Monday, November 15, 2004

So much for the voice of reason

Colin Powell, the one sane individual on the Bush administration's foreign policy team, has tossed in the towel. The wonder isn't that Powell resigned — it's that he didn't call it quits months, even years, ago.

Throughout the post-9/11 era and the current Iraq debacle, Powell has been the lone voice of moderation against the warhawks like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and has lost every significant point of disagreement. Worst of all, Powell was the guy who got hung out to dry before the United Nations like a dressed duck in the butcher's window, forced to propound a policy he never believed in based upon evidence he knew didn't exist. But like a loyal soldier, he took the brunt of the onslaught without (much) public grumbling. Bush and Co. owe the General big-time, and you can bet they'll never make good on the debt.

Apparently the President is tapping national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to replace Powell as Secretary of State. I'm not at all sure Dr. Rice is the right person for this job — after four years of playing yes-woman to George W. and giving him what looks like a slew of ill-founded advice (or at least failing to counter the ill-founded advice he received from others), I question whether she will be able to garner the respect and admiration in the international arena that General Powell has enjoyed. But she'll have to try.

Good luck, Dr. Rice. You'll need it.

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