That ‘unrepentant’ Colin Powell

You may recall that recently, I made the argument that William Ayers should not have been paid to come to a public university in South Carolina, that in fact he should be considered persona non grata in our fair state.

The crux of my argument was the fact that Ayers, by his own account, is an unrepentant terrorist.

So you can imagine my great sense of irony when someone on the anti-war left objected to Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama on the grounds that the general himself is "unrepentant:"

As CNN reported yesterday, Powell remains totally unrepentant both about his own critical role pushing us to war. For instance, he claims to have tried to stop the war, five years after giving the single most important (and discredited) speech in building the public case for war. He now claims he wants to see the war end, but it’s difficult to trust the integrity of a man who denies even the most basic facts of his public involvement in creating the crisis in the first place. That Obama now seems to reflexively trust Powell suggests not foreign policy prudence from the Democratic nominee, but knee-jerk ignorance — and worse, a potential to abdicate the very antiwar themes he’s run on for so long.

So what do you make of that?

While the two groups by no means correspond precisely, I imagine that there is a significant overlap between people who are untroubled by Ayers being unrepentant for plotting to bomb the Pentagon and those who ARE troubled that Gen. Powell is "unrepentant" about his role in the run-up to Iraq. In fact, some of our friends here on the blog may reside in that overlap.

But perhaps I’m wrong about that. I hope I am.

Speaking of which, I thought the general did a good job in his endorsement of Sen. Obama. It was better reasoned than the Tribune‘s.

41 thoughts on “That ‘unrepentant’ Colin Powell

  1. Lee Muller

    Powell knows that we were justified in taking out the 2 hijacker training camps in Iraq, capturing the 650,000 tons of poison gas, nerve toxins and biological weapons, and in stopping Saddam Hussein’s financing of suicide bombers all over the world.
    Plus, we got Libya to hand over all their nuclear weapons, which the UN and Joe Wilson did not even know existed.
    Powell has been meeting with Obama for months. He has been promised a cabinet appointment.
    John McCain has the endorsement of almost 400 retired admirals and generals. The military fears a Muslim-financed president.

  2. Lee Muller

    REAL ISSUE: Obama is a racist.
    His mother was tramp, who shacked up with a string of men, all non-white. You can see how she became a racist when you read Obama talk about her father.
    Obama’s mother remarried an Indonesian Muslim, and sent Barack to fundamentalist Muslim schools, which taught that Jews and Christians were evil.
    His grandfather was a white liberal racist, who saw his own racism as inherent, and saw it in every action of whites, however reasonable and colorblind, through is own racist prism. He inculcated into Obama the notion that white people were inherently racist.
    Fatherless Barack looked to a friend of his grandfather as a mentor – Frank Marshal Davis, a card-carrying Communist, who hated whites, Jews and capitalism.
    Obama fed himself the radical writings of Malcolm X and others.
    At Columbia University, Obama roomed off campus with a Pakistani smuggler. His mentor at Columbia was professor Khalidi, a member of the PLO.
    In Chicago, Obama hooked up with the Nation of Islam as a community organizer for ACORN. His mentor became Khalid Monsour, the middleman between Saudi money Black Muslims. That is also where Obama met Bill Ayers and his communist circle.
    Khalid Monsour got Percy Sutton, the lawyer for Malcolm X. Sutton pulled strings to get Barack into Harvard Law School. Khalid got the money to pay for it from Prince Alween of Saudi Arabia.
    After law school, Obama struggled to make a living until being hired by the Daley machine. Abner Mikva, a socialist Democrat, reconnected him with Farakan’s real estate projects and Tony Rezko.
    Barack and his radical, racist wife, Michelle, joined the personality church of Jeremiah Wright, a former Black Muslim not teaching his own mix of Islam, New Testament Gospel, and his hatred of whites and Jews.
    Obama’s advisors include Bill Ayers, Michael Klonsky (another Weatherman), bomber Bernadine Dorn, Harold Ickes (Stalinist upbringing), Leon Panetta (Castro Brigades), Laura Tyson (Romanian communism), etc ad nauseum.

  3. bud

    Powell is a fine man who made a grevious mistake endorsing Bush’s disasterous war. Though it concerns me greatly I do think Powell now understands the error in his ways and I welcome his endorsement of Obama.
    As for Ayers, of course he should be allowed to speak at USC. That would be true even he had been convicted of the crimes he allegedly committed. A university should allow practically anyone to speak. (I might draw the line at Charles Manson). I would even say that G. Gordan Liddy, a convicted felon and treasonous individual if ever there was one, should also be allowed to speak at USC.

  4. Brad Warthen

    What with all the budget cuts to higher ed, I’d make sure that any money I had to spend at a public college, whatever the source (and most of their funding now does NOT come directly from the state) on programs that would clearly and unequivocally educate and elevate rather than indoctrinate or titillate.
    I wouldn’t pay Ayers OR Liddy.

  5. Brad Warthen

    Put another way, I’d save my money for speakers like Colin Powell.

    And bud, as the source cited above indicated, Gen. Powell does NOT believe he "made a grevious mistake" with regard to Iraq. Nor should he. From his CNN interview:

       Reporter: Mr. Secretary, there were a number of chinks in your own armor, actually, because of the lead-up to the Iraq war
    and the events. How much did that play into your decision about this?
    And will it be taken perhaps by some, because of your previous
    high-profile position, won’t it be taken by some as a repudiation of
    the Iraq war?

    Powell: I don’t know why. The Iraq war is
    the Iraq war. We now see that things are a lot better in Iraq. Maybe if
    we had put a surge in at the beginning, it would have been a lot better
    years ago, but it’s a lot better now, and we can see ahead to where
    U.S. forces will start to come out. And so, my concern was not my past
    or what happened in Iraq, but where we’re going in the future. My sole
    concern was where are we going after January 20 of 2009, not what
    happened in 2003.

    I’m well aware of the role I played. My role
    has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The
    president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it
    through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported
    that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I
    didn’t support a decision to go to war.

    And the war looked
    great until the 9th of April, when the statue fell, everybody thought
    it was terrific. And it was terrific. The troops had done a great job.
    But then we failed to understand that the war really was not over, that
    a new phase of the war was beginning. And we weren’t ready for it and
    we didn’t respond to it well enough, and things went very, very —
    very, very south, very bad.

    And now it’s starting to turn around
    through the work of Gen. Petraeus and the troops, through the work of
    the Iraqi government, through our diplomatic efforts, and I hope now
    that this war will be brought to an end, at least as far as American
    involvement is concerned, and the Iraqis are going to have to be
    responsible for their own security and for their own political future.

    So you see that ironically, the general’s views on Iraq correspond much more closely with John McCain’s than with yours or Barack Obama’s. Obviously, he endorsed Obama on other grounds.

  6. Lee Muller

    How is Bill Ayers any different from Charles Manson or Timothy McVeigh?
    Gordon Liddy was operating out of patriotism, and conducted an illegal search.\
    Bill Ayers operated out of hate for America.
    Gordon Liddy conducted two illegal searches to obtain evidence of crimes by Democrats (which he found), and to learn who was assisting Daniel Ellsberg in his theft of classified military documents.
    Bill Ayers murdered innocent people.
    Liddy went to jail for his illegal search.
    Bill Ayers got a job at a liberal college.
    Other violent terrorists associated with Ayers were pardoned by Bill Clinton.

  7. Cassandra

    When will the people of South Carolina get a reality check? If voting for someone of the same race makes you a racist, then I must be a racist. I am white and have voted for a white male in every election. Maybe I just hate women?
    As much as you would love to hate Colin Powell, you have to respect him. Just because he does not agree to support John McCain does not mean he’s stupid or racist. This man has lead our troops into combat. Our troops (White, Black, Jewish, Muslim,Hispanic, Latino, Native-American, etc.) This is what our American troops are made of and some of you tend to forget that. This is our country and as we white people like to say, “Put them all on a ship and send them back to their countries.” But we tend to forget, we also would be put on a ship and sent back to our country. Unless you are native American, then you don’t belong. This was their America first!!! Will we ever get past this racial problem? Can we see something other than skin color? Oh Yea, William Ayers is white. Do we as the white race want to claim him or do we make up some religion and say his mother was mixed.
    I certainly hope Mr. Lee Muller isn’t a South Carolina native. I respect his right to have an opinion, but I certainly don’t want to claim him. ( Too much hate)

  8. Lee Muller

    I don’t hate, but I know my enemies.
    I don’t like the racism of the Obama campaign, its attack on whites and Jews as somehow being exploiters who don’t deserve to keep their wealth.
    Yes, I am a native of SC. The family has been here since Colonial times, and the rest of them in Virginia since 1621. Excuse me if I forget my manners when defending my country and my state against traitors.

  9. Lee Muller

    It’s not that many Americans don’t consider Obama one of them; it’s that Obama doesn’t consider himself an American.
    Obama and his core supporters don’t like America, don’t believe in the Constitution, and seek to subvert the election laws in order to seize power and change America to the radical vision they formed as communists in the 1960s.
    They don’t care about the proper legal limits on immigration and becoming an AMERICAN citizen. They don’t care that Obama is unable to produce documentation of is own citizenship.

  10. Mattheus Mei

    Lee, I love how as the year has progressed (ooh scary word alert, “progress”)your writting has become nuttier and nuttier. I appreciate the laughs. Please keep it up and God bless.

  11. Brad Warthen

    Could we please-please-please-please-please have a discussion without regard to Lee’s fulminations? We’d all enjoy ourselves more, and find it edifying.
    For instance, I’m interested in bud’s response to my evidence that Colin Powell is not sorry about his Iraq role. To me, THAT’s interesting.

  12. Lee Muller

    Brad, I posted directly about the reasons why Colin Powell was right to support invading Iraq.
    Now, when are YOU going to discuss real issues, and important facts, instead of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe?

  13. Bill C.

    I’m refusing to look it up, but by “Bill’s fulminations”… do you really mean Bill’s obsessive rantings?

  14. Capital A

    Lee, I love how your views on society have not changed one iota since colonial times. Your ancestors would be proud! No flip-flopping or mental progression for you, no sir!
    By the way, how many of them “dern Injuns” did the Mullers (sounds royal, don’t it?)displace so that they could erect their family manse in the New World?
    With all of his blueblood, you’d think insaneLee would favor the Democrats.

  15. Bill C.

    How embarassing, I put my name instead of Lee’s. Here is the corrected reply:
    I’m refusing to look it up, but by “Lee’s fulminations”… do you really mean Lee’s obsessive rantings?

  16. Bill C.

    Lee – See, even I’m not the only one tiring of your constant ranting. Take your medication and come back in a couple hours.

  17. Capital A

    For instance, I’m interested in bud’s response to my evidence that Colin Powell is not sorry about his Iraq role. To me, THAT’s interesting.
    Posted by: Brad Warthen | Oct 23, 2008 12:01:53 PM
    Meet the press aired last Sunday, Warthime. A guy named Tom Brokaw (famous newsman, as per your previous distinction) hosted.
    Feel free to google the video and hear Colin Powell’s own words if you’re not too busy playing with your Acorns. Your belief that you have a “gotcha” moment for bud is downright nutty.
    Powell made it pretty clear in his own words what his motivations were, just as Obama has stated plainly his relationship with Bill Ayers and his religious background (which is of no consequence for logical people anyway.). Why Republicans and now Libertarians, it seems, have a hard time hearing lately, is beyond me.
    To take a page out of your own playbook, what could the hidden drive behind such behavior as yours be? Hmmm…I don’t know but let me…race…to find it.
    See how unfair that last paragraph was? Such is the game the critics of Powell and Obama like to play in relation to these specific issues.

  18. p.m.

    So Colin Powell, the supposed Republican, has endorsed a Democrat who counts a man who bombed the Pentagon as one of his friends, or at least once counted Ayers as a friend, when it was politically expedient.
    Something tells me race is a factor here.
    But Brad wants to know what bud thinks.
    That would be the same bud who wrote, “Powell is a fine man who made a grevious (stet) mistake endorsing Bush’s disasterous (stet) war,” something bud would never have written before Powell endorsed his new hero, Barack Obama, who replaced bud’s old hero, Hillary Clinton, just as soon as it became apparent Clinton couldn’t win the Democratic nomination.
    Whoever said it, it certainly seems to be true: Life is frustrating, and then you die.

  19. Phillip

    Brad, I know it’s a blog, fast writing and all that, but you got a little sloppy here…
    Who exactly here is “untroubled by Ayers being unrepentant for plotting to bomb the Pentagon”?
    But your citation of the view from the left re the Powell endorsement reminds us that the idea that Obama is a far-leftie ideologue is, of course, ridiculous. He’s pretty centrist on most things…as somebody put it the other day, there’s a lot more Kansas still in him than most people realize.
    I used to view Powell also as a kind of victim, a loyal soldier who was outnumbered by the neocons around him but was serving his President. I think there’s still a lot of the story untold from his perspective. We’ll get more in a year or two, I think. It’s ironic, but I think Barack Obama as President will give Colin Powell’s sage advice much more weight than did George W. Bush.
    Powell’s rebuke and line about “so what if he was a Muslim?” did show me that his heart is in the absolute right place. We have a choice now, a fork in the road, between going that road of divisiveness, or the road of civility, of unity in diversity, of respect for each other. Powell made it clear that Obama offers this where a McCain presidency could end up with more of the same divisiveness.

  20. Brad Warthen

    I don’t think Obama is of the “far left.” He’s more of a doctrinaire liberal Democrat than McCain is a doctrinaire conservative Republican, but he’s not a radical.

  21. Lee Muller

    So what if Obama was raised as a Muslim?
    So what if Obama’s close associates were communists, terrorists and murderers?
    So what if Obama’s associates and friends were radical black racists who hate whites and Jews?
    So what if millions of non-existant people vote for Obama?
    So what if Obama cannot produce documentation that he is a native-born American?
    So what if Obama’s campaign is mostly financed illegally by fundamentalist Islamics, hoping he will pull the U.S. military off the neck of Al Qaeda?
    So what if Obama will tax America into an economic depression?

  22. Phillip

    Brad, I know you’re weren’t calling Obama a socialist or even far left, I was just saying that link you cited shows an example of Obama taking some grief FROM the left, and we’ll see more of that after the election, as he struggles to tamp down unrealistic expectations from the left of his party in light of the economic straits we find ourselves in, plus wanting to build as bipartisan a governing mandate as he can.
    Prediction: in 2010 some of those angriest at Obama will be from the left; Obama will have pre-empted a lot of moderate GOP opposition by including a GOPer or two on the Cabinet, by going slow on Iraq, and by being surprisingly fiscally responsible (no choice there really), and by brandishing a few sticks as well as carrots.
    BTW, Brad, the whole Ayers-lecture thing comes down to this: we can agree that money should not be spent for “indoctrination” or “titillation,” but who decides where the line is drawn? I believe academic freedom means that the decision must be made independently from within. If government makes it, where again do they draw the line? What stops government from demanding that Prof. X stop teaching because of some aspect they consider threatening? Even a publicly funded university must retain this academic freedom, because such freedoms cannot remain solely the province of those who can afford private university; that is everyone’s freedom.
    I know he’s got his hands full dealing with these budget cuts, but at some point I hope you get to ask Dr. Pastides his opinion of the 2006 Ayers visit and other such controversial guests. I’d love to know his take on it.

  23. Lee Muller

    Police fear riots if Barack Obama loses US election – Telegraph
    Oct 23, 2008 … US police fear riots could break out if John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, wins the election next month.…/Police-fear-riots-if-Barack-Obama-loses-US-election.html
    Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the …

  24. Randy E

    It is about race for powell,,, nothing more,, – Dave
    To suggest you know Colin Powell’s true motives, completely disregarding his explanation is the same as calling him a liar. It is also a racist position because you simplify his perspective to be focused on race only.

  25. Lee Muller

    For most Obama followers, it is about race, and they say so. Listen to Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farakan and the mobs at Obama rallies.
    Many whites say it isn’t, but they are liberals who act irrationally out of guilt and their own white racism on lots of other issues and political contests. Given two exact same candidates, if they found out one was white and the other non-white, they would vote for the non-white. That is a form of racism.
    Listen to Bill Ayers, James Carville, and Brad Warthen.

  26. Steve Gordy

    Electoral politics can always surprise one. My own estimates, based on, with more allowance for a late break to McCain, indicates Obama with a minimum of 270 electoral votes; that’s assuming NC, FL, MO all break for McCain. It promises to be an interesting election night.

  27. Brad Warthen

    “Bill Ayers, James Carville and Brad Warthen.” Oh, yeah, that’s me all right. Bernardine Dohrn had a thing for me, but I dumped her, so she went to Bill on the rebound….

  28. john

    Of course Powell’s endorsement was about race. As Rush noted, where is Powell’s endorsement of an inexperienced, white liberal? As a black man, Powell rose to the top of the military and government with no one to thank but Republicans. His son was even made Chairman of the FCC. What a disgrace Powell has made of himself!

  29. James D McCallister

    >Who exactly here is “untroubled by Ayers >being unrepentant for plotting to bomb the >Pentagon”?
    Lee Muller.

  30. Randy E

    Gee John, you pretty much repeated verbatim what Rush Limblaugh, the racist, yelled into his microphone during his comedy show about Powell. Either you are a parrot or you too can read Powell’s mind.
    Powell gave a thorough explanation of his reasoning. Much of this analysis was the same as that of multiple republicans and conservative writers; David Brooks, George Will, Chris Buckley, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, the Goldwater family (OUCH!), Sununu, Gordon Smith, and today a senior republican strategist with the Cheney-W administration (probably Rove). So they aren’t racist but Powell is?
    John, Rush is an entertainer. He’s looking to boost ratings not to offer thoughtful analysis. BTW, Powell wasn’t the one arrested for illegal possession of prescription drugs.

  31. Lee Muller

    Bill Clinton had to a cocaine problem and it showed in his erratic behavior. He fired the White House physician for asking what white powder he was getting from Arkansas.
    Barack Obama writes in his book about cutting school, getting drunk, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine and abusing illegally obtained prescription drugs.
    Obama roomed with a Pakistani smuggler while living in New York City. For over 6 years, Obama has no lease, no utility bills, no phone, no drivers license, no job, no income.
    But the Democrats dare to attack John McCain’s wife for having a problem with prescription pain killers after surgery, and seeking professional help to taper off of them.
    The Democrats are truly the party of hate.

  32. John

    A_S CLOWN,
    David Brooks, George Will, Kathleen Parker, and Peggy Noonan have not endorsed Obama. Nor have they endorsed any liberal. Your argument is as fundamentally flawed as your obsessive gushing about a crack smoking homo.

  33. Randy E

    John, if you can’t handle this level of critical thought, just say so. We’ll understand. Not everyone can think for themselves nor offer thoughts beyond those of a high school drop out who has to bully others.
    When I watch Obama take the oath of office, I’ll have a chuckle as I think of your boorish comments. 🙂

  34. Randy E

    BTW John, I did not state the writers you cited endorsed Obama but that they shared some of Powell’s analysis. I’m sorry the sentence structure was too complex for you.

  35. Lee Muller

    The most troubling thing is how many Obama supporters don’t care about the dishonesty of their candidate:
    * Obama still has not produced a birth certificate to prove he is a U.S. citizen
    * Obama lied about not knowingn Bill Ayers, Michael Klonsky and other communists pals of his for the last 20 years.
    * Obama is paying ACORN to produce massive illegal votes and steal the election.
    How can anyone support such a lying crook?

  36. Lee Muller

    Glenn Beck listed the reasons why Colin Powell said he endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press:
    “I think he is a transformational figure”
    “He is a new generation coming”
    “Because of his ability to inspire”
    “Because of the inclusive nature of his campaign”
    “Because he is reaching out all across America”
    “Because of who he is”
    “His rhetorical abilities”
    “He has both style and substance”
    Apparently to Powell, this is “the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.”
    Pretty lame.

  37. Rich

    I’d like to comment on Ayers. True, he was a member of the radical Weather Underground. Menachim Begin was a member of the Irgun that committed the terrorist act of blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem during Israel’s war of independence, yet we still dealt with him at Camp David to make peace with Egypt. I don’t recall Begin ever recanting his beliefs or expressing remorse. Also, Jefferson once said that the tree of liberty had to be watered with the blood of martyrs every generation or so. While I would not recommend terrorism or atrocities of any kind in or out of wartime, we have to admit that some great men in history did indeed feel compelled to extremism in the cause of liberty. The main problem with Osama Bin Laden is not his reliance on force to achieve his goals, but the nature of those goals. He wants to destroy Western liberal democracy and the rights we all cherish in order to have the world submit to his religious mythology.
    Remember that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It all depends, ultimately, on who wins or loses. The victors write the history, so you know who gets branded with the terrorist label.
    As for Ayers, he is not a dangerous radical. On the contrary, he is a respected professor of education whose books and articles are required reading in many USC education courses for pre- and in-service teachers. He served with Obama on a board established by the conservative Annenberg Foundation that had good works and social justice on their agenda, not throwing molotov cocktails. Ayers may or may not have done the things he is alleged to have done in the 60s, and his attitude on such matters may indeed be unrepentant.
    So what? His writing on education is informed, scholarly, and humane. Personally, I did not know about his past even though I read his work while doing my dissertation (I have an Ed.D. in curriculum from USC).
    Yes, as an educator with advanced degrees in education, you might surmise that my politics are on the non-socialist left. It’s one of the reasons that I opposed the bail-out, the war in Iraq, the huge increase in federal spending over the last eight years on the military, and Bush’s ill-conceived tax cuts. You don’t raise spending while cutting taxes. Clearly, that theory doesn’t work.
    The party in power (the Republicans) needs to pay. And S.C. needs to wake up to its own best interests, look at the platforms of both candidates, and stop trying to legislate morality or religiously-based ideas for a largely indifferent and unwilling population. Fortunately, McCain is not much of a culture warrior, and if he gets elected, he will probably be a big disappointment to the Religious Right.
    I support Obama and I do believe that, not only will he be elected, the country will also give him a Congress that will let him govern so that we can get out of the Republican inspired mess in which we now find ourselves!

  38. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama was a member of a socialist political party in Chicago the New Party, which was a local offshoot of the Democratic Socialists for America.
    I previously posted names of members of various socialist groups inside the US Congress, all Democrats.
    Many in Chicago remembered Obama making speeches for the socialist candidates, but the Obama 2008 campaign claimed this was all untrue.
    Well, the New Party had a newspaper, and many issues contain Barack Obama.
    The party’s Spring 1996 newspaper boasted: “New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary). The paper quoted Obama saying “these victories prove that small ‘d’ democracy can work.”
    The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.
    Barack Obama pictured in New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)
    New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago’s Democratic Socialists for America, reported in its July/August 1996 edition that Obama attended a New Party membership meeting April 11, 1996, in which he expressed his gratitude for the group’s support and “encouraged NPers (New Party members) to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.”
    Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party’s political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a “visible and active relationship” with the party.
    The New Party, established in 1992, took advantage of what was known as electoral “fusion,” which enabled candidates to run on two tickets simultaneously, attracting voters from both parties. But the New Party went defunct in 1998, one year after fusion was halted by the Supreme Court.

  39. Lee Muller

    Colin Powell probably wants to make up and be taken back by the blacks and white illiberals who threw him out and called him an “Uncle Tom”, “step-and-fetchit”, and worse for joining the Bush administration.

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