Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Listen to Colin Powell, or Brokaw?

By Robert Parry
October 20, 2008

Retired Gen. Colin Powell made what sounded like a heartfelt endorsement of Barack Obama – hailing the Democrat’s presidential qualities and criticizing the nasty tone of John McCain’s campaign. But why should anyone care what George W. Bush’s first Secretary of State thinks?

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Another great, spot on report. I have read other accounts and reports that also help to reveal the real Colin Powell, no hero. Opportunist from the begining, always acted with career in mind. Powell did for Bush the same he did for military powers, carried water to further his career. This country loves its military heros, even when they are far from being heroic. The same for McCain, again no hero. Brokaw has been a media whore for as long as I can remember his name, no guts, no honesty, no integrity.

mark talley said...

"Old habits are hard to break". People want to believe that their "leaders" are noble men and women, when in fact their leaders are lying butt-kissers trying to advance their careers any way they can.

Anonymous said...

Colin Powell's endorsement was a well-reasoned, articulate summary of why one of the candidates is to be preferred over the other. Regardless of his past errors, his opinion deserves attention. While not dispositive, Mr. Powell's thoughts merit our attention.

racetoinfinity said...

Thank you for continuing to report the truth, (this time about Powell, [and he blew any remaining [precious little, after being informed of his earlier actions by your article] integrity he may have had, when he lied to the U.N. and jump-started the Iraq war, and the bland corporatist mouthpiece pseudo-wise Brokaw) instead of the corporatist propaganda, downright lies, and glaring omissions we are subjected to routinely.

Anonymous said...

After going over Colin Powell's past, I find myself suspious of his intentions, especially wars. I think maybe Powell is just out for himself, just like Bush, McCain, and Leiberman.

B/R said...

I, too, asked myself why I should give credence to Colin Powell's remarks to Tom Brokaw. Powell's sellout of the trust of the American electorate and innocent civilians in Iraq, perpetrated at the UN--when his standing down in protest just might have turned the tide from yet another senseless war (this time an unprovoked and unsubstantiated invasion)--was a colossal disservice. Now he wishes to atone. Having said this, his comments, such as what is wrong in this country with being a Muslim, was spot on and, since he is still both eloquent and listened to, probably affected some derogatory thinking in the U.S. that has gotten out of hand. Decency: better late than never??

knowbuddhau said...

A million thanks for this great short summary of Powell's role as a fixer for the military when things get out of hand.

I've been assuming way more knowledge of the cowardly general's career on the part of readers. Now I have a great on-line rebuttal of the cover story.

On that note, can you pull the string that sutures together all the story lines of this wing of the Republicans? I call it myth-jacking. Naomi Klein recently mentioned, in her University of Chicago Department of Economics speech, that there was a deliberate process of "ideological transfer," a program designed to "transplant" Friedmanism violently to Latin America.

Just as with their Latin American buddies like Pinochet, this wing of the Republicans is willing to use violent guerrilla war, and culture wars, to jack and stack electoral boards that then give them the color of law to later go on and jack and stack more electoral bodies.

Since the jacked election of 2000, isn't that what's been done to the Justice Department, among others?

Isn't this what Greg Palast called the Bush family MO in his exposé, _The Best Democracy Money Can Buy_? It's an upgraded, updated Goering method for manufacturing consent. I'll bet it's got an APA stamp of approval on it somewhere, too.

knowbuddhau said...

I want to add this comment, from Gerard Bigelow's recent piece in Harpers'org. That last sentence is the most pertinent. Substitute 'politics" or "political economy" for just plain economics or economy.

The problem is that the story told by economics simply does not conform to reality. This can be seen clearly enough in the recent, high-profile examples of the failure of free-market thinking—how media giants have continued to grow, or how loose accounting regulations have destroyed countless millions in personal wealth. But mainstream economics also fails at a more fundamental level, in the way that it models basic human behavior. The core assumption of standard economics is that humans are fundamentally individual rather than social animals. The theory holds that all economic choices are acts of authentic, unmediated selfhood, rational statements reflecting who we are and what we want in life. But in reality even our purely “economic” choices are not made on the basis of pure autonomous selfhood; all of our choices are born out of layers of experience in contact with other people. What is entirely missing from the economic view of modern life is an understanding of the social world.
I say this comes from the misguided application of Newtonian mechanics to the social sciences. Among other things.

What is the narrative that encompasses the last 60 years of this wing of the Republicans? We must include the religious factor. The mythical Free Market, I say, is a perpetual motion holy war cash machine.

bricer said...

As usual, I can get more real news and objective critiques from 1 hour of reading independent press than 30 days of reading/watching the mainstream media.

Powell and Brokaw have hands that are just as bloody as those of Bush and Cheney. Like any good opportunist, Powell is jumping on the winning Fauxbama bandwagon.

No surprise in hearing Fauxbama say Powell will have some role in his administration. Both men deserve each other - puppets for the military/corporate complex.

As for Brokaw, classic example of the typical media shill for the corporate masters - keeps the masses ignorant with mis/dis/noninformation.

fact checker said...

Mr. Parry, you turn yourself into a pretzel in your attempt to make Bill Ayers a benign figure and Colin Powell a malignant one.

If you had left out your effort to let Obama off the hook for his (more than passing) relationship with Ayers in your zeal to denigrate Powell, perhaps you could have developed a more convincing case.

As it is, your article is a dud.

Both men -- Ayers and Powell -- are less than exemplary. And, Obama is, too.

fact checker said...

Oh, and BTW, if one is to dismiss listening to Colin Powell, shouldn't Obama be dissing that endorsement (or at least, remaining neutral) instead of saying it's one of the most important of his campaign and that he's so humbled that General/Secretary Powell has honored him with the endorsement?

Why listen to Obama?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for him,
Powell is the most highly visible perp in the Bush lineup. He is also the most unequivocally guilty because, as a General Officer, he used his position to lie to the world and wage criminal war.

A slam Dunk Courts Martial.

At Nuremburg, Powell's behavior was a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. It remains so.

A capital case.

My take:
Powell endorsed Obama, literally, to save his neck from the "lesson" of Nuremberg.

Powell brought death to many and injustice to many more everywhere by not later protesting against the leaders of these deeds in any way, and speaking out with silence.

I can only hope Obama selects a Special Prosecutor to address the entire travesty of Iraq, and another to green Wall Street by "trimming" a few lying, cheating, and stealing hedgies.

IS Obama as duplicitous ? IS he a liar, too ? Look at his votes supporting telecom immunity and the Military Commissions act.

Is this a foolish dream of justice from which I will awake to find myself manacled ?

IF you think Powell is a "Good Guy", just look at his son at the FCC. The acorn does not fall ...

Parry, your opinion has company:

knowbuddhau said...

Fact Checker writes:
"Oh, and BTW, if one is to dismiss listening to Colin Powell, shouldn't Obama be dissing that endorsement (or at least, remaining neutral) instead of saying it's one of the most important of his campaign and that he's so humbled that General/Secretary Powell has honored him with the endorsement?

"Why listen to Obama? " you ask. As a Kucinich supporter, I thank you for making my point.

McCain/Palin, and the whole Bizarro GOP cosmos they represent, to which Obama is seen here giving a nod and a wink, is SO last century already.

This is is the political expression of Newtonian mechanics applied to the social sciences, aka Behaviorism. It assumes that the cosmos is a machine, and we are mere cogs in it.

Machines are forced into order from the outside. I am altering my environment--and yours, o reader my Reader--from within. Where does that fit in your socio-political economic model?

Apply9ing this Newtonian reduction to Psyche has been a horrible mistake. Answer me this, fact checker: are you a Being aware of your own becoming? or a machine?

This method of manipulating public opinion is akin to hacking our psyches like voting-machines on two legs. It has nothing to do with trying respectfully to persuade an electorate, the true sovereign in this republic, of the valor and virtues of its candidates.

We share being aware of our shared narrative. For anyone to deny us the truth about our present conditions is a violation of the human Spirit we all share.

McCain/Palin is using weapons-grade propaganda, e.g., "He's not a man who sees America like you and I do," here in the "real America," not just some cappy little country we can throw against the wall to prove our macho credentials.

It's an expression of the willingness of this wing of the Republicans to substitute force for diplomacy, for genuine human interaction. They use words as message pellets, little bullets shot at target demographics with the violent intention of forcing the target to change behavior. See also, John Bolton and his bully career.

They want to machine the whole planet into one giant country club, with prisons as barracks for the servants. Want proof? Just look at the Green Zone in Baghdad. Or your nearest gated community. Or Fortress America, protected by Homeland Security, Inc., a Haliburton project sponsored by Goldman Sachs and insured by AIG.