Powell vs. The Pentagon.
September 21, 2001 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Powell vs. The Pentagon. According to CNN, Colin Powell is "pushing for a limited military component," and wants to place more emphasis on financial, legal, political and diplomatic tools. But (as you might expect), the Pentagon wouldn't mind taking down Saddam Hussein while we're in the neighborhood. In other CNN news, the US appears sensitive to the need to support its decisions, and will be making the case for bin Laden's guilt to the Pakistanis. I find both of these items somewhat encouraging. How about you?
posted by pardonyou? (21 comments total)
From all indications Powell has been the moderating voice in this administration. We should consider ourselves lucky to have him there.
posted by mrbula at 11:27 AM on September 21, 2001

Powell is the only cabinet member that I like and I thought he would have resigned before the 4 yrs. Thank God he is there.
posted by jbou at 11:30 AM on September 21, 2001

Colin Powell is the man. I trust him more than anyone else in the administration, and I think many other citizens feel the same way.
posted by cell divide at 11:33 AM on September 21, 2001

I am quite astonished by this, pleased as well. I do wonder though how firm he will stand in the long run. As he is there to make decisions and stick by them, if he caves into the pressure without compromising, no one will take him seriously anymore and we will see those politcal cartoons of him saying "yes sir, no sir" all over again.
posted by jasonspaceman at 11:40 AM on September 21, 2001

I wish Powell had ran for President... I really do... he is as Moderate and middle of the fence as they come for a Republican.

However, even if we do get Bin Laden's terrorist organization totally, there will only be another one to eventually pop-up.

However, it is doubtful it would have the financial support and technological know-how that Bin Laden's enjoys.
posted by da5id at 11:41 AM on September 21, 2001

Now I wish I had a link, but I remember reading an article a while ago about how former military commanders are almost always the voice against exercising military options and going to war, because they understand firsthand the costs and consequences of commiting troops to something.
posted by chacal at 11:45 AM on September 21, 2001

Time to get it over with: Afganistan first (which, I suspect, will be less "impossible" than commonly imagined; then remove S.Hussein. And on my wish list: Syria/Lebanon Time...well, first things first.

I heard on the radio yesterday that the connection with Iraq is solid. Assuming it is, NATO forces should invade and occupy Iraq to assure that all the nuclear and chemical weapons infrastructure is dismantled (I wouldn't be surprised if Iraqis are kissing American soldiers' shoes once the initial invasion work is done). Ugly, certainly, but basically, it's pay me now with a conventional arms invasion, or pay me later, with an invasion thwarted by Iraqi nuclear and/or chemical munitions.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:46 AM on September 21, 2001

imagined; then = imagined) then
posted by ParisParamus at 11:48 AM on September 21, 2001

Nuke everyone! I recall that a number of years ago, the Israelis against all international law and with world condemnation took out Iraq's nuclear building efforts. Ah, well Zionism equals racism.
posted by Postroad at 11:50 AM on September 21, 2001

This is extremely encouraging; I am very glad to read this.

Fighting people who have already become terrorists will be an unending war, and will inspire more young, hopeless Muslims to turn to terrorism themselves. The only way to eventually win is to remove the conditions that create terrorists in the first place.
posted by mattpfeff at 12:08 PM on September 21, 2001

America should present their evidence to the Taliban. This is a reasonable request. Would America extradite one of their own to a foriegn government with whom they had no relations without evidence? It is critical that America is able to convince Muslims worldwide that Bin Laden is responsible for the WTC. Without evidence, many around the world will see Bin Laden and the Taliban as the scapegoats/matyrs and America on a 'crusade' against Islam.
posted by dydecker at 12:10 PM on September 21, 2001

Thank God for Colin Powell.

On the other hand, do you like the choice the U.S. has made on the Taliban's request for evidence?

We said: Nope, you get zip, hand bin Laden over.

Sure, whatever we gave them would have been nitpicked (or isn't that airtight) and the Taliban would still have said no.

But lordy, how does that look to all of the Arab and Islamic nations and people watching this? Why couldn't we have handed them a bundle of stuff, not Top Secret, just your basic dossier, so that we could say we met their request but they still refused?

Instead, what does the world get to watch?

"Hand him over."

"Why should we?"

"Because we said so."


Cue "The Ride of the Valkyries."
posted by sacre_bleu at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2001

Very encouraging. Yay for Colin! So, where do we send email/make calls to try and back him? The Pentagon? The Prez?
posted by daver at 12:27 PM on September 21, 2001

To follow up on what chacal said, a CBS/NY Times pool showed that the lowest level of support for using the military option was among the people of the WWII/Korea and Vietnam generations.
Food for thought.
posted by Asim at 1:02 PM on September 21, 2001

To present the evidence to the Taleban would be equivalent to the USA recognizing them as a legitimate government, which they do not.

As such, the USA is presenting its evidence to Pakistan instead, and in good political moves, is allowing one of the few governments that recognize the Taleban government, the opportunity to review the evidence.

That way, the USA doesn't have to deal with the Taleban directly, but they also get a Muslim dominated country to review their evidence.
posted by da5id at 1:28 PM on September 21, 2001

sacre bleu: U.S. to share details of bin Laden case with Pakistan

I'm sure this information will be readily available to Afganistan shortly thereafter.
posted by fusinski at 1:32 PM on September 21, 2001

Nice link, da5id. You win this time. Next time you shall not be so lucky ;)
posted by fusinski at 1:32 PM on September 21, 2001

da5id, thanks for the insight.

So we don't consider the Taliban a legitimate enough government to review our evidence. But we do consider them legitimate enough to be the people in charge, responsible for turning over their friend and guest, before our military enters their country.


What a predicament.
posted by sacre_bleu at 1:43 PM on September 21, 2001

According to one US military source interviewed on BBC TV yesterday, the world will see the evidence which proves bin Laden's guilt.... once Afghanistan has been bombed.

In the meantime, for those of you just too impatient to wait, here's the evidence: bin Laden is what we'd call Prime Suspect, okay? And unless you want to be what we'd call Prime Suspect as well, you'd better shut your mouth.
posted by skylar at 2:11 PM on September 21, 2001

general powell's rules :)

For years, reports of General Powell's Rules have circulated through Washington, DC. They were provided to those who worked with him as guidance on how to behave in a crisis.

Like Ben Franklin's aphorisms in Poor Richard's Almanac, these simple sayings give insight into the mind of an American success story -- and reflect, as well, the confidence and optimism of an entire nation.

For those who might wonder what is going on at the highest levels in the American capital, in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, these thirteen points and two slogans may point the way forward.

posted by kliuless at 5:36 PM on September 21, 2001

I've read a couple of recent reports (I think at the BBC online) that, some months ago, we did, indeed, show the Taliban evidence for bin Laden's involvement in eariler attacks (USS Cole et. al.). They rejected the concept of extradition then. We may have even sweeten the pot with offers of cash assistance at that point.

Seems there's a bit of "We already gave you a chance" going on here. It would be nice if the Administration would simply explain it as such, so that it can make a little more sense (assuming it's true.)
posted by Asim at 7:16 PM on September 21, 2001

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