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Colin Powell, first Black U.S. secretary of State, just passed away from complications from COVID-19.

The former United States Secretary of State claimed his decision to invade Iraq "will earn a prominent paragraph" in his obituary.

Colin Powell, first Black U.S. secretary of State, just passed away from complications from COVID-19.
Image Source: President George H.W. Bush Lies In State At U.S. Capitol. WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 4. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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.



 

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.



 



 

"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.



 

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.



 

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