The Splendid Failure of Occupation
Part 17: Colin Powell, a cool doctrinaire of hyper-imperialism
By B.J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 11, 2004, 21:57

�We have succeeded, because we stopped the talking about Iraqi children, and instead are talking about weapons of mass destruction, not sanctions to hurt civilians."�U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, describing his plans for new 'smart sanctions', House International Relations Committee, 7 February 2001

�It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in."�General Colin Powell (When asked about the number of Iraqi people who were slaughtered by Americans in the 1991 "Desert Storm" terror campaign�over 200,000 people killed)

In the vocabulary of hyper-imperialism, the slogan, �regime change,� through the concocted doctrine of military preemption� has acquired a specific meaning: access to colonialism. The concept works like this: If a non-nuclear country is of a strategic importance to the economics and ideology of hyper-imperialism, the U.S. could fabricate a ruse to invade it, change its regime, and establish military bases on its territory. Iraq is the first sovereign state to fall consequent to this doctrine.

Iraq, formerly shackled by U.S. made U.N. resolutions and economic sanctions, and ruled by a dictatorship has become the ideal testing ground for the establishment of hyper-imperialist colonialism and the paramount prize of the new Israel-U.S.-Britain axis. Although the United States is occupying Iraq with a Nazi-Israeli style iron fist, and despite a string of U.N. resolutions sanctioning its occupation, Iraq is very far from being conquered, and it may turn to be the place where hyper-imperialism would face decisive military defeat. After almost 16 months from the invasion, U.S. forces are panting to maintain the precarious status quo and semblance of control in front of a growing, relentless, and fierce Iraqi resistance.

Regardless of the obvious failure of the U.S. to consolidate the occupation regime by continuously changing its name, it is dubious, at least for now, that the civilian leaders of hyper-imperialism would relinquish Iraq in the very near future, even if their military were to sustain moderate to heavy casualties. Under the prospects of long-term fabulous oil profits and geo-strategic benefits for Israel, such hypothesis is anathema to U.S. Zionists, otherwise called the neoconservatives, who strictly control the agenda of Republicans and Democrats.

Many factors reinforce the U.S. reluctance to accept, thus far, the failure of conquest. Among these are: availability of underemployed American labor that could compensate for lost American soldiers; hired mercenaries paid with seized Iraqi money; complicity of the Arab regimes for fear of intervention; world order controlled by the United States; availability of Iraqi oil money to finance the occupation; and the emergence of numerous factions of Iraqi collaborationists. Cogently, the one thing that could force the U.S. to withdraw is an implacable Iraqi uprising that inflicts incremental heavy fatalities and casualties, and never allows them to relax and enjoy the prey.

Presently, what U.S. war planners are hoping for is that the Iraqis killed and maimed daily, unemployed and exhausted, and deprived of regional and international support, would eventually succumb to the presumed irreversibility of the occupation. Waiting in vain for this to happen, the U.S. tried using many brutal tactics, including the creation of an Iraqi Governing Council, interim government, fake sovereignty, Iraqification of the conflict, more destruction of Iraqi property, prison pornography and sexual abuse, torture, indiscriminate killing of civilians through reprisals, employment of Israeli-type raids on urban centers, use of Israeli car-bomb techniques, etc.

So far, no plan has worked. This is despite the new fascist resources brought in by a veteran expert in American terrorism and an organizer of Central American death squads, who now lives in one of Saddam�s palaces as the ambassador of the United States. Not even, the installation of another Iraqi fascist dictator with strident connections to the CIA, Ayad Allawi, who threatened to �annihilate the anti-American resistance,� is helping in persuading the Iraqis to give up the struggle to liberate their country.

It is elementary that in order for the U.S. to impose its will on the world and accomplish its ambitious objective of conquering Iraq, it would need international consent�willingly or unwillingly. In other words, the U.S. demands that the world acknowledge the reality of conquest and legalize its status through imperialist diplomacy. The question is, "Does the U.S. need diplomacy to implement its conquest? Certainly, it does; although it pretends to be unilateralist, the U.S. still needs momentary alliances, and still needs imperialist and regional consent. Without international cooperation, the U.S. occupation would tumble down instantaneously because of prohibitive costs and other factors. Briefly, how does the U.S. move between the shifting sand of diplomacy and maneuvers of hyper-imperialism?

Here enters Colin Powell, an insidious master at hyper-imperialism, with his diplomacy of coercive persuasion, military extortion, pyrotechnic lies, and brazen deception to delineate stratagems for conquest. Because Colin Powell is the highest commissar in the diplomatic order of Zionist hyper-imperialism, it is natural that we investigate his public image and thought.

In truth, we cannot talk about U.S. foreign policy under George W. Bush, without talking about Colin Powell first. That is because massive public relations efforts have created an inflated figure of Powell and made of him a �man for all seasons.� The often-vaunted diplomatic prowess of the former general is a pure product of image making and politically motivated overrating by pundits and opinion makers. Ironically, the idolization of Powell has nothing to do with his persona, position, or professional performance, but has a lot to do with catering to the African-American community by those who ascribe him to it. This is notwithstanding the fact that Powell is scarcely interested in the strenuous struggle of black America against discrimination, and for justice and equality. Since his retirement and until he became secretary of state, Powell had other concerns such as making good money with promotional speeches on �leadership.� The question is, �Why all the publicity that surrounds Powell?�

If Powell�s adulators argue, that he served this country as a former national security advisor under Reagan and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H.W. Bush, then I would rebut that he did not serve America and the American people. He served the designs of U.S. imperialism and committed huge crimes under its service. In Vietnam, he took part in an imperialist war of aggression against a nation in search of independence and unification; and his role in covering up the My-Lai massacre is public knowledge. If other hypocrites would describe him as a �hero� of the Gulf War, then this is an intended misnomer. Powell was no hero, but a man who committed genocide, and he with the rest of the junta that destroyed tens of thousand of Iraqi lives in that imperialist war, must face international justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the end, his role in the current Iraqi carnage puts him on par with many other violent imperialist figures in U.S. history.

As for diplomacy, Powell is no diplomat. Nelson, a prestigious Canadian educational publisher defines diplomacy as follows: �diplomacy a system of formal, regularized communication that allows states to peacefully conduct their business with each other.� Powell does not fit this description. He is an aggressive man of war, and a sordid warmonger that now wears civilian cloths and regularly uses war threats as the sole language of communication.

In addition, while diplomacy requires possessing multicultural historical knowledge of world societies, political systems, and intellectual independence, Powell, based on the way he develops his themes, appears to lack these basic requirements. Powell indirectly admitted to his lack of this fundamental prerequisite for diplomacy by the way he affirmed his total servility to the whims and backward ideology of George W. Bush. In an interview with the Washington Post on November 12, 2003, Powell stated that he �Serves at the pleasure of the president [sic],� and then added, �I think any good subordinate accommodates himself to the wishes of his superiors and, in effect, you determine how best to serve that individual.� [Emphasis added.] In the end, he added that he �would never resign on policy.� The most glaring implication of what Powell stated is that he has no principles of his own.

If, I made Powell to fail on all fronts, is there an area where he is winning? Sure, there is�imperialist propaganda and intimidation. In addition, Powell is not winning because he is Powell, but because he is the secretary of an unaccountable, powerful imperialist state. To prove this point, if, for example, Powell would take a job as a foreign secretary of Burundi or Nepal; he would fade out of the news immediately. It is redundant to say, that any other person in Powell�s position could do the same things that Powell does and obtain the same results by employing imperialistic intimidation. However, from studying his brief diplomatic biography, Powell�s limited function is the implementation of the diplomacy of hyper-imperialism where he is supposed to build imperialistic coalitions and obtain concessions to American positions.

The rationale that fueled this simplistic assumption is that world diplomats, especially in developing countries, would fearfully bend to the second African-American in an important foreign policy position (Andrew Young was first). Unfortunately, this assumption is somewhat, true. Many world leaders, especially, spineless Arab leaders obsequiously consider Powell as one of them, since he belongs to a community that experienced oppression. In the end, the fact that Bush proposed Powell for the position of secretary of state before the election in 2000 to win over the black vote is rarely mentioned. Ironically, by a bizarre twist of history, a dark skin color, often denigrated in American politics and social habits, had become the determining factor in Powell�s ascension.

It is in this limited sphere of presumed capacity to influence where Powell�s diplomatic prowess is confined. What is remarkable about Powell, from his �American Journey� to his hyper-imperialist journey, is that he talks like a seasoned white supremacist; he reasons like a callous imperialist; he deceives like a consummate Zionist, and he concludes his argument like a crusading colonialist. In addition to all that, Powell appears to have mastered the procurement of adulation for personal gratification and success. Reportedly, he or his entourage spread the rumor that he partly descends from British royalty, as if descending from royalties would put him on a pedestal above the rest. Then there is the adulation he gives to others. On one occasion, he caters to the Christian Right by declaring the U.S. is a Judeo-Christian country; and, on another, he caters to American Zionists by declaring Israel a great �democracy.�

Moreover, Powell always appears confident that no one is going to challenge what he says. For once, we have to give him credit. From reading texts of his interviews and viewing his press conferences, one comes away with the solid conviction that people charged with asking him questions prefer not to confront him. To analyze the reason for this conduct, we have to scrutinize the spoken thought of Powell. It appears that Powell has also mastered the art of linguistic acrobatics without a safety net�he swiftly jumps between the trapezes of misleading arguments without hesitation. Consequently, journalists who have their orders not to ask him any embarrassing questions on his foreign policy, end up by not challenging any of his contorted statements for fear of falling down because no safety net exists.

Powell, however, has entered history through the gate of doctrines at the service of imperialism, thus proving that anyone, regardless of color, race, or national origin can enlist in that service to advance his personal career and promotion of family members. (Powell�s son, Michael is the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Although Michael Powell may have all the qualifications to be chairman, being the son of Colin Powell could have been the decisive factor in that choice.) Nevertheless, even here, his so-called doctrines are unoriginal and take their apparent logic from the sole military strength of the United States. To understand Powell�s role in the context of U.S. imperialism, I shall discuss in this part some of his �doctrines,� and then move in the next part to discuss his convoluted explanations for the occupation of Iraq.

Powell�s Original Doctrine

A PBS program defines Powell�s original doctrine as follows: �Essentially, the Doctrine expresses that military action should be used only as a last resort and only if there is a clear risk to national security by the intended target. The force, when used, should be overwhelming and disproportionate to the force used by the enemy; there must be strong support for the campaign by the general public; and there must be a clear exit strategy from the conflict in which the military is engaged.� Let us examine the content:

  • The first part of the doctrine, � . . . Military action should be used only as a last resort and only if there is a clear risk to national security by the intended target� is axiomatic from a military viewpoint and natural self-defense. However, by placing that thought in the context of imperialism, we can find many subtexts that may attest to its theoretical mendacity. First, it did not address the question as to what are the conditions that pave the way for that �last resort� and it did not explain, what real steps have been taken to make that �last resort� an option. In the war against Afghanistan and Iraq, Powell�s postulation, especially while he is holding a powerful position, has failed miserably. For instance, the U.S. waged two wars of aggression for imperialist calculations only, while inventing pretexts that national security was at risk. First, no one proved yet that Afghanistan or al-Qaeda is responsible for 9/11; and second, Iraq under Saddam never posed any risk to the United States.
  • The second part of the doctrine, � . . . The force, when used, should be overwhelming and disproportionate to the force used by the enemy� while it appears logical from the viewpoint of imperialist aggressiveness, it has many insidious fascist subtexts as well. First, it talked about �the forces if used,� but it did not address if the force is justifiable in the first place. In this case, use of force is at the service of politicians and not underpinned by military necessities.
  • Further, the postulation, � . . . Should be overwhelming and disproportionate to the force used by the enemy� is Hitlerism at its finest moment. Here is how I interpret this: if an invented enemy, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, does not possess what it takes to deter aggression, then the U.S. can obliterate them with depleted uranium, daisy cutters, fire bombs, and many other super killing methods in the U.S. arsenal. To uncover the intentionality to inflict mass destruction in the Powell Doctrine, I must note that, because Iraq only possessed outdated weaponry, the U.S. could have abstained from using overwhelming radioactive weapons. It is clear that the U.S. is in the business of using advanced weapons in all circumstances with the intent to intimidate and induce voluntary subjugation. In addition, the terms, �overwhelming and disproportionate� are clearly Hitlerian and fascist in nature�why use disproportionate force, while proportionate force is more than sufficient? If the intent is the overkill, then violence imbues this doctrine from top to bottom.
  • The third part of the doctrine, � . . . There must be strong support for the campaign by the general public,� is Powell�s most Machiavellian ruse of his imperialist formula for victory. Powell well knows that power can manipulate the public to accept war in a zillion ways. Moreover, even if this public is against the military adventures of imperialism, it cannot stop them. Consequently: 1) the insertion of the public in the formulation of the doctrine is only a hypocritical allusion to the presumable power of the people, and 2) the consent or refusal of the people has never been a relevant factor in U.S. war decisions.
  • The last part of the doctrine, � . . . There must be a clear exit strategy from the conflict in which the military is engaged,� is where Powell�s Doctrine fails completely. In the age of hyper-imperialism of which he is an exponent, the U.S. goes to war to stay; exit strategy, therefore, is no longer required. This formula, however, works only if the U.S. finds itself in a stalemate with either a tenacious and well-equipped adversary, or consequent to a nuclear or traditional confrontation with a major power.

Powell�s Smart Doctrine

Powell reinforced his imperialistic credentials immediately after he took office as secretary of state in the Bush administration. The occasion was in relation to the Iraqi question and the issue of the crumbling genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Powell seemed infatuated with the word �smart.� Since his �smart bombing� where the U.S. dropped 80 million tons of bombs on Iraq in 1991, he re-used the word �smart� again in 2001 but this time, he applied it to economic sanctions.

As with George H.W. Bush who called his bombing of Iraq in 1991 the most humane bombing in history, to his son who called his invasion of Iraq the most humane invasion in history, Powell called his new doctrine of how to kill Iraqis with hunger, disease, and degradation of civilian infrastructures and development, �Humane, Smart Sanctions.� Curiously, although Powell popularized the concept of �smart sanctions,� he did not author it. One liberal think tank (Fourth Freedom Forum) connected to U.S. imperialist projects and an institute connected to the same project (Joan B. Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame) conceived it. David Cortright, a former anti-war activist turned imperialist, Alistair Millar and George Lopez, president and vice president of the Fourth Freedom Forum, co-authored the report: Smart Sanctions: Restructuring U.N. Sanctions on Iraq as an alternative to war with Iraq.

To discuss briefly the concept that became Powell�s own, let us read the summary prepared by George Lopez: �The United States should seek to limit Iraqi designs to develop weapons of mass destruction by supporting a U.N.-sponsored �smart� sanctions mechanism. Smart sanctions would involve a tightened system of border monitoring and verification with an eye toward control of dual-use technologies. Financial controls through the U.N. escrow account should be retained to limit Iraq's purchasing abilities in the global marketplace. Private accounts of Iraqi elites should also be frozen to limit purchases of dual-use goods or expertise. The elimination of the blunt general trade sanctions, which are already leaking, would lift a considerable burden off the Iraqi people.�

  • First, Lopez started his brief summary with outright deception. He and his imperialist co-authors created an ideological American report on Iraqi sanctions, but then he called to support it as a �U.N.-sponsored� proposal.
  • Second, Lopez talks of �designs to produce WMD,� and a design is not a physical object. Further, since the U.N. destroyed Iraq�s potential capabilities to produce such weapons after the Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. shifted its strategy from accusing Iraq of actual possession of primitive WMD to contemplating �designs to produce them,� and that for the sole purpose to keep the sanctions on, and to devise a final strategy to take the country.
  • Third, Lopez moves to address the issue of �dual use technologies.� This issue was fundamental in the thinking of U.S. imperialists, but it had endless implications. Briefly, every material object on earth, without exception, has potential dual use�military and civilian. In practice, the U.S. wanted, at that time, to strangle Iraq completely and deprive it from recovering after 13 years of war, embargo and total economic sanctions, especially knowing that the old sanction regime was falling apart because of its unilateral imposition by Israel and the United States.
  • Fourth, Lopez then moves further to strengthen and further maintain U.S. control over Iraqi oil revenues. In essence, the U.S. imposed colonization on Iraq long before the actual invasion. As for the notion to lift the burden off the Iraqi people, that was the usual rubbish that the U.S. is keen to include in all its announcements on Iraq.

Powell�s Hyper-imperialist Doctrine

The Russia Journal describes Powell�s hyper-imperialist doctrine as Powell�s Doctrine II: �The Powell Doctrine II is a combination of the use of overwhelming military force and benevolent unilateralism. Powell asked that America "be trusted to use its power wisely and fairly." The journal continues: �In an interesting way, Powell's shift in tactics is what the United States is asking of the world. There is no possible way to thwart America in its self-declared mission to save the world from itself, so it is better to jump on the American juggernaut.�

Although the Russia Journal chose minimalism in its definition of U.S. imperialism under Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush, it, however, had the merit to point out to Powell�s role in it. In addition, by solely concentrating on the trust factor, as demanded by the U.S. for its military interventions, it�s a superficial way to examine all primary factors that guide U.S. policy. A better way to describe Powell Doctrine II is by highlighting other features such as the real objectives of hyper-imperialism. Moreover, by citing Powell only, it neglected to mention the Zionist coalition of which Powell is only a voice. This is my viewpoint:

  • Powell�s role in hyper-imperialism is marginal, if not insignificant. He is only a spokesperson who delivers speeches and explains policy made by other circles. Bob Woodward, an assistant managing editor of the Washington Post and an author, had unceremoniously highlighted the nature of Powell�s role in the Bush administration in his book, �Plan of Attack.� Woodward depicted an isolated Powell who rarely sees the Bush and who needs an appointment through Condoleezza Rice to see him . . .
  • Many voices accredit Powell with �moderating� effects on Bush�s foreign policy, Other rumors had gone so far as to suggest that Powell was opposing the war on Iraq, and some organization had even called on its members to place car stickers in support of Powell. This was a false expectation that came out of despair. A man who is enamored with America�s military power, served it militarily, and experienced its atrocity cannot have any moderating effect on the politics of imperialism. In addition, Powell never, publicly or privately, expressed any reservation on Bush�s policy options. These remained the privilege of the Zionist elite around Bush.
  • Although Powell is a dangerous figure in U.S. imperialism, his cool manners, somber facial expression, posed demeanors, and limitless capability to take his performance seriously, never managed to cover up for his shining lies. His acting session at the U.N., however, where every pore of his body exuded blatant fabrications about Iraq�s dangerous weapons, won him praise from all imperialist and Zionist circles in London, Moscow, and Tel Aviv.
  • Powell served Bush and his Zionist posse very well. His contributions to U.S. imperialism are innumerable: he projected �confidence� in his lies; he conferred �respect� on his deception, and displayed a military character in dealing with his interviewers; and . . . he made many trips overseas to twist arms and distribute threats.

Next: Part 18: Powell�s Theories on Iraq Sovereignty

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. He can be reached at

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