Daily Revolt

November 19, 2007

Powell: Iran Far From Nuclear Weapon

Colin sees the parallels between what is going on now with Iran and what happened to him when he used by the White House to sell the Iraq invasion. He is doing his patriotic duty as a good soldier:
Iran is far from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and despite U.S. fears about its atomic intentions, an American military strike against the Islamic Republic is unlikely, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday.

[...]"I think Iran is a long way from having anything that could be anything like a nuclear weapon," said Powell, who was invited by the National Bank of Kuwait to speak on economic opportunity and crisis in the Middle East.

A recent report by the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog found Iran has been generally truthful in the information it has provided the agency about aspects of its past nuclear activities.

But the International Atomic Energy Agency said it could not rule out that Iran had a secret weapons program because of restrictions Tehran placed on its inspectors two years ago.

Asked if he sees a U.S. war on Iran coming, the retired U.S. general said although no American official will say the option was "off the table," he did not see prospects of a military conflict.

There is no base of support among Americans for such an action, Powell said, adding that the U.S. military already has enough on its hands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He had more to say about how to solve the Iran issue:
[...]be patient, because there are forces working within Iran, which may bring about positive changes.” Turning to the issue of Iraq, Powell went on to say that the US made a mistake by destroying the Iraqi army, in addition to dismantling the civil infrastructure. “As an occupier it was our responsibility to ensure law and order but we let things drift away. Initially, we did not have enough troops and this gave rise to insurgency that later took a dangerous turn,” he added.

Elaborating further, he said: “I am pleased that the US military surge in Iraq has been able to reduce the level of violence. Sunni and Shia leaders have taken some initiatives to bring about peace in the country. The objective of the military surge was to give some breathing space to Iraqi leadership to undertake serious efforts towards reconciliation. Iraq will need a lot of cooperation from its neighbors to bring about stability. I call upon every country in the region to assist Iraq in moving forward.” Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, he noted that both sides were weak but expressed hoped that some progress will be made at the forthcoming meeting. “People think that America has a lot of influence on Israel. The Europeans criticize us but, in the end, turn to us to lead the effort. The reason being America has greater resources than anybody else to resolve disputes.”

Nevertheless, lets never forget that he was deeply involved in spreading disinformation that led to a catastrophic war:
[...]When Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, presented the case for war to the United Nations in February 2003, he called him “an eyewitness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised” one of the biological weapons sites. According to Powell, the defector “actually was present during the biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents.” Having suggested this amazing source was one of those “who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to,” Powell now told the hushed United Nations Security Council, and the world, “This defector is currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him.”

Ultimately, Powell was used by a sinister President, and his neocon handlers, for the purpose of fulfilling their fascist dream of a colony in Iraq. Now they want Iran:
The United Nations, responding to American pressure, forced Hussein to let inspectors return in late 2002, but they found there was nothing much to find, even at the sites Curveball had talked about. Secretary Powell clearly knew something was wrong as he prepared his speech to the United Nations just weeks before the war was due to begin. He threw out an incendiary and unverifiable draft prepared by Cheney’s office and did his best to force the C.I.A. to stand behind its information. (Indeed, Tenet was seated behind him at the United Nations.) The unseen “mobile biological labs” confected by Curveball came to seem “the most solid piece of intelligence,” said Powell’s chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.

In a real sense — and this is worth remembering as we listen to the drumbeat for military attacks against Iran today — doubts did not matter. The invasion of Iraq had been decided in 2002 and was going to happen in 2003 no matter what information came to the administration. “Under pressure to build the case for war,” Drogin writes, “the C.I.A. chiefs figured they’d get to Baghdad, find warehouses full of W.M.D., and no one would remember a bogus defector.” It turns out they were wrong about that too.

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