This morning, General Colin Powell a former Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff and Secretary Of State did the unthinkable to the GOP. He hit them hard, and right where it hurts. In endorsing Barack Obama for President, he not only managed to break ranks with them; but repudiate their tactics, tone, and nastiness of the campaign as well as slam the Neocons into the ground. All while being quite eloquent and very much the gentleman, with nary a harsh word. An absolutely BRILLIANT performance, wonderful endorsement, and a stinging indictment all at the same time. Oh, and did I mention manage to potentially diffuse the arguments that Senator Obama was “un-American”? It was the stuff of legend, and truly expressed what so many of us have felt for weeks now.
General Powell not only proved to the country that he is a great American, but truly served us up an example of how an American behaves, and what we should aspire to. He also managed to redeem his soul in the process.
For too long, the question of the Iraq War and his selling of it in front of the United Nations and the world HAD to be knawing at him. Ever the loyal soldier, he waited until just the right moments to make his statements of protest quietly and without reservation. First, he resigned after Bush’s first term…now I think we know why. He kept quiet for all these years in deference to his former Boss. He stayed silent because he knew that the situation in Iraq was bad, and with just enough time and rope Bush and his ilk would hang themselves. He would wait until just the right moment and do more damage to the Neocons than anyone has ever sone. He waited until today, when he could regain his honor and his soul and put the screws to the very same guys who left his reputation in tatters a mere 5 years ago.
Bravo, General Powell. You are a man of rare talent; loyal to a fault perhaps, but at least you get a chance to regain the otherwise stellar reputation you once had. Moveover, you finally get a chance at a decent night’s sleep again. It’s never easy turning your back on a friend, but when that friend does something dishonorable, they need to be made aware of it and the full implications thereof. In this case, the ramifications of dishonor carry far more weight than most, and like the Military Code you so proudly served for many years, it strikes at those who would dishonor not only themselves but the entire nation in the process.
While General Powell was redeeming his soul, Tom Brokow and whatever Faustian deal he made with whatever demon that has been possessing him since the death of his close friend Tim Russert, was out selling his. He is the mass media’s version of John McCain: a once proud and honorable reporter and anchorman whose unrelenting quest for neutrality and fairness were never in question. Until now. I honestly think Tom’s lost more then a step over the past few years, and Russert’s death has pushed him over the edge. At every turn, he tried to corner and goad General Powell into coming back with some sort of retort to leading questions about Ayers and the McCain campaign; all this AFTER he had endorsed Obama. It was almost as if Brokow was attempting to delegitimize the endorsement right then and there. Powell never took the bait…not once. In fact, he made his case even stronger. Brokow looked like the tired old man he is, just like his buddy, John McCain. (My neighbor works for NBC and told me yesterday, “You won’t be seeing Brokow much after the Election…trust me.”)
One man’s redemption through grace and class; another man’s fall by selling the last of his soul for just one more moment of glory…one more campaign. Just like his buddy, John McCain.
“Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
You are so eloquent in your writing. You take what is in my heart and turn it into something magical. Please, don’t ever take this talent you have for writing for granted. There is a great need for people like you. I believe this is a time in history when we need to have people like you writing, and recording, what is happening.
Colin Powell has redeemed his dignity as well as his honor and soul. A good man.