Former secretary of state Colin Powell, who presented the Bush
administration’s case for war against Iraq to the United Nations,
spoke to a full house at the Arlington Theatre last Friday night.
As war protesters walked the sidewalk outside, Powell took the
Arlington stage to a standing ovation and departed the same way. In
between, he avoided controversial issues, but shared amusing
reminisces from his career as a four-star Army general and advisor
to three presidents. During a brief question-and-answer period,
Powell admitted he was “dead wrong” in asserting Saddam Hussein was
stockpiling weapons of mass destruction but attributed the error to
faulty CIA work. He then spun the WMD controversy as less than
critical, noting Hussein had “every intention of [acquiring] such
weapons, and he had the capability,” and had the deposed Iraqi
dictator complied fully with UN inspections, Powell claimed, “war
could have been avoided.” The event was sponsored by UCSB Arts
& Lectures as part of Powell’s book tour to promote his recent
tome, On Leadership. Antiwar protesters included Mayor Marty Blum,
who said. “The American people are hungry for leaders who tell the
truth. We need Colin Powell to do that, or not to speak on


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