The Washington Post reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell claims that Iran is working to adapt missiles to deliver nuclear weapons.
Sorry, Mr. Secretary, I’m not convinced.
I’ve held great respect for you as a sane voice in the Bush Administration; I think you are well-reasoned and temperate, that you practice statesmanship like few in my generation. Although a liberal Democrat, I sincerely hope you decide to run for president. (I’m not promising my vote, but I would love to have the choice.) I can do no better than to quote John Brady Kiesling:
Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving administration
But on this issue, you have no credibility left. That was burned up after your presentation on Iraq to the United Nations helped send our country to war under false pretenses. I do not know whether you can do anything to restore my trust.
During your tenure, the United States has discarded the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and started work on new nuclear weapons. We have insisted on exemptions to the rules of the International Criminal Court. We have emasculated the United Nations. I’m willing to believe that you did not agree with any of these decisions, and went along with them rather than resign because you could do more good inside the administration than outside it. But we are now in a situation where the United States has no credibility in the world. And the Administration has no credibility — not even domestically — on potential nuclear threats. Your stature, even enhanced by the fact that you’ve resigned and have little to gain by toeing President Bush’s line, is not enough to sell me on this.
The funny thing is that I wouldn’t be surprised to find that what you say is true. But your saying so adds no more weight to these claims.
I’m glad for your sake that you’ve decided to leave the administration, although it is sad for the nation.