Powell has been making excuses for the bad intelligence, for the many problems in Iraq, for the lack of progress in Middle East peace talks, for the cavalier way Bush treats our allies and disdains Arab leaders. It seems that Bush follows the belligerent advice of Cheney and Rumsfeld, and when things go wrong he asks Powell to smooth things over.
I don't know how the latest administration screw-up happened. The State Department issued a report that stated that the number of terrorist activities decreased from 2002 to 2003. Administration leaders trumpeted these statistics as proof that Bush's "war on terror" is working.
After Representative Henry Waxman complained about inaccuracies in the report, it was revised. The revised report shows that the number of terrorist events INCREASED from 2002 to 2003. So on Sunday, the Secretary of Apologies was on several talks shows apologizing for the administration once again:
"When you look at it in hindsight now...all sorts of alarm bells should have gone off. All sorts of, as I say to my staff, circuit breakers should have dropped when we saw this data, and they didn't. But I don't think there was anything political or policy driven about it."
Nothing political? Nothing policy driven? Ridiculous. Obviously the data was cooked to fit Bush's scenario that he is winning the "war on terror." It did not work. So the loyal soldier apologized once again.
It's hard to understand why Powell does not resign. He evidently does not agree with the most important initiatives of the Bush administration. OK, so he wants to be loyal to Bush. But why should he go everywhere apologizing for Bush's mistakes?
I can't think of even one reason, unless Colin Powell's real designation is Secretary of Apologies.