From CNN’s The Next President: A World of Challenges, Powell pretty well slaps McCain for his statements about Georgia here:
AMANPOUR: Except for, General Powell, it basically hopes that Russia is not going to be the aggressor. And if Russia is and you have to, you know, keep your NATO allies’ security, aren’t you then committed?
POWELL: Under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which is the NATO Treaty, when one member of the alliance is attacked from abroad — meaning outside the NATO geographic limits — then all members of NATO treat that as an attack.
AMANPOUR: And yet…
POWELL: Article 5 has only been invoked once in the history of the alliance, and that was on the 12th of September, 2001, when it was invoked in our favor, when the whole NATO alliance said we were attacked, the alliance was attacked on 9/11.
Now, in the current situation, the Russians acted brutally. I think they acted foolishly. But it was also absolutely predictable what the Russians would do. You could see them stacking up their troops.
And I think it was foolhardy on the part of President Saakashvili and the Georgian government to kick over this can, to light a match in a roomful of gas fumes.
SESNO: So you’re saying the Georgians provoked this?
POWELL: They did. I mean, there was a lot of reasons to have provocations in the area, but the match that started the conflagration was from the Georgian side.
AMANPOUR: And yet…
POWELL: And that’s a given.
AMANPOUR: And some debate in the presidential elections has basically been, “We are all Georgians now.” What does that mean? It’s the same as was said after 9/11.
POWELL: One candidate said that, and I’ll let the candidate explain it for himself.
SESNO: You can help a little, if you’d like.
POWELL: No, the fact of the matter is that you — you have to be very careful in a situation like this not just to leap to one side or the other until you’ve taken a good analysis of the whole situation.
This was something that might have been avoided if people had looked at the Russian troops that were stacked up, if people had realized that the Russians were serious about South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and if perhaps more guidance and suggestions had been given to President Saakashvili beyond those that he received, it might have been avoided.
But it wasn’t. It’s over. The Russians are the offenders right now. And we have to see that.
We cannot say to the Russians, “We are not going to allow the Georgians or Ukrainians or anyone else to start down the path toward NATO membership.” It’s not for the Russians to decide that.
But I think it is wise for us to look at the whole strategic situation and all of our equities before deciding how fast that should happen and whether it’s the time to do it right now.
The Russian Federation is not going to become the Soviet Union again. That movie failed at the box office. But they do have interests. And we have to think carefully about their interests.
So you have to treat Russia as a proud country that lost a lot of its pride some 15, 16 years ago, and it’s restored with a political leadership that is enormously popular in the country and with a level of wealth they’ve never had before, and with concerns about their near abroad, and treat them in a straightforward, business-like, objective way and not emotionally.
South Ossetia has been celebrating Independence Day
Ossetia-Russia-Georgia By Noam Chomsky
Clash in the Caucasus: Rolling Back The “Unipolar” World By Mike Whitney
Ron Paul: Do You Even Think About Americans?
See the International Socialist re: Chomsky on Powell, Negroponte and Africa
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Unfortunately, Powell just cannot have his integrity back, ever. I think he lost his right to speak out on anything with any sort of authority and he should be home writing ‘I will not sell a bill of lies to justify an illegal, immoral war for a corrupt administration that employs me’ over and over again instead of being interviewed on anything.
Shaine B. pointed out exactly what I was going to point out. I want to agree with Colin, but I can’t, based on that statement.
Oh, and Colin, while we can’t deny Ukraine/Georgia/et al membership with NATO because of the Georgian conflict, we can sure as hell deny them membership because of our agreement with the Russians to not let NATO expand eastward at the end of the Cold War.
It is so refreshing to see Colin Powell unmask McCain for the rash erratic, hair trigger man that he is. How ironic that someone from the party of Reagan, if elected President, may undo all the gains made with Russia and alienate them into becoming the evil empire all over again.
I agree with Shaine Parker. The Russians retaliated in exactly the same way we would have; as we have done before. It’s our way, why shouldn’t it be Russia’s. I would not use the word aggressor, since it was actually Georgia that was the agressor. Russia merely took retaliative measures – again – as the US would do and has done before. I cannot applaud the US’s actions and then find fault with Russia’s. That would be somewhat hypocritical, no?
How do you twist the logic so that the Russians are the offenders now? The Russians didn’t start this confrontation on their border.
Why is okay for the US to be aggressors and not the Russians.
What would have happened if the Mexican border state of Sonora had broken away from Mexico, allied itself with the US which has a large population there, and then the country of Mexico attacked the capital of Hermosillo?