Dear General Powell,
I just read the article "<a href="http://slate.msn.com/id/2095756/">The Tragedy of Colin Powell</a>" and wanted to communicate what I felt about it to you.
You became an inspiration to me after the Gulf War. It's odd because I did not know you well. At that point I had no idea what you did (besides the Gulf War of course) or any details of your illustrious military career. I only knew that both General Stormin' Norman and you led your men to save a helpless Kuwait that was brutally attacked by the larger Iraq. You were a hero. Those tomahawk missiles could hit a mailbox from 2000 miles away, I read. I swelled with pride that the good side had such advanced weaponry.
As I grew out of my teenhood I became more aware of the things going on in the world. I had so much respect for you that I hoped that you'd run for President after Clinton's term was up. I would have voted for you, save for the little obstacle of me not being American.
Your appointment into W's cabinet provided some reprieve. I had hoped your competence would make up for W's perceived lack. I was particularly proud of your refrain from going to war in Iraq. As a man who knew the very nature of war, it was clear that your take on the matter would be especially insightful.
But somewhere, somehow you were coerced into being the spokesperson for the presentation of reasons to go to war with Iraq. They wanted you to bring peace to the Middle East. You found yourself in so many losing causes that W began to seek advice from insidious circles and you lost your place. Blood still runs from the wound in your back.
You may have done the whole hypocritical / political thing. I found out that the tomahawk missiles were discontinued because of their inaccuracy. And about your whitewashing of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. Or that you clearly lied during your Iran-Contra testimony in 1987. You aren't a hero.
But now here you stand, one of us. Some of us were cheated into going to war. Others were coerced. You now know first-hand how it feels.
Maybe it isn't heroes we need. We just need someone strong enough to speak for the common man. Now that you've been reduced thus, maybe it's time to actually do something good, something worthy of us having believed in you once upon a time.
Dear General Powell,