Greed, War, and their Visit to Ole Miss
The world is too astonishing for me sometimes. I usually end up with my hands being thrown in the air screaming, “They did WHAT!!” The most recent news with the ability to elicit such a response from me is that Colin Powell was picked to speak on our campus about, “A World of Opportunity and Challenge” as part of Black History Month. He has also been touted as being, “an extraordinary human being who has reached the top ranks of military, diplomatic and political circles,” by the Honors College dean. It’s a nice attempt to characterize the extremely expensive guest speaker as better than he actually is, but don’t be fooled.
In order to grasp the horrid picture I have of Colin Powell, I must first describe the events in which he played a major role. According to Richard Cummings and his article Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a meeting occurred in November of 2002 between Stephen J. Hadley, then deputy national security advisor, and Bruce Jackson where they discussed how to get American citizens complacent with a needless war that they were about to start. Hadley reportedly told Jackson, “they are going to war and are struggling with a rationale,” to justify it. So Jackson’s job was to do just that, create a reason to have innocent American soldiers and Iraqis murdered.
But who was Jackson to come up with such an idea? Well, he just so happened to be director of strategic planning of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world’s biggest weapons manufacturer. Cummings claims that the relationship between defense contractors and the Pentagon is so strong that it is known in Washington as “The Iron Triangle.” The Triangle works by executives of defense companies becoming Defense Department officials and in so doing giving military contracts to their former weapons-producing employers, thereby securing themselves an even better job in the private sector upon leaving office. The job usually reserved for the Defense Department officials is a congressional lobbyist position, promoting the very firm they provided lucrative contracts for while in office.
Bruce Jackson also admitted to being responsible for shaping the foreign policy platform at the Republican Convention of 2000, which just so happened to include an increase in defense spending from which his current employer, Lockheed Martin, would end up benefiting enormously. Hadley, as Cummings reports, was no stranger to Lockheed Martin, either. He had previously worked as a lawyer for Shea & Gardner, which listed Lockheed as a client. Both men would form the basis of the US argument for war.
After his meeting with Hadley, Jackson ended up starting the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, devoted to ousting Saddam Hussein from power through force, and appointing Randy Scheunemann as its leader. They would end up using human rights violations, most of which were carried out when the US was actually supporting Hussein by the way, as the justification for Hussein’s removal from office. Scheunemann authored the Iraq Liberation Act, which gave $97 million in aid to fund the Iraq National Congress, which was led by Ahmed Chalabi. Chalabi ended up providing the US with much of the information about the existence of Iraq’s WMDs, which has now been proven to have been false. Chalabi has since been suspected of having been an Iranian spy and the planned successor to Hussein, in which case he used the US to overthrow the only obstacle in his way of Iraqi control. Jackson also gave William Kristol money to start The Weekly Standard, which promoted military action to remove Hussein from power. Jackson’s employer, Lockheed Martin, also supported The Weekly Standard through advertisements.
With Jackson’s help in creating lies, Hadley was able to convince the American people that war was necessary. They then had to fool the UN. This is where our guest speaker Mr. Colin Powell comes in. The speech he gave to the UN justifying war was wrought with lies and faulty sources which the CIA discredited and the INR deemed as “Weak.” This, however, did not faze Powell. He introduced the faulty sources as fact, while they were anything but. The rest is history. We invaded Iraq and Lockheed Martin was paid billions by our government for their fighter jets and war machines. Powell, therefore, willingly allowed thousands of our military and millions of Iraqis to die. There is nothing extraordinary about that.
So in celebration of Black History Month, let us remember that African Americans are overrepresented in the military as compared to their makeup of the population. Does it bode well with you that our guest speaker was responsible for sending so many African Americans to war in order to garner a few extra million for Lockheed Martin’s executive committee?