Kudos to Colin Powell

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Guysanto
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Kudos to Colin Powell

Post by Guysanto » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:51 am

Hardly anyone on this board has critiqued Colin Powell in a harsher way than I have. After his welcome endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States, I remain as before profoundly disappointed by Powell's record of disservice to the world, under George W. Bush and previous U.S. presidents going all the way back to Richard Nixon, and the whitewashing of military killing sprees from Vietnam to Iraq that Powell has too often acquiesced in.

So do not think that his belated endorsement of Barack Obama is going to change my views of the four-star general, who also sold Haitian democracy short when he could have made a difference.

However, in his endorsement of Barack Obama, Colin Powell made an extraordinary statement, for which he deserves to be commended. And in spite of all my reservations about the man, I take my hat off to civilian Colin Powell for this statement that needed to be made in the midst of the raging paranoia, xenophobia, and outright racism that this presidential campaign has stirred and that the Republican ticket in particular has exploited in a most disgusting display of political cynicism.

[quote]I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim."

Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America.

Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?

Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards -- Purple Heart, Bronze Star -- showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.

And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross; it didn't have the Star of David; it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. [/quote]

The endorsement of Barack Obama, as late as it came, will not likely make a difference except perhaps to a small group of people who fancy themselves to be "independent" or "undecided" (who probably should be denied the right to vote for being likely still unable to tell the difference between lowercase and uppercase letters after eighteen months of cursive, calligraphy and keyboarding instructions). However, it should go a long way in terms of bringing many American people back to their senses. After all, did they not display a great outpouring of sympathies at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games for the distinguished torch bearer, the most beloved sports figure, an African-American Muslim by the name of Muhammad Ali?

What in a word is "An American" ? Thank you (this time) to Colin Powell for reminding us that anyone in the world can be, without regard to ethnicity, race or religion, as we engage in a common endeavor to meet present-day challenges to our alienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

Serge
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Post by Serge » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:57 pm

Guy, I am also most critical of Gen. Powell, from the time of his so-called "negociations" with Cedras and Co. (along with Pre. Carter) to his performance during the time leading to the Iraq war. However, rayi chen, di dan l blanch.

I will say that his endorsement of Obama was very powerful. I do not think that it came too late, for the simple reason that he is a Republican who will remain a Republican. It is not only the fact that he endorsed Obama, but rather it is the way he did it. The way he brought up the issue of the Muslim religion was most effective and courageous and straightforward. I have not heard a politician do that, Democrat or Republican. Everyone is afraid. It is interesting to note that no one in the press or in the political arena has dared to elaborate further. Probably for fear of being branded by Israel of flirting with the Arabs. I think he should be commended for that.

Having said all that, we cannot forget that infamous speech at the UN preceding the invasion of Iraq. He will have to live with it and we will have to remember that.

Serge

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