Colin Powell, the impeccable general “tainted” by the invasion of the United States Iraq | Coronavirus | Covid-19 | PROFILE | WORLD

The general , died this Monday at the age of 84 due to complications related to the , forged a brilliant military and political career that made history, whose great “stain” was his controversial defense before the UN of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in to justify the invasion of this country.

Powell He was the first African American to serve as US Secretary of State (2001-2005) and as Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993).

SIGHT: Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, dies of coronavirus

Son of Jamaican immigrants and born in the neighborhood of Harlem, in New York, rose all the rungs of the military ladder to become four-star overall during his 35 years of service.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) speaks with US President George W. Bush in the Rose Garden of the White House on September 24, 2001. (AFP PHOTO / Stephen JAFFE).

Upon graduation in 1958, was twice featured in Vietnam in the 1960s, where he was wounded twice and received eleven decorations, including the Purple Heart.

YOUR JUMP INTO POLITICS

The 1980s was the decade of his leap into politics.

He began as a military adviser to the then Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger and, during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), he was promoted to National Security Advisor, where he played a key role in the summits between the US and the USSR. , which marked Reagan’s second term and spelled the end of the “cold war.”

US Secretary of State Colin Powell adjusts his headphones during an OSCE meeting at the Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, on December 7, 2004. (EFE / EPA / DIMITAR DILKOFF).
US Secretary of State Colin Powell adjusts his headphones during an OSCE meeting at the Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, on December 7, 2004. (EFE / EPA / DIMITAR DILKOFF).

As head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, led U.S. military operations in Panama, Grenada, the Philippines, and Liberia; and later organized the deployment of forces in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Gulf crisis in August 1990 and the beginning of the first war against Iraq.

Its main strategy, baptized as the “Powell doctrine”, was based on an overwhelming use of military power, the broad support of public opinion and a rapid retreat after the conflict.

The New York Times newspaper recalled this Monday one of its press conferences at the Pentagon at the beginning of the Gulf War, where Powell he summarized his tactic to defeat Saddam Hussein’s forces.

“Our strategy when it comes to fighting this Army is very simple,” he explained. First, we are going to isolate them and then we are going to kill them ”.

In 2001, he marked a milestone by becoming the head of American diplomacy, after being appointed by the president. George W. Bush (2001-2009).

The Secretary of State of the United States, Colin Powell, waits for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, at the headquarters of the United Nations, on August 21, 2003. (EFE / EPA / MATT CAMPBELL).
The Secretary of State of the United States, Colin Powell, waits for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, at the headquarters of the United Nations, on August 21, 2003. (EFE / EPA / MATT CAMPBELL).

Considered a pragmatist, and defender of international alliances, initially opposed the military invasion of IraqBut it eventually gave in to pressure from the most aggressive wing of the US Administration after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

CONTROVERSIAL SPEECH TO THE UN

In February 2003, he lived the moment that would mark his career when before the United Nations Security Council He assured in a controversial speech that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, something that later turned out to be untrue.

Years later, He recognized that this failed intervention would be the great “stain” in his career.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he said was the size that could be used to contain anthrax while addressing the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003. (AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY).
US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he said was the size that could be used to contain anthrax while addressing the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003. (AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY).

Still, in an interview with CNN in July 2009, Powell He defended himself by citing the sense of duty and obedience as a military man to the authority of the president.

“It’s like in the Armed Forces, you talk, you debate about something, but once the president has made the decision, it becomes a decision for the Government”, said.

For years, and given his popularity, the possibility of running as a candidate for the White House was rumored, something that he eventually dismissed.

Although he belonged to the Republican Party, he distanced himself in recent years from the conservatives, since last year he asked for the vote for Democrat Joe Biden, and he did the same in 2016 when he supported the candidacy for the White House of Hillary Clinton, instead by Republican Donald Trump.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, on June 26, 1993, points out the targets in the Iraqi intelligence complex in Baghdad.  (RENAUD GIROUX / AFP).
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, on June 26, 1993, points out the targets in the Iraqi intelligence complex in Baghdad. (RENAUD GIROUX / AFP).

At the 2020 Democratic National Convention, where he offered his endorsement of Biden in a pre-recorded speech, Powell spoke of polarization in the country.

“Today we are a divided country and we have a president (Trump) who is doing everything in his power to keep us that way. A president who unites us would make a big difference, someone who restores our strength and our soul, ”he said.

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