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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Long years of dangerous US foreign relations incompetence must end

Hindsight appraisal of Washington leadership—former State official who wrote Powell’s false-claims-call-to-war at UN
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

RT’s SophieCo’s Sophie Shevarnadze spoke with retired soldier and former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, Lawrence Wilkerson. 

While I am leery of pensioners’ “moments of truth,” I think what Wilkerson said about our critically flawed leadership deserves attention—especially by Americans who care about their country, its future, and its relations in the world.  

DANGER OF STUPIDITY at helm of inordinate power

It is the job of leaders “to know what is happening in the world and to take [their] nation into that circumstance with some wisdom,” Wilkerson said. But for a long time, we in the United States have not had “really experienced” chief executives. “Arguably, the last [experienced chief executive] was George H. W. Bush.” 

But “Bill (William Jefferson) Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama” assumed the US presidency “with very little if any experience in the international relations.”


Tahrir Square
US President Barack “Obama has said many, many things that characteristically flurry in the field of … ‘high rhetoric’—his speech in Cairo, his speech in Turkey…”—and then he fails to follow up “on that high rhetoric with actions… 

“That’s the case in a lot of instances with this President: his rhetoric is fine and wonderful [but] his actions belie that rhetoric.”



“‘Realist voices’, voices that see the world as it is, see power as it is and respond accordingly, are very, very seldom listened to in the White House.

“More often, the ideological, the neo-conservative, as we now call them in this country—though they are not conservatives by any stretch, but radicals”—theirs and voices like theirs are “more often listened to.… 

“This is the kind of ideology that dominates American decision-making these days.”

US Congressional Assembly 

What they did
Iraqis still suffer

“There are mighty powerful forces … led by people like Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, Robert Menendez and others (Republicans and Democrats)  who … are warmongers more than they are supporters of diplomacy or genuine security of Israel, or the United States for that matter,” Wilkerson said. “I don’t know what motivates these people other than their love for interminable warfare. …”  

DANGER OF COWARDS at the helm, in the wings
In the wings

Iraqis  suffering

“[The] real problem with Hillary Clinton [is that] … she often speaks as if she were a chicken hawk [and] like the rest of the chicken hawks in this country”—people like Dick Cheney, who pushed the lie that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction and whose former company, Halliburton, after that war, profited handsomely in U.S. government contracts to reconstruct what lies had destroyed.

In the wings
Haunting shadows 
These chicken hawks, Wilkerson said, “talk about war interminably” but “because they are too cowardly to do so…, they have never participated in [war] themselves.”

Sources and notes

“Ex-State Dept exec: US leadership is inept & incompetent, incl. president,” February 2, 2015, Sophie and Co, http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/228447-arab-spring-ukraine-turmoil/

Retired US Army Colonel and former chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence B. (Larry) Wilkerson “is a visiting professor at the College of William & Mary”   (Virginia) where he teaches courses on “U.S. national security.”  He also “heads the Colin Powell Leadership Club, a group of MacFarland Middle School students in Washington, D.C. and serves on the advisory board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.” In his post US government days, Wilkerson has been a critic of “many aspects of the Iraq War, including his own preparation of Secretary Powell’s notorious United Nations speech concerning entry into that war. A member of the Republican Party, he frequently appears as “Republican commentator” on broadcasts “commenting about the problems with Republican Party.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Wilkerson

Preying on others or using them as sacrifice: “chicken hawk n (1827): “a hawk that preys or is believed to prey on chickens” (Britannica).


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora


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