The former United States Secretary of State claimed his decision to invade Iraq "will earn a prominent paragraph" in his obituary.
Colin Powell, the first Black United States Secretary of State, passed away on Monday morning due to complications from COVID-19. As a military leader, his role in numerous Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century. Later on in his life, he used his political capital to help elect Democrats to the White House. He will, however, be remembered for his fierce advocacy in favor of invading and initiating a war in Iraq, leaving millions dead. He was 84 years old, CNN reports.
Colin Powell, ex-U.S. secretary of state who has died at 84, was a major advocate for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq:— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 18, 2021
▪️ Gave false evidence to UN, falsely claimed Iraq was building WMDs
▪️ Later called it "blot" on his record
▪️ Iraq war killed at least 209,000 Iraqi civilians pic.twitter.com/4zAfc7SiIt
Announcing his passing, his family wrote on Facebook, "General Colin L. Powell, former US Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American." They noted that he had received two doses of the Coronavirus vaccination. Powell's career, from participating in active combat duty in Vietnam to becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency, is overshadowed by his support of the Iraq War. Later on in his life, he admitted he has regrets about supporting the invasion.
Colin Powell is going to be remembered today as a statesman but he should be remembered for using his gravitas to sell a war he knew was a lie— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) October 18, 2021
Colin Powell died as all American war criminals do: Surrounded by his loved ones, after a long and happy life where he never for a moment feared any consequences for his actions.— Ian Goodrum (@isgoodrum) October 18, 2021
"I regret it now because the information was wrong, of course, I do," he said in an interview with CNN's Larry King in the year 2010. "But I will always be seen as the one who made the case before the international community. I swayed public opinion, there's no question about it." He also expressed guilt in his 2012 memoir It Worked For Me. He wrote, "I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me. It was by no means my first, but it was one of my most momentous failures, the one with the widest-ranging impact. The event will earn a prominent paragraph in my obituary." He was referring to the report he used that contained faulty evidence of supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Colin Powell's legacy.— Shailja Patel (@shailjapatel) October 18, 2021
"One survey found that most Americans thought Iraqi deaths were in the tens of thousands. But our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion."https://t.co/4UzxmX4biF
Powell was right about his final assertion. As some express their condolences for the political adviser, others remember the victims of his decision. Shailja Patel, a notable anti-war activist from Kenya, posted on Twitter, "Today's a good day to watch Colin Powell's 2003 speech at the United Nations, falsely claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The death toll from the US invasion and destruction of Iraq exceeds 2.4 million." She proceeded to share images of children born with birth defects in Fallujah city in the west of Iraq as a direct result of the war. While Powell was never held accountable for his actions, there are now thousands of innocent victims who have to spend their lives enduring the consequences.
I am saddened by the death of Colin Powell without being tried for his crimes in Iraq .. But I am sure that the court of God will be waiting for him— Muntadher Alzaidi (@muntazer_zaidi) October 18, 2021
حزنت على وفاة كولن باول دون أن يحاكم على جرائمه في العراق .. لكنني على يقين من أن محكمة الله ستنتظره.#colin_powell pic.twitter.com/rZkbuJpUco