In response to Cameron Miller’s article (“Powell’s Political Policies,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 13) criticizing Colin Powell and his qualifications as a moderate, the only praise I can extend is that at least there weren’t any spelling mistakes. Miller, your critical thinking skills are about as developed as a toddler’s soft spot.
First, it pains me to have to address Miller’s implied assertion that Powell is not qualified to speak about leadership. There is no limit to the obscenities and derisions I could offer Miller for making this claim. Apparently the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a four-star general, former secretary of state, and chairman of a national nonprofit charity isn’t qualified to speak on the qualities of leadership. Miller, Powell could probably kill you with a blow to the head using only the scrapbook his mother kept of his accomplishments in leadership. But I guess you know better, what with being published in the Santa Maria Times and all.
By your own assertion, to be moderate means is to be “within reasonable limits.” To say your analogies about Mussolini, Saddam and Hitler are about as well shaped as Oprah would be an understatement. Neither of these leaders acted within reasonable limits, in there time or by today’s standards, no matter what any revisionist professor tells you.
That said, the assertion that Powell’s rap sheet placed him outside reasonable limits politically at any time in his career is preposterous and about as reasonable as the decision to print your ridiculous opinions. Let’s evaluate. The invasion of Panama and the Gulf War were overwhelmingly popular in their times, and even with the extensive historical criticisms heaped on them by Monday morning quarterbacks and liberal academics, they continue to be seen as reasonable and just military actions. Even more ridiculous than your claim that supporting these actions was outside the limits of reason, is your indignation that people died in these wars. Moreover, your audacity in criticizing Powell for attacking a retreating army through conquered territory shows your immense lack of understanding of military doctrine. You are also the first person I have ever heard qualify a functioning army as “defenseless.”
Finally, your assessment of Powell’s actions during the lead up and duration of the war in Iraq is about as indicative of logic as Ellen DeGeneres is of comedy. Am I right fellas? Back to the point, Powell, like every other member of Bush’s White House had only the intelligence available by which to make his judgments. Intelligence that according to just about every intelligence agency worth its salt reasonably demonstrated Iraq’s possessions of weapons of mass destruction. Powell was also one of the last influential members of the Bush Administration to join the president in calling for war. Furthermore, a significant majority of the voting public and its elected legislators initially supported the war along with Powell. As for your numbers of post war Iraqi dead, they are as accurate as a James Frey book. Reasonable death toll estimates are just above 30,000 dead, and that is including casualties during major military operations.
Daniel Rabinovitch is a junior political science major.