Politics & Policy

Powell’s Speech Was

Powell’s Case – Part 1

David Warren of The Ottawa Citizen has the fastest, bluntest analysis of yesterday’s presentation by Colin Powell at the Security Council: “a waste of time and energy.” “For as delegates to the Security Council showed in their responses to Mr.Powell’s presentation — especially China, France, Russia — they simply are not interested in proof.”

Warren argues that Powell’s speech only reminds us what a folly it was to have gone to the UN in the first place – a folly that, as Warren argues again, was imposed on the US by Colin Powell. By acceding to the absurdities of the UN system at the start, the US finds itself completely tangled up in them now.

Powell’s Case – Part 2

Waste though it may have been, though, the speech was nonetheless riveting. Here was the most cautious member of the Bush senior foreign policy team casting aside one myth after another: including that most ingrained of all myths, the one about how “Islamic” terrorists like al Qaeda never cooperate with “secular” extremists like Saddam Hussein. By the time Powell was finished, nothing remained of the antiwar case that Powell himself once espoused – nothing except self-deception and the sour smell of fear.

Schroeder’s Dilemma

Hey speaking of fear, take a look at the latest economic news from Germany. “Nearly 400,000 Germans lost their jobs in January,” reports the Telegraph “taking the total to 4.6 million, or one in nine of the entire workforce.” That rise is the biggest one-month jump in five years; no wonder Schroeder is casting about in absolute terror, looking for an issue – any issue – to divert the rage of German voters away from his own party. Iraq is a perfect issue for mobilizing left-of-center German voters. Or was. Andrew Sullivan astutely notes how the al Qaeda terrorist whom Powell singled out for scrutiny happens to have chosen Germany for his base of operations.

Saddam not a terrorist? Wait till the bombs that Germany helped to finance and manufacture start detonating in Germany rather than the West – and see what happens to Schroeder’s case (and German neutralism!) then.

Keep Asking

We had some excellent questions in this past week’s roundup of reader questison about The Right Man. They were fun to read and thought-provoking to answer. So if you want to keep sending them, I’ll keep answering them here on this site. Email me questions directly at dfrum@aei.org

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