Sunday, May 30, 2010

Colin Powell on the Oil Spill and Gays in the Military

I've been seeing people commenting about the possibility of the military taking over the oil spill clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico. I didn't know what they were talking about until now, Gen. Colin Powell's comments today.

Powell appeared today on ABC's This Week. Before Powell spoke, a segment ran with Louisiana Bobby Jindal criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the oil spill and an interviewer challenging Louisiana's approach.

While Powell talked about gays in the military and his opinions on Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, he also said it's time for Obama to present a "comprehensive total attack" to solve this environmental problem and the military could possibly have a larger role. He agrees with many others that BP cannot fix this.

From the Huffington Post:
"The president has to get involved as quickly as possible," Powell told ABC's This Week. "If you don't, then public opinion starts to drag you in the media, and pushes you. And so when something like this clearly is going to get beyond the capacity of whoever caused it, get beyond the capacity of local authorities, I think the federal government has to move in quickly and move in with, to use my favorite expression, decisive force and demonstrate that it's doing everything that it can do."
Sam Stein thinks the general's comments reflect growing disappointment with Obama. Stein's correct that anger is growing and more people are frustrated with what they perceive to be Obama moving at snail pace. I've thought that what people really want to see is Obama in waders scooping the oil off the waters himself, and they want him to kick BP's behind out in the open. Echoes of the magic Negro perhaps?

Powell says the military could help, but whether or not that help would be effective depends on what the military is asked to do. He told ABC that he's not the man to say what needs to be done. It's up to leaders of today's military.

This idea of the military going in is not new. It was mentioned a month ago. In addition, the National Guard has been activated to work on the oil spill.

Recently the guard completed a 2.5 mile wall to protect the shore, but that's not enough.

On gays in the military, Powell says the world has changed since he testified in support of "don't ask, don't tell" in the 90s, and decision makers should listen to the people who are in charge now. He thinks how "don't ask, don't tell" could be implemented should be studied. He's not against repealing the policy.

See all oil spill posts under Oil label.


lilalia said...

Most military persons are used to be trained to deal with every changing emergency conditions. This is why many countries bring in the military to help deal with natural emergencies. It is surprising that your country isn't used to doing this. Thanks for this post.

Vérité Parlant said...

Hi, Lilalia.

The National Guard was activated to work on the oil spill. It's considered military. It's our "reserve military force."

That's why I posted its video. The complaint has been it's not enough.

But people make a distinction between them and soldiers who go overseas to fight, even though members of the National Guard also go overseas to fight. One National Guard soldier from Louisiana was killed in Iraq just this month.

People want to see even more soldiers working on the oil spill, I guess, despite us also repeatedly hearing we don't have enough troops to cover where we are overseas and some troops being sent to the Mexican border. The president may have to decide where troops are needed most. It may not be more on the oil spill.

The best thing to happen to our military, as far as its leaders seem to be concerned, is that the bad economy has boosted enlistment.

Thank you for the visit.