If Colin Powell had listened more carefully to Osama Bin Laden’s broadcast on Tuesday, he would have heard that once again, the animosity between Osama Bin laden and Saddam Hussein’s regime is apparent.
Bin Laden referred to the Ba’ath regime as being full of socialists and infidels and called on the people of Iraq to rise up and overthrow their government. Colin Powell interprets this as evidence that there is a clear link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda.
Colin Powell appears to have undergone a complete transformation in recent months. The wise retired soldier-come-politician appears to have been brainwashed into making incomprehensible statements about Iraq as the rest of the Bush administration tries to keep a low profile, so as to appear less abrasive.
Powell, the dove, the good policeman, has been pushed forward into the limelight and given a lead role he has no ability whatsoever to play. He lies badly, he is unconvincing. First, he grossly misinterpreted what he presented as clear evidence to the UN Security Council last week, making statements which were exaggerations of the recordings he played and presenting satellite photographs so unclear as to be ridiculous.
Secondly, he refers to a shameful package passed over by British intelligence as “magnificent” and “solid evidence”, against Iraq, which now transpires to be no more than a thesis written in 1991, copied and pasted from the Internet, complete with spelling mistakes, and a few pages lifted from defence magazines.
Now, Colin Powell makes a childish and simplistic reference to a link existing between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, when he knows very well that Saddam and Osama hate each other.
Colin Powell would do more for his cause by not saying anything than by systematically coming up with what are so obviously biased and contrived reports. He may be able to fool his own administration and his own people but such claims are an insult to the collective intelligence of the rest of the world and as such are wholly unacceptable.
By the same token, to claim that the Bush administration is connected to Al-Qaeda just because Bin laden has mentioned Washington in his messages would be taken as being ridiculous. It is. And so are the claims of Colin Powell.
Next weekend’s mass demonstrations for peace will be witness to exactly where world public opinion lies.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru