Colin Powell: A ‘trailblazer’ and ‘a role model for all of us’ • FRANCE 24 English

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FRANCE 24 English published this video item, entitled “Colin Powell: A ‘trailblazer’ and ‘a role model for all of us’ • FRANCE 24 English” – below is their description.

Colonel Wes Martin, former US Antiterrorism Officer, joins France 24 to reflect on the life and the legacy of Colin Powell. ‘He always maintained himself with a quiet dignity.’ The former colonel fondly remembers Powell as always being ‘ideal’ in everything he did, and says that his entire record reflected that. 

As for the lead-up to the war in Iraq, Colonel Martin insists that Powell ‘was trapped in a bad situation on the briefing before the United Nations. He was given bad information by State Department, by Central Intelligence Agency and by Defense Investigative Agency.’ And although Powell ultimately did give the infamous UN speech that made the US case for war, Powell was reportedly incredulous when provided with the intelligence. ‘And at one point he even said, ‘I can’t use this,’ Colonel Martin remembers. ‘As former National Security Advisor, and as a warrior, and as a commander of troops he saw flaws.’ And so Powell pushed for diplomacy, the retired colonel asserts, yet he was ultimately pushed into war by the Bush administration’s neoconservatives. 

‘We had no legal reason to go into Iraq,” acknowledges Colonel Martin. And even though ‘Saddam was not a good person … he did maintain a fine balance of power between Iraq and Iran.” Saddam Hussein’s presence guaranteed stability in the Middle East, the retired colonel explains. The Iraq ‘invasion ended up causing the breakdown of stability. Iran became the dominant force in Iraq, and now you see that reign of terror going all the way across Iraq’ and beyond, laments Colonel Martin. “Syria, Yemen, Lebanon. We totally destroyed that fine balance of power.’

When it comes to Colin Powell’s legacy as a “trailblazer” for the African-American community, Colonel Wes Martin remarked that Powell ‘was too busy doing his job with dignity to make a great deal about how he was shattering glass ceilings. He was going out there and doing what a fine warrior and a fine soldier does.’

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About This Source - FRANCE 24 English

The video item below is a piece of English language content from France 24. France 24 is a French state-owned international news television network based in Paris.

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