Colin Powell: A Case Of American Propaganda

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives to pay his respects at the casket of the late former President George H.W. Bush as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol, Dec. 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. – Drew Angerer/Getty Images  

Colin Powell, the first black U.S. secretary of state, has passed away this week. Tributes poured in from top U.S. leaders. “We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said. Likewise, House Republican Peter Meijer described him as a rarity in the modern age: “a true soldier statesman.”   

Nonetheless, in other parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, he is remembered differently. Powell falsely accused the Iraqi regime of owning weapons of mass destruction in a testimony before the security council, paving the way for the American invasion of Baghdad, which unleashed years of sectarian fighting and human suffering, which claimed dozens of lives. Powell, however, regretted his testimony later in 2011, saying it was a blot on his record. 

The Global Times, a Chinese- owned news agency, commented on his death, saying the US grew confident after the cold war, and even without Powell’s speech, it would have relied on other naïve justifications to siphon Baghdad’s wealth.  

“Engaging in the so-called ‘black propaganda’ has been the US’ old tricks to secure geo- political gains. To win its allies’ support and attack its competitors or adversaries, the US has always attempted to confuse them by spreading fake news, and to contain them by fabricating lies,” Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said

The successive American administrations have been exploiting the engrained instability and power vacuum in Third world countries to justify their illegal intervention in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Latin America as well. Ironically, the so-called war on terror brought more conflicts and even fueled the rise of extremism. Now, the issue is not whether the US should continue its interventionist policies. Instead, it’s how Third world countries could deal with corruption, authoritarianism, Western dependency, and social and political malaise that the US had played a decisive role in.

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