Note from Quin: Gen. Colin Powell sometimes disappointed me, especially when he let the innocent Scooter Libby twist in the wind in a CIA-related perjury case regarding which Powell knew Libby wasn’t guilty That said, I believe every word I wrote below, and as my friend Deroy Murdock said, Powell was proof that merit can find both outlet and reward in these United States.

(Oct. 18) 

The first diary entry in which former President Ronald Reagan mentioned General Colin Powell, Reagan’s initial impression provided a concise summary of what the broader world would soon come to know.

“He’s a good man,” wrote Reagan. And so he was.

Powell, the former national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state, died Monday at age 84 of a combination of multiple myeloma and complications from COVID-19. History will record his career among the most distinguished in American military and diplomatic history. Yet lists of career accomplishments can’t capture the deeper sense he gave to the American public — a sense of solidity and well-placed patriotism, a sense of reassurance that U.S. interests were indeed in the reliable hands of a man whose core was good.

Each of the dozens of times Reagan mentioned Powell in his diaries, the Gipper gave a sense of having the utmost confidence in Powell’s competence and judgment. And that was even before Powell’s star turn in George H. W. Bush’s administration, where as Joint Chiefs chairman he deftly organized the successful mobilization effort for the first Gulf War while offering memorable sound bites in a can-do manner.

Powell’s wisdom is evident in what came to be known as the Powell Doctrine (although much of it was developed by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger when Powell was his deputy). The doctrine laid out a series of questions to guide decisions of whether and how to take military action, amounting to a considered reluctance to use armed might combined with a determination to use it decisively if it does prove necessary. The doctrine is a work of great wisdom, and U.S. policymakers would be well advised to abide by it…. [The full column is at this link.]


Tags: , , , ,