Politics

Powell Talks

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And I’m listening…

On terrorism:“What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it’s terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?”

“Only we can change ourselves.” That’s one to remember. Because when we vote for leaders who will take away our civil liberties for promises of nebulous security, that’s us changing ourselves…not the terrorists. We have a choice, and just because somebody says a certain thing will make us safer does not make it so.

Next, on immigration:“America could not survive without immigration,” he says. “Even the undocumented immigrants are contributing to our economy. That’s the country my parents came to. That’s the image we have to portray to the rest of the world: kind, generous, a nation of nations, touched by every nation, and we touch every nation in return. That’s what people still want to believe about us. They still want to come here. We’ve lost a bit of the image, but we haven’t lost the reality yet. And we can fix the image by reflecting a welcoming attitude — and by not taking counsel of our fears and scaring ourselves to death that everybody coming in is going to blow up something. It ain’t the case.”

Agreed. But first we have to perfect our border security and guest worker programs. Because we have to stem the flow before we can begin to renew the spirit.

On the post-war strategy…and this is just shocking:

“Don had written a list of the worst things that could happen, but we didn’t do the contingency planning on what we would do about it. So we watched those buildings get burned down, and nobody told the divisions, ‘Hey, go in there and declare martial law and whack a few people and it will stop.’”

Man, and these guys think history will be kind to them? And how many of you think we’ll be following the Powell Doctrine in the future instead of the Bush Doctrine?

The full interview is here.