The Cost of Not Firing a Traitor
Bolton Book Cites Effort to Halt Powell's Iran Initiative
Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, October 22, 2007; Page A07
On the eve of the 2004 presidential elections, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell secretly attempted to shift U.S. policy on Iran by telling key allies he wanted to offer "carrots" to the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear ambitions, former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton writes in his soon-to-be-published memoir.
Bolton, then undersecretary of state, says that he worked hard to thwart Powell's plans -- only to discover, to his dismay, that Powell's replacement, Condoleezza Rice, would pursue the same approach in President Bush's second term.
. . . "Along with others, I had foiled Powell's legacy gambit. I knew it, and he knew I knew it."
John Bolton is probably the most universally disliked man in the foreign-policy business--or was, until Congress put him out of that business. How he came to be Undersecretary of State under Colin Powell merely underscores Powell's having taken the job 'on an administration leash.'
There was never any doubt that Bush needed Powell, the sole moderate in his administration. To the end of what was otherwise an outstanding life of steady contribution to his country, Powell will have to live with his unwillingness to resign rather than lose the most important battle of his career, and thereby enabling a false war.
There seems always to be a Bolton in every great man's life and the great man's job, his absolute requirement is to root him out and expose the perfidy.
This is the Shakespearean result of a giant sabotaged by a gnat, a soldier who fails to differentiate between the life in and out of uniform. The commander-in-chief does not command his secretary of state and Powell was unable (or unwilling) to make that distinction.
An otherwise great man's legacy went down the toilet with that failure.
Now the gnat has written a smirking book and thinks himself a giant.