Archive for the ‘powell’ Category

Colin Powell Upbeat on Obama

January 8, 2008

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell praised Barack Obama on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, crediting the Illinois Senator for breaking barriers while running as “an American man” who can represent the entire nation. In an interview with PBS host Tavis Smiley, Powell said he was “taking joy” in Obama’s rise and he said citizens across the country can “enjoy this moment where a person like Barack Obama can knock down all of these old barriers that people thought existed with respect to the opportunities that are available to African Americans.”Powell, the first black person to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State, also firmly rebutted the idea that reporters or voters should assess whether a candidate is white or black “enough.”

This argument about him not being black enough, that’s just absolute nonsense. He is putting himself forward not as a black man but as an American man who wants to be president of the United States of America. We should see Barack as a candidate for president who happens to be black, and not a black candidate for president.

For more on Powell, Obama and breaking barriers in our “segregated power structure,” check out the new Nation essay, Obama, Race and the Presidency. (at:


Defense on Steroids; State on Life Support

November 3, 2007

By Hans Binnendijk
For the Washington Post
Saturday, November 3, 2007; Page A19

The revolt this week by Foreign Service officers faced with involuntary deployment to Baghdad may be an understandable response to shifting ground rules, but it highlights a deeper problem: America’s civilian agencies are unprepared to contribute adequately to 21st-century global security challenges. Defense Department resources, missions and institutions have multiplied as counterpart civilian agencies stagnate or disappear.

While Washington has focused on Rumsfeld vs. Powell or Gates vs. Rice, this underlying imbalance has grown. It is not born of a Defense Department power grab but of an inability by civilian agencies to adjust to new missions. The Defense Department is at war while the State Department still suffers from the post-Cold War notion of a peace dividend. One is on steroids, the other on life support.

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Mainstream News Media Under Seige In a More Complex Word

September 18, 2007

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 17, 2007; Page C01

Capturing reality is harder than it seems.

As Gen. David Petraeus‘s long-awaited testimony last week failed to sway the debate over the war, partisans on both sides castigated the media for what remains a blurry picture of Iraq. Why, they ask, can’t journalists cut through the fog and deliver an accurate portrait of how the unpopular conflict is going?

This frustration with journalism extends to a slew of other controversies. Is Sen. David Vitter being truthful in denying involvement with a New Orleans prostitute who was paid by Hustler magazine? Is Sen. Larry Craig dissembling when he denies soliciting sex in a men’s room? Did Alberto Gonzales give faulty testimony and merely make misstatements about various Justice Department controversies, or is he a liar?

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