2.5 hours is what Colin Powell is telling us he spent trying to talk George Bush out of invading Iraq. He said I took him (Bush) through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers.
Those 2.5 hours that Colin Powell spent trying to talk the Commander in Chief from illegally invading a sovereign country averages out to .04 minutes for each of the 3606 US military fatalities from Iraq since the war began. I'd like to think that my son's safety and ultimately his life was worth more than .04 minutes of trying. What kind of General places such little value on the lives of his men? Not much of a General, and even less of a man.
One might point out that Powell was a former General back in 2003, but that argument is lost with me. Members of the Bush administration have a decided lack of military experience, and even less with combat. Colin Powell served in the military for more than 33 years during peacetime and in combat. Another General, the 34th president of our United States, Dwight Eisenhower said I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. Colin Powell knows of war's brutality, futility and stupidity. He owed every member of the Armed Forces more than .04 minutes. He owed our country a voice.
I have no sympathy for Colin Powell, the man, the general or the former secretary of state. He has to get up in the morning and look himself in the mirror and know that he sacrificed the lives, limbs and mental status of each and every casualty from a war that he should have been able to stop and he knows it. Colin Powell has to stand in front of the citizens of this country and know that his inability to convince his boss that he was doing the wrong thing had deadly results. The blood on his hands is no different than those on Dick Cheney's, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Don Rumsfeld or the rest of the PNAC neocons who started this mess.
Frankly, the mea culpa's coming from Washington are tiresome and disingenuous. Where was George Tenet before the invasion? Did Paul Wolfowitz express any concerns in the run-up to the war? They were keeping good enough notes to write books about their concerns well after people realized that this war was wrong. If they had fears, you wouldn't have known it back in 2003 and it's a little too late to say "I told you so" after hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's and nearly 4000 US military have been killed. That kind of a judgement error deserves more than "told ya".
Colin Powell is correct about one thing. “It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States.” He adds “It’s not going to be pretty to watch, but I don’t know any way to avoid it. It is happening now.”He added, “The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms,” “It’s not going to be pretty to watch, but I don’t know any way to avoid it. It is happening now.” A man of his supposed intellect and tenure as a Secretary of State fails to discuss diplomacy as an option.
On a side note, those of you who support Senator Barack Obama on his run for the presidency, you should know that he is conferring with Powell on foreign policy. Be very afraid! Obama supports a phased withdrawal that could leave a “significantly reduced force” in Iraq for “an extended period”. That doesn't sound anywhere near "Bring the troops home now", so please don't be fooled when Obama says he supports the troops. That doesn't fly anymore and our troops deserve much better.