in Israel (Charles Laurence in New York and Philip Sherwell, 21/11/2004, Daily Telegraph)

Colin Powell, the outgoing US secretary of state, was given his marching orders after telling President George W Bush that he wanted greater power to confront Israel over the stalled Middle East peace process.

Although Mr Powell's departure was announced on November 15, his letter of resignation was dated November 11, the day he had a meeting with Mr Bush.

Colin Powell
Colin Powell: the president's 'good cop'

According to White House officials, at the meeting Mr Powell was not asked to stay on and gave no hints that he would do so. Briefing reporters later, he referred to "fulsome discussions" - diplomatic code for disagreements.

"The clincher came over the Mid-East peace process," said a recently-retired state department official.

"Powell thought he could use the credit he had banked as the president's 'good cop' in foreign policy to rein in Ariel Sharon [Israel's prime minister] and get the peace process going. He was wrong."

Maybe Mr. Powell should have been the one reading Natan Sharansky.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2004 8:15 PM

Powell always did what his paymasters, the Saudis, told him. He was little more than an errand boy who looked good in a uniform.

If there is a G-d in heaven, maybe the next time we see General Disaster he'll be parking cars at 21 Club or walking around the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria shouting 'Call for Philip Morris!'

Posted by: Bart at November 20, 2004 8:26 PM


No, no, no--Bush and Cheney are employed by the Saudis, why would thety fire a fellow Saudi tool for being anti-Israel? Your conspiracies are coming unravelled.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2004 8:39 PM

I have never claimed that Bush or Cheney were employed by the Saudis. I have certainly said that Old Bush, of Carlyle Group-fame, is. And that W is a loyal family member so he does what the Saudis want from time to time in order to keep his slimy father rolling in cabbage. Thus, the decision to let the Bin Ladens leave the country when we couldn't fly, and our failure to capture Osama and give him the Pugachev treatment. Inviting that desert bandit, Abdullah, to his ranch was disgusting. And if he says 'Islam is a religion of peace' once more I'll barf my guts out.

Powell was another Saudi stooge and Armitage was worse. Now, the highest ranking Saudi buttboy in the GOP is Hagel and the highest ranking one at State is Burns. This is a big improvement.

The Saudis were the big losers on 11/2.

Posted by: Bart at November 20, 2004 8:47 PM

Where does Area 51 come into play?

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2004 9:12 PM


That is unworthy of you. Mulder and Scully aren't needed here, as this is simple small-time boodling. The Saudis throw a lot of money around and Old Bush, a Jew-hater from Greenwich, CT(where 'Gentlemen's Agreement' was set), Baker(who would dance a hora if Israel had the oil), Scowcroft, Weinberger(the very model of the 'self-hating Jew'), Armitage, Powell, and countless other lesser lights were willing to get paid off.

Posted by: Bart at November 20, 2004 9:51 PM


Unworthy? What's unworthy when someone's raving about the President being bought by the Saudis? You sound as foolish as an Arab channel claiming he's doing the bidding of Jews. The aliens have to tie in somehow...

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2004 11:40 PM

Well, now I've finally made up my mind. All alng we have been told that Powell was playing the Good Cop to Rumsfeld's Bad Cop.

WRONG! He wasn't playing---he was flat-out taking the anti position. The first thing he wanted to do after the Iraq/Arafat dust had settled was to stab our friend/ally in the back.

Seems like Powell truly was an "Affirmative Action" General, CJCOS, and Sec of State.

Posted by: ray at November 21, 2004 12:52 AM

Could we stop with the AA jibes?

It's possible to think Powell was wrong about the big issues without slandering a man who served his country for four decades.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at November 21, 2004 4:16 AM

Agree with Ali.

Posted by: Moe from NC at November 21, 2004 7:32 AM

Powell was obviously a good choice after the 2000 election.

Am I wrong in saying his only failure was getting Turkey onside before the Iraq war? He was successful in Sudan, Liberia, you name it.

Reforming State in Bush's first term was never going to happen. And neither was Israel going to happen until Arafat died. So now Powell is replaced with someone more direct.

It makes a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: Randall Voth at November 21, 2004 9:40 AM


No, Turkey wasn't a failure, our interests just diverged. His failure was in thinking he could get a war resolution through the UN.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2004 10:16 AM

I thought the UN resolution was for Blair's benefit.

Posted by: Randall Voth at November 21, 2004 10:31 AM


Yes, but he knew it wouldn't pass and didn't care about it--just needed to seek it for his own purposes within the Labour Party. Powell thought he could get it.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2004 10:42 AM

oj - Going to the UN had political benefits for both Blair and Bush, and staying at the UN for six months gave Russia time to persuade the Iraqis to move all the WMD to Syria, thereby greatly reducing US casualties and ensuring the President's re-election. Neither of those were mistakes.

The Turkey situation is murkey, but it's not implausible that Turkey could have been brought on board by trading veto power over creation of a Kurdish state for participation. There've been rumors our anti-Iraq-war diplomats took charge of the Turkey relation and sabotaged the recruitment effort there.

Posted by: pj at November 21, 2004 12:39 PM


We weren't about to trade Kurdish statehood and the President just gave Blair the UN effort because he said he needed it. Even then, the President told him that if the war was going to topple him we'd do it alone.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2004 2:49 PM

Powell was just reflecting the State consensus on Israel.

That's why a Bush loyalist (Dr. Rice) had to be dispatched to clean the mess up. Paul Wolfowitz surely wanted the job, but he wasn't quite the right person. Rice is.

Posted by: kevin whited at November 21, 2004 5:16 PM