Little by little Colin Powell has been speaking out about both the decision to go to war and what should be done. The Times of London reports that Powell had tried to talk Bush out of going to war, and now believes the conflict cannot be resolved by military force:
THE former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2½ hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today’s conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.
“I tried to avoid this war,” Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. “I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers.”
Powell has become increasingly outspoken about the level of violence in Iraq, which he believes is in a state of civil war. “The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms,” he said. “It’s not going to be pretty to watch, but I don’t know any way to avoid it. It is happening now.”
He added: “It is not a civil war that can be put down or solved by the armed forces of the United States.” All the military could do, Powell suggested, was put “a heavier lid on this pot of boiling sectarian stew”.
Powell has also contradicted Bush in calling al Qaeda only 10% of the problem in Iraq. With more Republicans being willing to face reality, Bush in increasingly isolated in suporting a failed policy. An increasing number of people of both parties agree with call from The New York Times today to leave Iraq.