January 3, 2005


Powell proud of his achievements (ROBERT NOVAK, January 3, 2005, Chicago SUN-TIMES)

What most irritates Colin Powell in his final days as secretary of state is the notion he is leaving government involuntarily as a defeated policymaker. In fact, he is upbeat in his belief that he won out on issue after issue over his adversaries in the Bush administration. Powell's concern appears to be lack of certainty that anybody will play his role as reluctant warrior in George W. Bush's second term.

That role by this professional soldier was to point out to his civilian colleagues the limits of military power in the 21st century even when exercised by the world's only superpower. Powell clearly is not confident that his successor, Condoleezza Rice, will follow in his footsteps. It is not easy to grapple with two grizzled veterans of the bureaucratic wars: Don Rumsfeld, who will be around for a while, and Dick Cheney, who will be around all four years.

Powell was reluctant to commit U.S. forces to combat because he knows how terrible war is. That, indeed, is his legacy. Opposing those around the Cabinet table who wanted a totally unilateral strike on Iraq, Powell convinced President Bush he should go to the United Nations. He was successful in achieving non-military approaches to North Korea, Iran and Syria.

Add the failure to finish Saddam in '91 and he's 0-5.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 3, 2005 1:27 PM

Is Powell more competent than this hood?

Posted by: h-man at January 3, 2005 3:51 PM

He carefulled his way to the top.

Posted by: JimGooding at January 3, 2005 4:11 PM