Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
April 27, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Truthdig Bazaar more items

A/V Booth
Email this item Print this item

Colin Powell Deflates McCain’s Iraq Strategy

Posted on Dec 17, 2006
Colin Powell
Crooks and Liars

Colin Powell, who’s been on something of a credibility campaign since that vaudevillian performance at the United Nations, took John McCain’s “troop surge” Iraq strategy to task on Sunday: “Let’s be clear about something else ... that gets a little confusing. There are really no additional troops.”


  • Watch it
  • Partial Transcript from Think Progress:

      POWELL: Let’s be clear about something else, Bob, that gets a little confusing. There are really no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops.

      BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you about that because… do we have the troops? You seem to be suggesting that we don’t.


    Square, Site wide
      POWELL: I’m suggesting that what General Shoemaker said the other day before a committee looking at the reserve and national guard, that the active army is about broken. General Shoemaker is absolutely right. All of my contacts within the army suggest that the army has a serious problem in the active force.


      SCHIEFFER: Let’s… you’ve talked about… I take it you think that the 160,000 troops are not going to be any more successful than 140,000.

      POWELL: Nobody has made the case to me that 140,000… I have not seen a case that persuades me that it would be better at 150 and 160. Frankly, that would take a surge that you have to pay for later by not having troops that can come in and replace some of the 140,000 there.

    Lockerdome Below Article

    Subscribe to the Truthdig YouTube channel:

    Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

    Related Entries

    Get truth delivered to
    your inbox every day.

    New and Improved Comments

    If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

    Join the conversation

    Load Comments

    By Jackie T. Gabel, December 21, 2006 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    •    Comment #42841 by jack trent  on  12/19  at  1:22 pm — “The public wants us OUT. A majority of Americans wants Bush GONE - impeached or ‘worse’. They deserve Al Qaiada—they are two sides of the same nutcase. I say IMPEACH, CONVICT AND EXECUTE THE LOT OF EM.”

    >>>>>>> just to be clear

    Mr. Trent and I share “Christian” names by coincidence, so just because we agree 100% on the remedy for the recovery of our republic, his posting is not me under a pseudonym. And, he knows not how much truth he speaks about al Queda, especially as the new Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates, takes office. Gates was CIA Director when al Queda’s parent gang, the Mujahidin, was created, armed and funded by them through Pakistan’s ISI, a close CIA operative then and now. ISI Chief General Ahmad ordered to be wired to 911-lead patsy, Mohamad Atta, $100k on 09/10/01 — dots not too hard to connect.

    Clearly, the quickest way to IMPEACH, CONVICT AND EXECUTE THE LOT OF EM is through 911 Truth. Though not yet proven in a court of law, it is now, in the court of public opinion, accepted as fact: this administration has lied and obscured the truth about WMD, exposing a CIA agent in the field, ordering illegal wiretaps, sanctioning torture, sanctioning detention without due process and committing election fraud. Recent polls show that less than 20% of the citizenry believe they have not lied in some way about 911. Why in the world do not the dominant progressive voices in this nation accept that the administration is lying about 911 as well, close ranks on the issue and press for a complete and transparent investigation? Exposing in a court of law the treason at the heart of the 911 coup will end this madness faster than anything. This nation is strong enough to handle the imminent Constitutional crisis.

    Perhaps the greatest fear among the information community, especially the Main Stream Media, is that once it is exposed how complicit they have been in the 911 cover up, the public may ask for their heads as well.

    <b.Support 911Truth — END WAR OF TERROR</b>

    Report this

    By Rodney Matthews, December 21, 2006 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Colin Powell has no credibility when it comes to Iraq, His United Nations lies are very much responsible for the fisasco we see in Iraq today. If Colon Powell wanted to keep his integrity, he should have resigned the second he found out he lied or gave bad information to the world.Instead he choose to remain as secretary of state and support this illegal,immoral invasion. Mr Powell should just keep quiet and allow those of us spesk who opposed this illegal invasion from the start.

    Report this

    By afm, December 21, 2006 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    General Powell, there was a time I had a lot of respect for you.  You should have spoke up a long, long time ago.  If you would have quit in protest and said the president is wrong, people in the country would have had lots of respect for you. I don’t know how you sleep at night because you were a soldier and you understand what soldiers go through during war.  What a waste you made by putting your eggs in the republican basket that carried only rotten eggs.

    Report this

    By Antoinette, December 21, 2006 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This so- called General is complecit in sending soldiers to die for a needless war. The world will not forgive Colon Powell nor will they forget his infamous speech at the United Nations. The international community believed in the honesty of this man, he squandered his credibility and stature, sold his soldiers down the river of death. For what? For a President and his Administration that used him and threw him out, when no longer usefull as a tool of conviction for the world?

    Powell is responsible for 2899 dead.Young men and women of the Armed Services. Live with it MR Powell and go hide yourself away. You have squandered your right to be out, representing your views in public.

    Report this

    By Robert, December 20, 2006 at 2:24 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Colin Powell is nothing but a sheep head. He was always led with a harness around his neck & head.

    He lied to the American people & the rest of the world about Iraq’s “WMD’S”. Powell has no integrity & no sense of telling the “TRUTH” when that moment arose. Look at all the deaths of US military personnel & all the 1000’s of Iraqi civilian deaths. Powell represents the chaos, destruction and all the deaths. He went along with George W, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douhlas Feith, Ken Adelman, William Kristol, Eliott Abrams, David Wurmsor and other zionist neocons who were entrenched in George W. administration.

    Powell should have resigned if he had any principles & integrity. He just went along & just kept that lofty position.

    Innocent civilians were being slaughtered by the Israeli army in Jenin,Gaza , Palestine with Powell never condemning the brutal killings & murders of innocent Palestinian civillians.

    Powell allowed Ariel Sharon of Israel to be in-charge of all the brutal Apartheid Israeli policy against the Palestinians & of U.S. policy in the region.

    Powell was just a “SAMBO” figure in George W. circle.

    Look at him even now, he is just scared of speaking out and telling the damn TRUTH.

    What a damn Whimp!

    Report this

    By Michael Miller, December 19, 2006 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    As I read the comments about Colin Powell, some one I had great respect for, I did not feel anger as much as disappointment, or a feeling loss. As a young officer, serving as an advisor in the jungles of Viet Nam earning the respect of many, and putting his life on the line, on a daily basis. Not unlike another Army officer, Norman Schwartskoff, both with ties to the Bush Dynasty.
    I feel, had General Powell followed the lead of Storman Norman and retired gracefully , it would have preserved his legacy, as a great military leader, but I guess he had other reasons to serve his country, those of which he alone can answer.
    In my opinion, the best thing General Powell can do, for his family, himself, and the people who believed in him, is to ask the forgiveness of all he has wronged, ie: U.S. military personell, deceased U.S. military survivors, Iraq civilians, and survivors of those murdered.
    Of all those that lied the U.S. into this unlawful war, none had the credibility that Colin Powell had.
    My question to General Powell is WAS IT WORTH IT.
                          Mike Miller

    Report this

    By jack trent, December 19, 2006 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is HUGE!! Imagine this happening in any former war—the just resigned Secry of State - ON TELEVISION - telling America - AND HER ENEMIES

    that the war is failed and we have no more troops.

    Actually - Pelosi and Reid disavowing impeachment is premature as well… because these are different times - Pelosi and Reid are being tutored that to speak of impeachment during ‘wartime’ is treasonous.

    NEW RULES - new world.

    The public wants us OUT. A majority of Americans wants Bush GONE - impeached or ‘worse’.

    People in line at Target say they wish someone would ‘just shoot the bastard’... said OUT LOUD during Christmas shopping in a Rocky Mountain Capital city.

    These are new times, and younger people are more radical. Washington may not want to see Buchanan’s pitchfork brigades… but young anti war people are up for a hangin.

    I love it. I am a 59 year old former republican. My libertarian friends are all gone from the party now - leaving only the knuckle dragging jihadists like Bushcons.

    They deserve Al Qaiada—they are two sides of the same nutcase.


    ITs time

    Report this

    By VitalCenter, December 19, 2006 at 4:46 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Before we toss General Powell under the proverbial bus, we need to take particular note of the fact that the War in Iraq was driven by a flawed group dynamic (an entirely broken interagency process combined with a topsy-turvy mismanagement of the intelligence agencies) that led to a critical misread of extant and out-of-date intelligence data.  The failure to understand the reasons for Saddam Hussein’s continued professions of WMD possession must not be laid at the feet of General Powell.  To coin a phrase coined by Senator Clinton, “it takes a village.”  In this case, the village was an administration confronted by a horrific attack on US soil, and a belief (however flawed) that there just had to be a relationship between Saddam’s regime and the terrorists that sought (and seek) our destruction.  Further, given the continued evidence of Saddam’s production of WMD’s - evidence he promoted to strike fear in the hearts of his internal and external enemies - it seemed possible, even probable that he might seek to leverage his position by partnering with terrorists in the utilization of those weapons against his greatest enemy - the United States.

    Our interpretations of the evidence were, almost certainly, incorrect.  Worse, in the service of military “transformation,” we abandoned the “Powell Doctrine” of overwhelming force when we invaded Iraq.  And, worse still, we entered the war with no defined post-war plan.

    As we reap the wild wind of our mistakes, we should not turn blindly on General Powell or even on the Bush Administration.  The stakes are simply too high for a festival of finger pointing. 

    The way out will be long and hard.  We can only pray that it will not resemble Cambodia, which may mean that we might have to remember the millions of Iraqis that have depended upon our promises.

    Finally, there are three things we MUST learn from this.  First, the “doctrine of pre-emptive war” must be abandoned.  Such a “doctrine” is not a fit for the free world.  Second, we must remember again that the use of our military should be reserved for well-defined missions involving our immediate national security.  Third, we must and should return to the “Powell Doctrine” of overwhelming force and clearly-defined objectives.

    Report this

    By Montie Shields USAF RET., December 18, 2006 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The Ex-General/ Ex Secretary is now trying to
    clean up his image. He is going about it the
    wrong way. Why don’t he just say he wanted to
    belong to the Republican Party, and was the
    dues he had to pay. In one article he said he
    was just being a good soldier. If anyone bel-
    ieve that they will believe anything Old Shrub
    has to say. A good soldier don’t let his fight-
    ing men and women be slaughtered unnecessarily.
    For Christ sake he was a general. I believe
    between him and John McCain they could have
    stopped Bush’s War before it got started. Gen-
    eral it will go a long way if you would stop
    making excuses. Tell the truth. The whole truth
    and nothing but the truth. Maybe then you can
    forgive yourself.

    Report this

    By DennisD, December 18, 2006 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    My question is why hasn’t Mr. Powell been speaking out against the war and the Bu$h administration ever since he realized that he had been duped. Keeping his job was more important than telling the truth and once out of the administration he still couldn’t tell like it is. Saying that we all had the same information doesn’t cut it. Of course they all had the same information - Dick Cheney wrote it. He knew it was BS and he knew where it came from.
    For the years and hardship he went through to rise through the ranks he earned my respect. For his failure to use the rank and influence he achieved to take a stand when it mattered most he lost it.

    Report this

    By L.D. Clark, December 18, 2006 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    While I think that John McCain is succumbing to the “lowest common denominator” in his quest for the presidency - at any cost - cosying up to the most unsavory of characters, I find it incomprehensible that any thinking person would give a flying sh*t about any opinion emitting from Colin Powell.

    Colin Powell is verifiably a liar and a bureaucratic hack of the first order.  His performance at the UN in the run-up to the Cheney/Bush war on Iraq stripped him of any credibility he may have had prior to that, which was minimal, to begin with.  Why should we now believe, or care about anything the man says?

    What is the deal with the mainstream media’s love affair with this timid and mediocre follower of a man?  He certainly doesn’t qualify as a leader. 

    Colin Powell, go back home, write your memoirs, putter around in the garden…do whatever retired soldiers and political hacks do.  Just stay away from the camera and stop voicing your opinions.  Nobody gives a crap about them.

    Report this

    By L.D., December 18, 2006 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I find it incomprehensible that anyone would give the slightest shit about anything that that lying, spineless wonder Colin Powell says. 

    His performance in the United Nations during the Bush runup to the War on Iraq negated any credibility he ever had, which in my opinion was highly inflated to begin with.  What is the mystique in the public mind with this guy?  He’s nothing but a bureaucratic hack, who somehow wound up with this mostly media-hyped high profile.  He’s a perfect poster boy for the Peter Principle.  He rose to his highest level of incompetence as Secretary of State.

    I say to Colin Powell, go back to wherever you live and stay the hell off the airwaves.  We’ve had more than enough of you, thank you very much. Your opinions are less than worthless.

    Report this

    By vet240, December 18, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The Bush Boys and the Neo-cons argument to stay the course to protect those Iraqis that are participating in the democratically elected government there, and the argument that our leaving will result in a full-scale civil war, are nothing more than a replay of those arguments used in Vietnam. Then there was the argument of a domino effect.

    Strangely no one is noticing our new friends in Vietnam today. It seems we want to do business in Vietnam.

    The argument that our leaving will result in a blood-bath is empty too. The blood-bath began when we went in and has resulted in the death of as many as 600,000 Iraqis. That is 150,000 per year. As long as we are there the issue of who will ultimately control Iraq is postponed. We can stay another 4 years and kill another 600,000 and the issue of control will still not be resolved. The sooner we leave, the sooner the Iraqis can settle this matter.

    We have shown we can bomb any country back to the stone age. I suggest we maintain that capability and use it, if and when Iraq or any other neighboring country acts in a way that would require such actions on our part. All wars, fought in modern history have been won by technology. We don’t have to be on the ground to beat our enemies. When we go on the ground face to face they can and will inflict casualties on us.

    As long as we are there, they are and will continue to win. They win by using the chaos to finance their new recruits. We kill one, they recruit three.

    Colin Powell disappointed me deeply. I hoped his presence might cool the idiots near and in the whitehouse. He failed misererably. He will never be able to disassociate himself from that reality.

    Report this

    By ChicagoGuy, December 18, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Powell is now speaking out because he simply wants to cover his own ass. He had enough time while he was still Sec. of State to come out against the administration and take them to task if indeed they lied to him. I can’t believe that a person that high up in the administration did not know what was going on. If anything, I think Powell went along with all the lies and is only now worried about repercusions.

    You will soon see Rumsfeld doing the same. These two are just trying to avoid any criminal action which may result if the new Congress forces this administration to give up classified information and the truth is exposed.

    Report this

    By GW=MCHammered, December 18, 2006 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hold on a minute… just hold on! Where have all my Red Friends gone? The ones that claimed, “Clinton gutted our military”? ‘Cause now we know, in favor of war machine technology, that was a Rumsfeld sermon. And daily we agonize over Bush who still favors Rummy’s pricey whimsy. I sure hope my Red Friends haven’t turned Red Coat!

    And now we realize too that those pinko liberals shouting we were falsely sold on the Iraq War were absolutely roaring the truth. C’mon Red Friends, where are you? ‘Cause it’s time to stand up, shake off the daze and win back your conservative party. Take it back like the red-blooded Americans that you are!

    If you would do that, then we Greens, Blues, and Purples could rally together and fight for the melting pot America our forefathers built. Fight until the streets run with the blue blood that stole it!

    Too much, you say? Well then, let’s continue to roll over for the vampire corpocracy (corporate-congress) that embezzled it. Right after we trade our coats for a more emblematic one… a coat with a magnificent yellow stripe down its back. History can call us the Neo American Turncoats. “Neo” because we betrayed our American heritage even without a fight. And that has never been American.

    Dear Government… No Answers? No allegiance? No taxes!
    ~We The People

    Report this

    By suziq, December 18, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A fine man who lost all credibility when he towed the party line.  A better man would have seen through the fog of war and said the right thing at the right time.  Now, Mr.Powell, start sending apologies to the families of the dead and wounded.

    Report this

    By Bruce Colquhoun, December 18, 2006 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Colin Powell’s assessment of the Iraq situation, (Dec 18 Powell says U.S. Losing Iraq ” civil war”) is a worthwhile statement.  I think what we need is an idea how to go about what he is saying without the huge problems.  It is a mirror of Viet Nam where we’re sold on the few more troops will win it scenario, that’s true.  Then, it got so horrific the amount of losses we had, that we turned our heads to South Viet repercussions and just ended it.  We could try an alternative and yet assertive strategy.  the civil war is fueled by the alignment of the Sheittes in government to Al Sadr, we’ve never known a democracy that worked with alignment with war lord religious leaders.  Now we see.  I would demand Al Sadr be detained or we pull out, that would signal a corrected course to all.  And if they say no then we fall back to Kurdish areas and defend them while the civil war commences.  At least we will give it all one more real chance, not muddle it away until the right words fixing failure be found.

    Report this

    By Quy Tran, December 18, 2006 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    In his new biography “Soldier: The Life Of Colin Powell” the ex-Secretary of State’s wife, Alma, said that her husband was “callously” used by the White House and the general himself says he regrets his infamous U.N. appearance as a “blot”
    on his record. He says “if I had known there were no stockpiles, I never would have said there were stockpiles”. Too late ! thousands and thousands of U.S. soldiers died vaguely in Iraq and hundreds thousand of innocent Iraqis (?) have been slaughtered because of this “blot”.

    The ex-Secretary and ex-General also disclosed that the pro-war neoconservatives as a copy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINA) and Rumsfeld’s team as JINA crowd.
    He emphasized that the neoconservatives in the Defense Department nearly all of them are Jews ! More courage the ex-General thinks of himself as a loyal human being who served a “bad president and failed administration” ! If so why didn’t he resign after finding out all mentioned above evidences ? He said he refused to quit because he wanted to follow general George C. Marshall, who had fundamental differences with president Truman but still maintained connection with Truman.

    General Powell, you could not compare yourself to general Marshall because Marshall was Marshall and Powell is Powell. Moreover president Truman was far upper hands than GWB, a such comparaison will be also a “blot” to them (Truman and Marshall). If you disconnected right away with the so-called “bad president and failed administration” your stars could be brighter than ever. Moreover you also used your influence to get a job for your son, Michael Powell, as chairman of FCC. SORRY ABOUT THAT !

    Could this biography be used to clean up and repolish the ex-General and ex-Secretary fate ? Just wait and see.

    Report this

    By Gary Batterson, MSG, USA, Retired, December 18, 2006 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Of course our wonderfully battle bred and trained CinC has the fix. He’s using the Navy to patch up the “about broken” Army. God, ol’ silver tongued Colin still has it, just like when he was covering up the rest of the story re: My Lai.

    Does no one know that the bastards are pulling technicians out of the Navy, and probably the other other services and sending them to do “combat” duty? I’ve a nephew, Navy CPO, electronics technician that we’ve just spent tens of thousands of dollars training in his speciality who has been pulled, training now as an infantryman, and scheduled to go to the Abu Graib complex, apparently as prison security.

    That’s what we get for keeping an administration, (and definitely including the Do nothing but save us from “queer marriage” Congress) that has changed the meaning of CinC to “Coward in Chief”. What these SOB’S need is a good taste of combat themselves, hmmmm, we should be able to get at least a brigade or two by sweeping up all the chicken hawks, sycophantic pundits and Oh yeah, all the self-righteous “christians” (sic). Damn, we oughta have a division or two with support complement. Yeah! that’s the ticket!

    Report this
    Right Top, Site wide - Care2
    Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
    Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

    Like Truthdig on Facebook