Colin PowellHis family said on Facebook, the first black US Secretary of State, whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape US foreign policy in the late 20th century and early 21st century, has died from complications of COVID-19. happened. He was 84 years old.
“General Colin L Powell, former US Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” he said, Given that he was fully vaccinated.
Powell was a distinguished and pioneering professional soldier, whose career saw him being removed from combat duty in Vietnam, the first black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and the youngest and first of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. African American became president. Bush. His national popularity soared after the victory of the US-led coalition during the Gulf War, and in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first black president of the United States. But his reputation will be tarnished forever when George W. As Bush’s first Secretary of State, he put forward flawed intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he later called a “blot” on his record.
Although he never made a White House bid, when Powell was sworn in as Bush’s secretary of state in 2001, he became the highest-ranking black public official ever in the country, fourth in the presidential line of succession. are.
“I think it shows the world what is possible in this country,” Powell said for his history-making nomination during his Senate confirmation hearing. “It shows the world that: Follow our model, and over a period of time from our inception, if you believe in those values, you can see things miraculously as I seek your approval.” For I am sitting in front of you.”
Later in his public life, he disillusioned with the Republican Party The right will lurch and use their political capital to help elect Democrats to the White House, most notably Barack Obama, the first black president whom Powell endorsed in the final weeks of the 2008 campaign.
The announcement was seen as a significant boost to Obama’s candidacy because of Powell’s wide popular appeal and stature as a candidate. Most Prominent and Successful Black American in public life.
Powell is survived by his wife Alma Vivian (Johnson) Powell, whom he married in 1962, as well as three children.
Colin Luther Powell was born on April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican immigrants. Growing up in the South Bronx, Powell attended school at the City College of New York, where he attended ROTC, led the precision drill team and attained the top rank offered by the corps, cadet colonel.
“I liked the structure and discipline of the army,” said Powell, according to A CNN profile of her in the early 2000s. “I felt a little different wearing the uniform. I wasn’t specialized in anything else.”
He entered the US Army after graduating in 1958, and later served two tours in South Vietnam during the 1960s, where he was wounded twice, rescuing two soldiers during a helicopter crash. He remained in the military after returning home, attending the National War College, and rising to the leadership. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1979, appointed as Reagan’s last national security adviser in 1987 and was tapped by the elder Bush to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989.
Powell’s tenure in the elder Bush administration was marked by involvement in some of the most notable US military actions at the turn of the 20th century, including the 1989 Panama Operation, the 1991 Gulf War, and the US humanitarian intervention in Somalia. Retired Before the disastrous days from the army battle of mogadishu.
Although Powell was reluctant to commit American troops when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, he became the administration’s most trusted spokesman when Saddam Hussein’s forces were attacked.
“First we’re going to cut it. Then we’re going to kill it,” Powell said at a news conference at the time, referring to the Iraqi military.
After the attack, Powell became something National hero, enjoying a 71% favorability rating in the first few years after the war. His efforts during the war also earned him two major awards: a Congressional Gold Medal in March 1991 “in recognition of his exemplary performance in planning and coordinating the American response to the invasion of Iraq”, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. .
As the elder Bush presented the award to Powell at a White House ceremony in 1991, he said the general’s “deep compassion for each one of the thousands of men and women under (his) command will always be remembered.”
During Powell’s tenure in the military, which lasted until 1993, he also received several other notable awards, including a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He received his fourth star in 1989, becoming the second African American to reach that rank.
In addition to military awards, Powell also received the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy’s Distinguished Service Medal, as well as a second Presidential Medal of Freedom, a second Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton. .
Top diplomats during turbulent times
With a prominent national profile, Powell was projected as a potential presidential candidate in the 1996 election. But in a much-anticipated decision, he refused to participate in the race, citing his lack of “passion” for electoral politics.
“A life requires a calling that I haven’t heard yet,” he told reporters in 1995. “And it wouldn’t be honest for me to pretend otherwise, it wouldn’t be honest for the American people.”
Powell was again promoted to run in the 2000 presidential election, but he turned down calls to bid. Instead he called George W. Bush supported, speech At the Republican National Convention in which he argued that the then-governor of Texas would “help bridge our racial divide.”
it was bush first cabinet selection when he was announced as the 43rd President’s nominee for Secretary of State, and with Specialization In foreign policy and widespread popularity, he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
He shared Bush’s reluctance to project military might around the world, a view that was quickly displaced by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As Bush’s top diplomat, he was tasked with building international support for the war on terrorism, including the Afghanistan War. But it was his involvement in the administration’s pressure to intervene in Iraq, on the concerns of many of America’s longtime allies, for which his tenure in the state was best known.
In February 2003, Powell gave a speech before the United Nations in which he presented evidence that the US intelligence community said Iraq had misled inspectors and concealed weapons of mass destruction.
“There Can Be No Doubt,” Powell warning, “that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the ability to rapidly produce more, and much more.”
However, inspectors later found no such weapon in Iraq, and two years after Powell’s UN speech, a government report stated that the intelligence community in its assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities prior to the US invasion Was “wrong wrong”.
But the damage was already done—both to Iraq, for which the US went to war six weeks after Powell’s speech, and to the reputation of the once highly popular politician, who was Allegedly The then-Vice President Dick Cheney said before the UN speech: “You’ve got a high voter rating; you might lose some points.”
Powell, who left the State Department in early 2005 after submitting his resignation to Bush last year, later called his UN speech a “blot” that will forever be on his record.
“I regret it now because the information was wrong – of course I do,” she said CNN’s Larry King in 2010. “But I will always be seen as a case maker before the international community.”
“I influenced public opinion, there’s no question about it,” he said, noting how influential his speech was on the public’s support for the invasion.
In his 2012 memoir, “It Works for Me,” Powell acknowledged the speech again, writing that his account in the book would probably have been the last one made publicly.
“I am mostly mad at myself for smelling the problem,” he wrote, referring to the report that contained faulty evidence of alleged Iraqi WMDs. “It was by no means my first, but it was one of my most significant failures, which had a huge impact.”
Powell wrote, “The incident will earn a prominent paragraph in my obituary.”
After leaving the Bush administration, Powell returned to private life. He Joined In 2005 he joined the renowned venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, where he worked as a strategic advisor until his death. For the time being, he “Get Inspired!” But gave speeches. business seminars, and he wrote his 2012 memoir.
Although most of Powell’s time as a public servant was spent in the Republican administration, in the later years of his life he supported Democratic presidential candidates and harshly criticized top Republican leaders.
As of 2008, longtime Republican distinguished president Approval He went to another party when he announced his support for Obama’s White House bid. At the time, he criticized Obama’s “ability to inspire” and attacks on the “inclusive nature of his campaign”, saying…