For the Record

Colin Powell’s past views on American exceptionalism


America has been slipping for decades. Lyndon Johnson made dishonesty the rule of the day, but he did love this country. Things really took a turn for the worse with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Obama corrupted many people who at one time had been solid individuals. One such person was Colin Powell, a stand-up guy if there ever was one. Read my column (below) from 2010, to see Powell’s remarks from 2003. No person has ever made a better case for American exceptionalism. The old Colin Powell does not exist. Today he’s a card-carrying socialist who, along with Biden, Harris, Obama and many others, are trying to wreck the country.
For the Record 01-13-10
We have a president that has embarrassed himself and his country by going about the world apologizing for what this country has done.
Compare Obama’s view of the world with that of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who so eloquently stated what America has stood for and continues to stand for. Powell’s remarks were made in early 2003 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, shortly prior to the invasion of Iraq.
At the conference a former Archbishop of Canterbury asked Powell: And would you not agree, as a very significant political figure in the United States, Colin, that America, at the present time, is in danger of relying too much upon the hard power and not enough upon building the trust from which the soft values, which of course all of our family life that actually at the bottom, when the bottom line is reached, is what makes human life valuable?
Powell, and this is only part of his response, said the following: There is nothing in American experience or in American political life or in our culture that suggests we want to use hard power. But what we have found over the decades is that unless you do have hard power — and here I think you’re referring to military power — then sometimes you are faced with situations that you can’t deal with.
I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.
So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world. (Applause)
After the applause, Powell continued with a remark that has frequently been quoted:
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in…
A somewhat similar incident occurred in 1966 when President Charles de Gaulle of France pulled that country out of NATO and ordered that all American military forces be removed from France. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, at the direction of President Johnson, asked de Gaulle,
Does your order include the bodies of American soldiers in France’s cemeteries?
President de Gaulle did not respond.
Colin Powell is obviously proud of this country and is not ashamed to express that pride. President Johnson was just as proud. Both men represent the thinking of all proud Americans. Barack Obama is just as obviously not proud of this country, no doubt because of the influence of people like his long-time pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright and terrorist buddy William Ayers. Our president does not reflect the thinking of any past president of any party.
The thinking of guys like Wright and Ayers is evident in the president’s handling of terrorists. The rights American soldiers have died to protect are being given to terrorists. To give terrorists a trial with the same rights as American citizens cheapens our rights and demeans the sacrifices of our military that Colin Powell and Lyndon Johnson so proudly defended.


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