He will remain as the man of an image and a lie. On February 5, 2003, Colin Powell brandished, in front of the UN Security Council, a vial supposed to contain proof of the possession of weapons of mass destruction, in this case biological, by Saddam Hussein’s regime. The moment is as televisual as it is cynical. As he speaks, the US foreign minister knows his statements are false. Discovering the content of his speech, written by Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, he would have launched, according to US News & World Report: “I’m not going to read this. It’s m… ” And yet he read it. And yet, General Powell will continue to embody the “presentable” figure of a wartime administration. A few years later, he would admit that this episode was a ” task “ and that she “Was part of (his) balance sheet”. And it is indeed a ” task “ indelible which remains on the “CV” of Colin Powell, whose death, following “Complications related to Covid-19”, was announced Monday by his family. He was 84 years old.
Without this stain, Colin Powell’s career would have inspired Horatio Alger, the official chronicler of the “American dream” through his novels featuring “rags to the rich”. Literally: from rags to wealth. Colin Powell does not quite see the light of day in “rags”. He was nonetheless born in 1937, into a family of Jamaican immigrants from New York: the storekeeper father, the seamstress mother. A gifted student, he obtained a master’s degree in geology before embarking on a military career: he carried out two “tours” in Vietnam, climbed the ranks and became, in 1989, chief of staff of the armed forces, the first black to occupy this position. function. It was he who led operations during the Gulf War.
A bitter republican
He will launch into politics with the Republicans, landing at the head of diplomacy in the Bush administration, as a symbol of a conservatism open to the world. It is ultimately the warlike neoconservatism which will take the hand after the attacks of September 11. Colin Powell will lend the prestige of his reputation to it. In 2004, he will leave his post, will pour out his “Bitterness” to have been cheated by the intelligence services, but without ever doing “Honorable amends” and even less a critical examination of its action. It will remain listed as “Republican” on the electoral lists, but will call to vote for Barack Obama in 2008, then for Joe Biden in 2020, facing a Donald Trump who “Was lying about many things”. Since Colin Powell said so …