If you were born after saying, 1995 and especially not interested in 20th century U.S. history, General Colin Powell You may have a floating question mark – a name that dominates the title at the beginning of your week but a touch seems unfamiliar. You know you’ve heard the name before, but you’re not sure where and in what context.
But if you have any respect at all for the history that Barack Obama made as our first black president, you will not appreciate at least Powell, who died Monday morning at the age of complication of Covid-1 from. Growing up as a first-generation Jamaican-American in New York City and the Bronx in 1937, Powell’s story is a case study of the determination of immigrants who come to America and dream within its borders.
Powell CV He was the first smorgasbord in historical history: he was the first black U.S. Secretary of State, a position he held from 2001 to 2005. Bill Clinton And George H. W. Bush. He was the country’s first black national security adviser under the president Ronald Reagan, During which he was instrumental in ending the Cold War with Russia. He was the only black man to serve as a four-star general in the U.S. military. He was one of only two people to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice.
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He did all this in the historically conservative (read: racist) U.S. military. Powell was first introduced in 1958 – just a decade after becoming president Harry Truman Disbanding the army – and advancing literally for decades; It would be 41 years of his career (which included two tours in the Vietnam War) before becoming general. Powell had a hand in almost every U.S. military conflict in the latter half of the twentieth century, and actually served as architect for many, including the Persian Gulf War in the early 1900s and the U.S. invasion of Panama in the 19th century.
Unfortunately, the career stains Powell wore until his death, he gave a speech at the United Nations in February 2003, in which he supported the need to remove the Iraqi regime. Saddam Hussein With the now infamous claim of “weapons of mass destruction”. We now know that none of this was found in Iraq, but it did lead to a protracted, guilty war that officially ended in 2011 but whose widespread impact has led to instability in the region that continues to this day.
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Powell himself called the defense of the war and the subsequent speech a “stain” on his record. He may not be completely free of this guilt, but many conveniently forget that there were many chefs in the kitchen during the Iraq war, including the president. George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney And Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (A trio will many consider the true “axis of evil”). There are also members of Congress – many of whom are still comfortable collecting checks – and yes, even the press.
But Powell was the face – the black face – that many still use as a picture at the center of the Iraq war dartboard. Take a look for yourself … All the headlines about Powell and the Iraq war are about his actual death.
Since Powell was a colored-wool military man, beef with American imperialism, a war with precise evidence, or the blood of young soldiers and innocent civilians in our hands could be a worse target than that. However, to be a leader in the US government you have to have blood on your hands. Beard. Obama included.
If that’s the metric by which you want to measure Powell, I wouldn’t argue. However, I like to remember him as an exceptional leader who did a lot of extraordinary things for the first time when it was unimaginable for a black man to do them.
Dustin J. A local Detroiter living in Chicago. He loves his own mom a little more than he likes singing and exercising every day so eating his french fries doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at wafflecolored.com.