Socialist Worker

Don’t mourn expired war criminal Colin Powell

Issue No. 2777

Colin Powell sits to the left of former president George Bush as they meet the National Security Council in 2001.

Colin Powell sits to the left of former president George Bush as they meet the National Security Council in 2001.


The “progressive” and “moderate” face of US mass murderers is dead. Colin Powell, who died on Monday, helped to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the world.

As George Bush’s secretary of state, he presented the United Nations security council with “evidence” of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

He said his slideshow of blurry photographs showed “sure signs” that chemical weapons were being made and stored in Iraq. Just one month later, the invasion proved what millions of ordinary people who opposed the war knew already. It was all a bunch of lies.

Powell knew this too—as transcripts of a conversation between him and Labour’s then foreign secretary Jack Straw revealed.

Hours before he spoke, Powell told Straw he was worried that the “evidence” would soon “explode in our faces” when the truth came out after the invasion. Straw was worried too. He knew there was no evidence to back up the claims. But that didn’t stop him from praising Powell’s “clear and authoritative case” to the United Nations.

Now that Powell is dead, Straw is out again, repeating his support act performance. In newspaper columns and TV interviews, he said history would “judge Colin Powell more kindly than he feared.”

Straw probably worries how kindly history will judge him—together he and Powell told the lies that killed one million Iraqis.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.