Powell’s Poor U.N. Presentation

I listened to Colin Powell’s presentation at the U.N. yesterday, read the text carefully. I was sad for so many reasons. Let me count the ways:
(1) Sad to see this good person beating the drums of war.
(2) Sad to think of the war that his presentation–and his having agreed to play this role– has brought us that much closer to.
(3) Sad, actually, to read the content and see how thin and tenuous his case was. It seemed like an insult to the intelligence of listeners– especially, the recycling of the tired old ‘aluminum tubes’ business. Mohamed el-Baradei laid that one to rest a while ago, saying the tubes in question actually could not be helpfully used for nuclear fuel production. So why did Powell drag that one in?? It seems like an insult to Baradei and the rest of us.
Look, I know better than many other people how terribly Saddam has behaved in the past– and most likely, he’s still behaving that way. But if containment worked for Joe Stalin, why on earth would we imagine it can’t work for this regime, whose raw power is a thousand times smaller than Stalin’s??
Feb 4th, I went to see ‘Bowling for Columbine’. (Okay, I was late getting around to it.) But it was good to see it the night before Powell’s speech. I think Mike Moore got it just about right. There’s a huge industry out there dedicated to whipping up the fearfulness of Americans; and that keeps U.S. citizens opting for huge military expenditures, tough police and incarceration, etc– at the expense of the basic social programs which would make our community healthier and safer.