The Real Colin Powell

Middle East Crisis Committee

from the Internet, January 2001


Colin Powell has climbed the political ladder not because he is a "warrior-statesman," as the media portrays him, but because he pleases those in power. He presents the faÁade of a bipartisan pragmatist, but he is in fact a Reagan-Bush ideologue who serves his masters in deadly and undemocratic ways. Powell not only committed war crimes against the people of Panama and Iraq, where he oversaw and covered up civilian massacres, but he also misled Congress on the Iran-Contra affair.

Let's look at Powell's record. He came to prominence during the Iran-Contra corruption scandal that brought the Reagan-Bush presidency to a halt. Although he admitted to helping the CIA move missiles to the Nicaraguan Contras--known widely for rape, torture, murder, and drug running--Powell was chosen to head the National Security Council, where he restricted a Senate committee from investigating the Contra drug connection.

His mentors are Caspar Weinberger, who oversaw the largest peace-time military build-up in American history, and Frank Carlucci, who replaced Weinberger as Reagan's Secretary of Defense. Powell calls Carlucci his "godfather of godfathers."

Powell's close relationship to Frank Carlucci is deeply troubling. Carlucci is a careerist State Department "legend" with deep ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. Carlucci, like Reagan and Bush a dogmatic anti-communist, has been involved in covert operations in Latin America and Africa since the 1960s; where-ever Carlucci has been stationed, coups and counter-revolutionary bloodbaths, wars and violations of democracy, have occurred. Carlucci hand-picked Powell to replace him as National Security Advisor when he moved to Defense. "Godfather" indeed.

When George Bush was elected president in 1988, he offered Powell the directorship of the CIA. Turning down a post he was qualified for (the most hidden and undemocratic of institutions), Powell instead became chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and played a key role in the December 1989 invasion of Panama. Just as he deceived the American people during Iran-Contra, Powell lied to the public about the bombing and brutal massacre of civilians in the El Chorrillo residential neighborhood, which he defended as necessary to "protect" U.S. lives and restore "democracy" in Panama.

Powell's war crimes reached horrific proportions against the people of Iraq. In 1990 the U.S. dropped 177 million pounds of bombs on Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, including tens of thousands of children. Newsweek reported on Sept.3, 1990: "More than anyone, Powell is responsible for shaping the U.S. military response in the Gulf." Powell also supports the sanctions against Iraq, which are responsible for killing tens of thousands of more innocent people, most of them children. Estimates from the United Nations range up to 5,000 children dying per month.

Colin Powell is neither a warrior nor a statesman. He doesn't fight in wars: he orders mass killing from afar. He is a deadly front man for the corporate, military, and political masters he serves so compliantly.

Powell's position as a major player in the new Bush administration can only mean more misery and death for the world's people.

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