Friday, September 15, 2006

When Colin Powell speaks...

Colin Powell, in a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), stated "The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Convention]would add to those doubts. Furthermore it would put our own troops at risk."

Details here.

Bush had best pay attention. When it comes to military matters, it is Powell who has the experience and the expertise. Quite frankly, Powell is the only American political figure I really respect.

On one hand, the provision is somewhat vague, so there's an argument for making it more specific. There is no good argument for the United States to change the definition unilaterally. And for sure there is no good argument for the United States to act as if the definition has changed before it actually does change, in writing, agreed and witnessed by others in the world community.


Scout said...

so in your opinion, who was worse when it came to misunderstanding military....bush or nixon? (i'm not talking about the crimes, just the generalities)

Ron said...


hmmmm...interesting question. My first inclination would be Nixon as worse, but then it took Nixon to get out of VietNam and into China, so...

...and Nixon was VP under Eisenhower--but: I do wonder how he would have handled the USSR over the Cuban issue; after all, Nixon was a rabid anti-communist and worked under McCarthy.

Leaving aside the right and wrong of the issue, Bush certainly followed the Powell Doctrine in the mid-east amd I don't think he would have made the moves in Iraq that his son did. After all, he didn't move to take out Saddam after the Kuwait episode, and that was against the advice of some of his generals.

I really don't have a definitive answer. You?

Ron said...

scout: Interesting. When you wrote "Bush" I immediately thought of Jr's father, and my response reflects that. If by any chance you meant Bush JR or Nixon, well, Bush Jr is so obviously out of his depth, I find it hard to ascertain what he might know about. I can't see that he understands much about the military.

Scout said...

ya ron, i actually meant bush jr.. and i think you are prob right about the extent of his stupidity. i dont know enough about nixon to make any judgement....other then that he was so concerned about what everyonne thought of him whereas bush just thinks he's a winner , damn the polls (even though he tries to manipulate them).

bush did have a brief foray with the military, kinda in a faux sense, but maybe that gave him SOME insight. ach, i have no idea :)

Ron said...

Bush Sr was a decorated carrier pilot flying, among other aircraft, the Avenger (a quite good fighter-bomber) in WWII--evidently the youngest pilot in the Navy when recruited, and had a good flying record with 58 combat missions flown.

Nixon was a Lieutenant Commander during WWII which is a rank just below full Commander but considered a senior Lieutenant rather than a Jr Commander. L/Cs were usually departmental heads on large ships or the senior officer on small ships.

Bush Jr served as an F-102 fighter pilot (jr grade Lieutenant) in the Texas Air National Guard, a reserve force in the United States. The F-102 was a decent supersonic delta-wing jet fighter aircraft so he'd be a competent pilot.

Bush Sr and Nixon both served at least a couple of years in combat theatres, Bush Jr did not, so far as I can find.