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The US: A footnote - Colin Powell

Amazing! The posting to which this is a footnote discussed different approaches to foreign affairs in the Bush administration as described in Insight (12/24/01). Two articles there make it appear that Colin Powell is the odd man out. Later in the same issue comes an article in the "fair comment" series by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, entitled "Media Elites Drive Wedge between Bush, Powell", illustrated with an unflattering cartoon of Powell. I guessed correctly that the expression "Media Elites" referred to the New York Times. It is a kind of Jacksonian populism that the word "elite" has acquired a derogatory meaning. The article denounced is "The World According to Colin Powell" by Bill Keller (New York Times Magazine, 11/25/01). It is described as "fawning, an 8,000-plus word paean" to Powell. The rebuttal says Powell has shown "bad judgment" on several issues. It concludes that Bush is right and enjoys public support, despite the "Foggy Bottom bureaucrats, the media elites and the so-called international community". In reality, it is not these villains but Insight which is driving the wedge. Someone is trying to pull the rug out from under Powell. Meteorology reports show that the expression"Foggy Bottom" is applied more accurately to the Pentagon than to the State Department. The next article is a eulogy of the recently deceased director of the Hoover Institution, Glenn Campbell, a hardliner in the best Campbell tradition. The eulogy is entitled "Campbell Was Beacon of Light In Darkness of Leftist Faculties", Stanford being of course an elite university. The final article in the issue, entitled "The Enviros" (another cuss word), opens "Paul Ehrlich [of Stanford] one of the leading enviros and junk scientists." The New York Times and the Washington Post are described as "great purveyors of junk science". I share much of the skepticism about the ideas of Paul Ehrlich, but I wish the criticism had been couched in WAIS language. I suppose we should be grateful that Stanford is getting all this attention.

The next posting will deal with Susan Eisenhower and her role in this problem. Stay tuned.

Ronald Hilton - 2/17/02