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Colin Powell Address the Nation - Essay Example

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More recently, Powell has been severely criticized for his role in building the case for the 2003 Attack of Iraq. In a press release on February 24, 2001 he had said that sanctions against Iraq had stalled the development of any weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein…
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Colin Powell Address the Nation
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[Supervisor's Colin Powell Address the Nation More recently, Powell has been severely criticized for his role in building the case for the 2003 Attack of Iraq. In a press release on February 24, 2001 he had said that sanctions against Iraq had stalled the development of any weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein. As was the case in the days leading up to the Persian Gulf War, Powell was originally opposed to a forcible oust of Hussein, preferring to continue a policy of containment. Nevertheless, Powell ultimately agreed to go along with the Bush administration's resolve to eliminate Hussein. He had often fought with the hawks in the administration, who were allegedly planning an Iraq invasion even before the September 11 attacks-an insight supported by evidence by former terrorism czar Richard Clarke in front of the 9/11 Commission.
The main concession Powell wanted before he would offer his full support for the Iraq War was the participation of the international community in the attack, unlike the one-sided approach some of the hawks were championing. He was also thriving in convincing Bush to take the case of Iraq to the United Nations, and in moderating other initiatives. Powell was placed at the vanguard of this diplomatic campaign. Powell's main role was to gather international support for a multi-national alliance to increase the invasion. To this end, Powell addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003 to bicker in favor of military action. Quoting "numerous" nameless Iraqi defectors, Powell declared that "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." (Cockburn, online) Powell also remarked that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to acquire key components to produce nuclear weapons.
There was a general rejection of the proof Powell offered that the regime of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. A Senate report on intelligence failures would afterward feature the strong debate that went on behind the scenes on what to include in Powell's speech. State Department analysts had established dozens of truthful problems in drafts of the speech. Some of the claims were taken out, but others were left in, such as claims based on the yellowcake forgery. (Abcnews, online) The administration is currently under fire for having acted on faulty intelligence. Reports have indicated that Powell himself was skeptical of the evidence presented to him. In September 2005, Powell was asked about the speech during an interview with Barbara Walters and responded that it was a "blot" on his record. He went on to say, "It will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now." (Abcnews, online)
Powell gave testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, recognizing that the sources who provided much of the information in his February 2003 UN presentation were "wrong" and that it was "unlikely" that any stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction would be found. This testifies to the fact that United States action of attacking Iraq was wrong.

Works Cited
Abcnews, Colin Powell on Iraq, Race, and Hurricane Relief, retrieved on March 29, 2006 from http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Politics/storyid=1105979&page=1
Cockburn Alexander, Weapons of Mass Destruction: Who Said What When, May 29, 2003, retrieved on March 29, 2006 from http://www.counterpunch.org/wmd05292003.html Read More
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