Know Your Candidates and Their Endorsements

I agonised about posting this article, but I feel it is important to relate the facts without bias. There is another article below from McClatchy that suggests that the endorsement from Powell is not just an average endorsement. This is an important issue.

Richard Jehn / The Rag Blog

The Bagman Cometh: Obama Embraces War Criminal’s Endorsement
By Chris Floyd / October 20, 2008

Come, let’s away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.


Democratic Party circles are in raptures over Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama. One can see the heavily-blinkered logic behind their elation; now that our national politics has been reduced to a petty squabble over spoils among shifting factions in the imperial court, a nod from a consummate courtier like Powell is indeed a glittering prize for an ambitious prince.

But out in the real world, where the operations of imperial power have left smoking trails of murder and ruin across the globe, the “endorsement” of a man who played an indispensable role in the slaughter of more than a million innocent people in a war of Hitlerian aggression should be regarded as a thing of shame, and vociferously rejected by anyone with a scintilla of honor or morality.

In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that Colin Powell is more responsible for the mass murder spree in Iraq than any other person except George W. Bush, who gave the actual order for the hit. For it was Powell who “made the sale” for the Bush Faction’s deceitful warmongering campaign, with his infamous February 2003 presentation to the UN, laying out the false evidence about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. After that farrago of artfully delivered lies, the American Establishment – urged on by the fawning, bloodthirsty commentariat – lined up solidly behind the war. After all, if Colin Powell – so “reasonable,” so “honorable,” so “honest” and “bipartisan” – stood foursquare behind the Bush case for war, then it must be ironclad.

This was, again, the logic of courtiers, with little connection to reality. Powell’s reputation as a wise, moderate, impartial statesman – the very thing that made him the most effective shill for the war crime in Iraq – was itself almost entirely a fiction. By the time he made his shameless UN appearance, Powell had already spent almost four decades as a bagman – and frontman – for some of the most vicious and ugly elements in American politics and government. From the My Lai massacre to Iran-Contra, from Washington’s long and murderous collusion with Saddam to its long and murderous campaigns to remove him, Powell has been instrumental in perpetrating or covering up atrocities and abominations on a gigantic scale. [For details, see Robert Parry’s investigation, “The Truth About Colin Powell.”]

Since his departure from the Administration – after staying on long enough to see Bush reconfirmed in power – Powell and his legion of apologists have peddled the myth that he was “stabbed in the back” in his UN presentation: given a false bill of goods with assurances they were true, misled and manipulated by incompetent intelligence analysts and Machiavellian White House insiders, etc., etc. Such stories may help Powell sleep better at night, and they have certainly helped rehabilitate his fictional reputation to the extent that his endorsement is once more considered a worthy prize. But they suffer from one small defect: they are blatantly false.

Powell knew – knew beyond a shadow of a doubt – that he was offering rank lies, cooked intelligence and dubious assertion to the world at his UN presentation before the war. Earlier this year, Jonathan Schwarz provided a devastating demolition of Powell’s UN testimony, showing how it was belied at almost every point by the actual intelligence reports – which Powell had read before the presentation. Powell knew the case for war against Iraq was riddled with holes – holes patched with outright fabrications and the knowing manipulation of data. He presented it anyway; he made the sale. And a million innocent human beings have die for it.


But Powell was selling aggression against Iraq long before his UN fan-dance in February 2003. In fact, he was the mouthpiece that the Administration used in May 2002 – even before the White House began to “roll out the product” of a concentrated warmongering campaign – to signal Washington’s firm intent to invade Iraq even if UN inspectors went into the country and found no weapons of mass destruction. The cat of war crime was out of the bag – and out in open – in the spring of 2002, and it was Powell who untied the strings.

Here’s what I wrote on May 17, 2002, in The Moscow Times:

Quietly, without fanfare, in a bland statement issued by its most “moderate” front man, the Bush Regime crossed another moral Rubicon last week, carrying the once-great republic they have usurped deeper into the blood-soaked mire of international criminality.

The move – committing the United States of America to a policy of Hitlerian military aggression – was little noted at the time. A quick soundbite, maybe, on a couple of the more wonky TV news shows; a brief quote buried somewhere in the thick gray sludge of the “serious” papers. The Regime guaranteed its poison pill would go down sugarcoated by picking Secretary of State Colin Powell as its mouthpiece.

It was a masterstroke of propaganda, really. The former general has long been regarded by the “serious” media on both sides of the Atlantic as a “moderate” maverick on Bush’s hard-right team. Liberal commentators praise Powell as a “restraining influence” on more bellicose insiders like Cheney and Rumsfeld, and a wise, guiding hand for a president unschooled in the subtleties of world diplomacy.

It’s all a sham, of course. Powell is nothing more than a lifelong bagman for powerful interests. His willingness to play ball, to look the other way, has made him a convenient tool for the some of the most violent and undemocratic forces ever to pollute American society.

His first job on the Inside was an attempted whitewash of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam; it didn’t quite work, but he won points for his obfuscatory efforts and went on to a plum job in the crime-ridden Nixon White House. Then came Iran-Contra, the criminal conspiracy of drug-running and terrorism operated directly out of the Reagan-Bush White House. Powell illicitly sent missiles to the terrorist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, then helped with the ensuing cover-up. For this service, he was made head of the entire U.S. military.

He then directed the illegal American aggression against Panama, when President George H.W. Bush killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of innocent civilians in a hissy fit against his old CIA employee Manuel Noriega. Powell, like Bush, had long known Noriega was a murderous drug dealer, but they found him useful, and plied him with plaudits and cash – until Bush needed to prove his tough-guy cojones to Reaganite critics in the Republican Party….

So what better man to announce George W. Bush’s adoption of Adolf Hitler’s moral code? Powell sat down with the media sycophants on ABC’s “This Week” and calmly – moderately – laid out the new doctrine. The subject, of course, was Iraq. The UN was working on a deal that would allow international inspectors back into the country to verify that Saddam Hussein no longer possessed weapons of mass destruction.

These inspections were vital because, as George W. never ceases to remind us, Saddam Hussein is so evil that he “gassed his own people.” …But Junior always omits the inconvenient fact that one year [the attack], Daddy Bush signed an executive order mandating closer U.S. ties to Saddam’s regime. Daddy Bush showered Saddam with endless financial credits and mountains of “dual-use technology” – which the dictator duly used to develop his WMDs – right up until the day before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Needless to say, Powell, as head of Daddy’s military, was complicit in this lunatic operation and raised no demur, “moderate” or otherwise.

Flash forward to the present day. Junior Bush is now in the White House. For months, he has threatened military action against Iraq if Hussein fails to verify the destruction of his WMD capacity. (At the same time, of course, Junior undercuts international treaties that would require monitoring of his own biochemical warfare facilities. There’s a good reason for that: the Regime is now preparing to develop offensive biochemical weapons, in contravention of international and U.S. law, the Village Voice reports.)

The world braces for another conflagration in the Mesopotamian sands. But then Saddam blinks. He starts talking with the UN. He renounces aggression. He tries to make up with Kuwait. Sooner or later, the inspectors will go back in – no cause for war now, right?

Wrong, Powell told the sycophants last week. The “moderate” secretary said that even if UN inspectors go in and verify compliance, the Bush Regime still “reserves its options” to do anything necessary, including military invasion, to effect a “regime change.” Bush himself has already acknowledged that nuclear force is among those “options.”

So there it is. The United States now openly claims the right to launch an all-out attack on any nation in the world whose regime it doesn’t like – even if that nation is not engaged in active military aggression or terrorism – and even if the mere threat of aggression has been defused by UN monitoring.

No provocation necessary. No legality required. Just a thuggish elite raining death on the world, for profit and power, sowing hatred for the once-great nation they have hijacked – and ensuring more death and terror for its people.

This then is the bloodstained hand that Barack Obama has clasped so warmly, so triumphantly, on his march to power. As for Powell, he has proven himself once more the ultimate courtier. In the latest intramural tussle in the imperial court, his keen and practiced eye has picked out the coming man – and so he has jettisoned the faction he has served for so long, and latched on to the winning side yet again. (As he did previously for a while with Bill Clinton.) And why not? Powell has always been a faithful servant of America’s militarist empire – no matter who its temporary manager might be.

Chris Floyd is the author of Empire Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime.

Source / Information Clearing House

Source / McClatchy

The Rag Blog

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3 Responses to Know Your Candidates and Their Endorsements

  1. Mariann says:

    Thanks for running this — in The Pictorial Key to the Republican Tarot, Powell appears as Player of Arms. We already know that Obama, while promising peace in Iraq, seems more warlike towards Afghanistan, and the recent establishment of an Africa Command within the highest military echelons is also noted. In other words, no matter who wins in November, don’t throw out your Peace signs!!

  2. Had GWB gone to Afghanistan to start with, we’d have utilized our resources and military forces to potentially have ended Bin Laden’s reign. The Bush family have been friends with the Bin Laden’s – obviously, they had no intent of attacking a ‘long-term’ buddy.

    The war in Iraq was for oil as well as to end Hussein’s reign of terror – essentially you had a need for BOTH of these criminals and their establishment, to be brought down and to an end.

    I’ll always be curious as to why we didn’t go to both countries simultaneously, and try to halt all of it these past 6 years. Possibly we didn’t have the volunteer forces we needed; potentially we didn’t have the ability to fund and built the weapons and manpower we needed.

    Obama is only having to handle a problem that still exists; probably has worsened, and whether you end up with McCain or Obama, you will have continued war.

    Unfortunately, our country’s economy thrives on war; they learned that back during WWII.

    I don’t expect ‘peace’ during my life-time, but I would at least like to have someone in the white house who isn’t buddies with our nation’s leader(s).

    Notice that not since 1928, has there been a Republican ticket that didn’t have the name Nixon or Bush on it. Nixon – a man from California (California one of the major suppliers of military weapons and equipment). Bush – oil, oil, oil…and also dependent on war – prosperity for Texas.

    Figure this: Texas and California are the ‘warring states’ – full of crooks; swindlers, and bigots. History shows us that both states have been hoodlums (essentially) – when I say ‘hoodlums’, I mean the violence; unrest – crookedness of many key figures in the last 150 years, have originated from these two states; 2 of the larger states in the union.

    I believe both California and Texas feel the rest of us states are just ‘servant states’ – checking the super-rich family history, shows that to be not only a trend, but a clear legend that goes back at the time our country ‘expanded’.

    Unfortunately we’ve now made so many enemies with other nations, we almost can’t go back to a being known as a peaceful nation; we’re stuck with being a ‘bully’ and a ‘war-machine’. Stuck with the reputation; an economy built on it, and how we REBUILD (if/when – and become strong), only then will we have a chance to hope for more peaceful times coupled with a certain amount of prosperity and financial stability.

    The fear factor drives not only the military industry, but the newspaper industry; media, film, and related fields that make huge dollars from the public’s fear. If it’s not fear of a terrorist attack; it’s fear of immigrants, different religious views – different cultures and skin colors.

    Fear of being cold; poor – fear, fear, fear – that we can’t keep up with our neighbor.

    As you read now about how people are reacting to this financial crisis, it still is balanced on and entrenched in the concept of FEAR.

    For years the behavior analysts have been putting out scores of reports/books/data, showing how the human mind works; and we know that the opposite of fear, is pleasure.

    The pleasure-based human (sadly) can often find it by invoking fear and death – so long as we live in a country who has chosen to put power, money, and dominance as their priorities, no president will be able to retreat from the war effort that keeps rolling over us like an avalanche. /ds

  3. ..sorry, meant to write ‘buddies with our nation’s enemies’.

    But, enemies we should not have cultivated; enemies are ‘made’ not born.

    Our greed has driven us; our fear has driven us – our lack of accepting the rights of other nations to live in accordance with their type of government and ideals, is what has brought us to the point of being so disliked.

    I have friends in about 12 other countries; they write me e-mails 2 or 3 times a week, and send me links to local newspapers just to show me how we are ‘viewed’ and talked about in the press and media in their country.

    I dislike reading the ‘truth’ because I know much of this could have been avoided.

    When they killed JFK, it was clear we were going to be on a road to aggression from that time forward. /ds

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