I’m ready to give George W. his due when he makes a good call. I don’t expect this to happen very often. But picking Colin Powell was a very solid decision.
But let’s get something straight. Great Guy, Lousy Doctrine. The Powell Doctrine essentially says: if you only fight fights you can win easily, then you’ll win every fight. That’s not a doctrine, it’s a tautology, a truism. It gives you no guidance for ascertaining or protecting national interests.
Like well-designed scientific experiments, good doctrines must be capable – in their nature – of failing. And Powell’s isn’t. Because you don’t know what you should have done, but didn’t.
Still with me?
Anyway, it’s a doctrine that might work for a Secretary of Defense, but not a Secretary of State. Approve Powell, not his doctrine.
Also, if there’s anyone Talking Points loves more than Al Gore, it’s Bill Clinton. But I must say it’s pretty disappointing to hear he’s considering a pardon for Indian-rights-activist- cum-convicted-murderer Leonard Peltier. I mean, isn’t this sort of like finding out that Clinton’s favorite musician is Kenny G.? Anyone who’s really hip knows that Peltier really did ice those two FBI agents back in the seventies. For God’s sake, they teach that in the second week of freshman orientation. Peltier’s the Mumia of the Me-generation. Who doesn’t know that?
If I find out that my man Bill has the cultural literacy and political acumen of a granola-fied sixteen year old, I’m gonna cry.