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Forum, Oct. 23: Iraq War a big blot on Powell’s record

Published: 10/22/2021 10:00:01 PM
Modified: 10/22/2021 10:00:11 PM
Iraq War a big blot on Powell’s record

The invasion and conquest of Iraq was the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history. It resulted in fractured societies, massive destruction, increased terrorism and untold misery for tens of millions of people in the Middle East and beyond. And it is a major factor in the decline of the U.S. in world prestige, influence and power.

Iraq was a modest regional power surrounded by adversaries. To equate Saddam Hussein with Hitler and Nazi Germany was ridiculous. Study after study by experts, including Hans Blix, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had concluded that Iraq had no “weapons of mass destruction.” But the George W. Bush crowd was determined to have a “glorious war” anyway, supported by a lackey Britain whose leader, Tony Blair, dreamed of Churchillian grandeur.

Virtually all the world’s governments and people opposed the war. But in the waning weeks, to my mind, only two people might have stopped it — Blair and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Blair could have reversed and vigorously opposed it. Powell could have refused to be the fall guy for the war crowd and misrepresent before the United Nations.

Instead, he could have resigned with fanfare, and immediately made a major speech to the American people, possibly at a joint session of Congress, opposing the war.

Powell was a member of Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired in Washington. In conversations, the fact that he abetted the war rankled him, a huge blot on an otherwise distinguished career. And in Britain today, Blair is often called “Phony Tony.”



The writer is a retired senior diplomat for the U.S. Department of State and the Agency for International Development and a member of Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired.

A call for action against hate

It seems impossible that a member, or members, of the communities we love and represent in Concord could defile a monument in Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park with antisemitic messaging. And yet that is where we appear to find ourselves as popular culture and public discourse increasingly spiral downward toward ever-baser realms (“Park defaced with Nazi imagery,” Oct. 14).

We call for concerted community action to emphatically demonstrate our communities’ commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish sisters and brothers in the face of racialized hate. Place a menorah in your window. Put a yellow star on your mask. Speak up and confront fascist ideology.

In our homes and our houses of worship, our cultural organizations and our retail establishments, our schools and our workplaces, there must be zero tolerance for hate. Say it loud and say it proud: There is no place here for the demonization or degradation of ethnic or religious minorities, or for race-, religious- or gender-based violence against people or property.






West Lebanon

Oxenham and Sullivan represent the Sullivan 1 district in the New Hampshire House. Prentiss represents District 5 in the New Hampshire Senate.

Matt Mooshian has proven leadership credentials

Claremont elections are coming up. With all City Council seats up for re-election, we have the chance to choose new voices for the city, especially among the at-large seats.

I’m supporting Matt Mooshian for an at-large seat because I believe he will use the position to stand up for a community that serves everybody.

Mooshian’s background is in human services. He knows what it’s like for people struggling to make ends meet.

He’s worked with folks who are displaced and are looking for housing and with parents struggling to find quality child care and a good-paying job.

That’s why his priorities as a councilor would be promoting new and affordable housing as well as promoting smart zoning and land use policies that are resident-friendly.

He knows how to organize and work with people. Whether working with fellow councilors or statewide leaders, he will use his strong collaborative skills to build relationships with statewide leaders to enhance our community’s resources.

In particular, he hopes to create an arts commission to explore opportunities to build on Claremont’s budding status as a regional arts center. We already have several downtown organizations that focus on music, dance and the performing arts. Another is on the way, with the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts renovating the old Claremont National Bank building.

We should reflect as a community on how best to advertise and grow our strength in this area as a means to draw even more people into Claremont.

Claremont has momentum. Downtown is getting a giant makeover. Buildings all around are being refurbished and repurposed.

Our next City Council will have the important task of stewarding the city through an important growth period.

Mooshian has proven leadership credentials. He started a nonprofit from the ground up, a job that took as much strategic planning as it did bridge-building.

That is the kind of leadership we need as we try to bootstrap our way back to being the regional jewel Claremont once was. Vote Matt Mooshian for Claremont on Nov. 2.



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